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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thailand to protect heritage

By PAKAMARD JAICHALARD
THE NATION

Since Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines and Vietnam are already members of the Unesco Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, Thailand would find it very useful if it also joined, because it could get to know others and learn without borders, a senior official said yesterday.

Next week, Thailand will consider entering 30 items, including fish sauce, the recipe for tom yam kung (spicy shrimp soup) and the carving of banana stalks, as part of the national intangible cultural heritage list for this year. If Thailand joined the convention it could easily propose more items to be added to the list.

Somchai Sianglai, permanent secretary at the Culture Ministry, said the minister, Sukumol Kunplome, provided details of a discussion with the Foreign Ministry to the Cabinet yesterday. In the meeting between the two ministries, it was decided that Cambodia registering its heritage did not affect Thailand's right to register its own cultural legacy. Next week the Culture Ministry will hold a meeting with the Foreign and Commerce ministries as well as members of the media to come up with initial guidelines.

Department of Cultural Promotion chief Apinan Poshyananda said that initially 30 items would be registered as national intangible treasures pending the committees' final decision.

The items include readings of the Sepa-Thai poem, carving of banana stalks, the Thai sport of kite flying, the greeting gesture known locally as wai, the Songkran festival, the recipe of tom yam kung and fish sauce.

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