Plan to push for Thai traditional massage to be included in Unesco’s World Heritage list


Thailand will try to push for traditional Thai massage to be included in Unesco’s list of world’s cultural heritage, said Dr Boonruang Trairuangworawat, director-general of Health Service Support Department, on Wednesday.


He disclosed that at a recent discussion on the matter among representatives of the Health Service Support Department, the Department for Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine, the Ministry of Culture, the regional office of Unesco and the private sector, all agreed with the idea to push for the inclusion of Thai traditional massage in Unesco’s world cultural heritage list.

Dr Boonruang noted that Thai traditional massage was a legacy of Thai local wisdom dated back to more than 600 years ago and there are two types of the massage – one which was practiced in the Royal court and the other by common people.

He disclosed that the matter was also raised with the Labour Ministry as labour law needs to be updated to make sure the quality of Thai traditional massage must be standardized and that the massage is preserved as an occupation for Thai nationals.

In order to apply for the Unesco’s listing, Dr Pattharapol Jungsomjetpaisarn of the Department of Health Service Support said that the department must prepare necessary information about Thai traditional massage in full details to the national committee on the convention of world heritage protection headed by Deputy Prime Minister Thanasak Patimaprakorn for consideration.

The proposal will need cabinet’s endorsement before it is submitted to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

Currently, five sites in Thailand have been put in the Unesco’s World Heritage List. They are Sukhothai ancient city, Ayutthaya ancient city, Ban Chiang, Thung Yai-Huey Kha Khaeng wildlife sanctuary and Dong Prayayen-Khao Yai forests.