Weaving Together Burma-Thai Relations

Vincenzo Floramo The Irrawaddy

RANGOON — As Burma marks 65 years of diplomatic relations with Thailand, the Thai embassy in Rangoon hosted and event designed to exhibit the close ties between the neighbors.

The exhibition, called “Textiles of the Two Lands,” was held to celebrate the birthday of Thailand’s Queen Sirikit, who turned 80 this year. The embassy said the choice of traditional textiles for the event was symbolic of the weaving of strong bonds between the Southeast Asian allies. The traditional fabrics industries of the region is also a keen interest of the queen, who dedicates her time to vocational training and conservation of the practices and preservation of the arts and crafts of the region.

Experts and textile collectors from the two countries discussed the use of traditional arts in modern fashion design and global business opportunities the industry has to offer. Some of the designers showing off their work included Ajarn Paothong Thongchuar, from Thailand, and Burma designer Mogok Pouk Pouk, while actress Daw Grace Shwe Zin Htaik also attended alongside guest star Pancake Kemmanit, the Thai supermodel.

At a dinner the next day, Burma’s budding celebrities rubbed shoulders with their Thai counterparts,  Burmese government ministers and visiting experts where the cost of a plate went to Burma’s Red Cross Society.