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Silken threads bond Thailand, Myanmar relations
Publication Date : 13-03-2013
Thailand and Myanmar, who share the same silk culture, found no better item than silk for a bilateral exhibition to mark the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations and explain the close ties between the two countries dating back centuries.
Private collections of Thai and Myanmar silk costumes and textiles from different regions and ethnic groups were on display at newly-opened Junction Square shopping centre in Yangon last weekend, under the "Textiles of the Two Lands" theme.
Thai ambassador to Yangon Pisanu Suvanajata said the major objective was to raise public awareness in Thailand and Myanmar that cordial ties between the countries were established 64 years ago.
"With that awareness and given the current status of Thailand-Myanmar relations which are in an excellent condition, people of both countries should look forward to the future on how our two countries will work together for our mutual benefit," he said.
The event, hosted in cooperation with the Yangon and Myanmar Red Cross, also marks the 80th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, who has been behind the success of Thai silk.
Pisanu said the two countries shared common values, similarities, and the uniqueness of each country's textiles. Both countries had the same silk custom, for example, in ways to apply silk fabrics as apparel, emphasising quality of silk and weaving technique.
In his opening speech, he said a common value of textile weaving was reflected in comparable designs and patterns of Thai and Myanmar textiles, which also had their own unique features from each locality.
"That explains why we have brotherhood relations with Myanmar and how we connect to each other historically," he said.
"From the exhibition that we display, people will see that there are a lot of similarities, and that's why textiles are one indication that Thailand-Myanmar relations are very close and cordial."
Besides celebrating the two anniversaries, there was also a seminar on "Thai and Myanmar Textiles: Hidden Treasures, Shared Wisdoms".
Attended by prominent figures in the textile industry from both countries, the seminar was led by Myanmar academic and textile researcher U Tin Win and Thai curator Suthirat Kaew-arphon of the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok.
A fashion show during the gala dinner raised funds for the Myanmar Red Cross. It featured classical costumes and contemporary collections of Myanmar designer Mogok Pauk Pauk and renowned Thai designer and historian Paothong Thongchua.
Pisanu said a series of activities will be held to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Thailand-Myanmar relations.
"Textiles of the Two Lands is the major event and the commencement activity. After this, there will be several functions in terms of social responsibilities, sports and cultures, and religious affairs. So within this year, there will be a lot of activities," he said.