The Thai government is planning to register the loincloth or “Pha khao ma” as an intangible cultural heritage item with UNESCO to promote Thai culture globally, a government official said on Sunday.
Government spokesperson Mr. Anucha Buraphachaisri announced that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was highly impressed with the performance of Thai dancers donning the traditional attire earlier this month at the World Dance Day in Jakarta. The dancers not only received a roaring applause from the audience but many foreigners also asked to click photos with them.
According to Mr. Anucha, Gen Prayut believes that the “Pha khao ma” can be a successful source of soft power to promote Thailand and its rich culture globally.
The first performance showed how Thai villagers wear the “Pha khao ma” in their daily lives while the second featured dancers wearing traditional clothing from across Thailand.
“The Prime Minister has asked for cooperation from relevant agencies to jointly extend and push Pha Khao Ma, to be recognized worldwide,” said Anucha.
“The Prime Minister also appreciated the youth for supporting Thai traditional culture to be well-known outside the country. He is also ready to support the loincloth to be registered as an item of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO,” he added.
The spokesperson informed that the Thai cabinet had already considered registering “Pha khao ma” to be listed as one of the intangible cultural heritage items with UNESCO back in February this year, and the outgoing Prime Minister has been rallying his support for a worldwide recognition since then.