Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hand-Made in Thailand

Thai people are some of the most resourceful people in the world. They can make something beautiful out of practically nothing. It's no wonder that Thailand is famous for its exported goods and handmade objects.

Today in a taxi, there was a traditional-looking Thai-style vessel on the top of the dash board. When I examined it carefully, I realized someone had spent hours - even days - folding little pieces of iridescent paper into small origami-like forms, and then assembling them into an elaborate bowl. The cabbie told me that it was actually a "krathong" กระทง, a small "boat" that normally holds incense sticks and candles during Loy Krathong ลอกระทง, a festival celebrated in Thailand every November. The driver proudly explained how his wife had lovingly made it, and how she's an extremely patient and "cool hearted" woman, traits obviously necessary for making such a time-consuming handicraft.
I'm always happy to see traditional Thai art forms being practiced and preserved for future generations. And I'm glad the driver keeps his "krathong" out all year for his passengers and himself to enjoy.