The board of directors for the promotion and preservation of intangible cultural heritage, chaired by Thailand’s Culture Minister, Itthiphol Khunpluem, has recently acknowledged the progress of the proposal “Songkran in Thailand” for joining the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Cabinet approved the submission on 24 March 2020, and the documents were submitted to the UNESCO. It is expected to be considered at the end of 2023. Another item proposed for listing is “tom yam kung,” which the Cabinet approved on 23 March 2021. It is expected to be considered by UNESCO in the year 2025.
The meeting also approved “pha khao maa,” or the Thai multi-purpose loincloth, for the list of “wisdom heritage,” and it is preparing to submit an account with UNESCO in the next round. Pha khao maa has already been listed on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2013 in the field of traditional craftsmanship with types of fabric and fabric products.
Pha khao maa, which is a locally woven cloth, can be found in all regions of Thailand, with a uniquely colorful checked pattern. It has become more than just a piece of cloth, since it represents Thai people’s way of life. Pha khao maa has been used for a long time for many different purposes, such as a weapon wrapping, a storage bag, a sleeping pad, a blanket, baby hammock, bathing wear, and a towel for drying the body, as well as use in various ceremonies. (PRD)