May 22, 2023
BANGKOK – The government is planning to register Thailand’s traditional loincloth, the pha khao ma, as a cultural heritage item with Unesco to promote Thai culture globally, government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri said.
Outgoing Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha expects the pha khao ma to be a successful soft-power item to promote Thailand after two performances by Thai dancers wearing traditional attire received immense attention on World Dance Day 2023, Anucha said.
Thai dancers performed two shows at the World Dance Day in Jakarta on May 6.
The first performance showed how Thai villagers wear the loincloth in their daily lives.
The second featured dancers wearing traditional clothing from all regions of Thailand.
Anucha said the two shows drew thunderous applause and many foreigners asked Thai dancers to pose for photos with them.
The Cabinet resolved in February to consider registering the loincloth with Unesco as intangible cultural heritage.
Prayut wants all government agencies to raise the profile of the loincloth to promote Thai culture globally, Anucha said.