GREENWING CULTURAL AND SOCIAL PROGRAM

          Chiangrai Province has always been -and still is - strengthening its position as one of the main cultural centers of the North of Thailand. More than forty visual artists, among them some who have gained the status of ‘Thai National Artist’, have made Chiangrai their home and source of inspiration.

          Two examples of Greenwing’s involvement in reviving local cultural traditions are the co-ordination and organisation of the “Sa Kraw Dam Hua” and the Mai Sri Muang ceremonies as they were held during the early nineties. And the restoration of “Sa Deu Muang Chiangrai” is an example of Greenwing’s involvement in preserving material inheritances from the past.

 

The objective of Greenwing  Cultural Program

 

          At the Sri Muang Festival in June 1993,  Dr. Kobchai Jitsakula, President of Greenwing predicted the fast economic growth of Chiangrai and Phayao provinces, especially Chiangrai, the southern capital of the ‘Economic Quadrangle’ , and he pointed out the influences this would have on social and cultural life there. He expressed as his main concern the preservation of cultural identity by maintaining the local -Lanna- culture.

          He emphasized the position of youth in this process, stressing the importance of teaching the new generations about the origin and meaning of traditions, customs and ceremonies and within this framework about maintaining material inheritances from the past.

          At that time, Dr. Kobchai Jitsakula also spoke about how knowledge and insight into the specific character of the natural environment in which people live their lives is such an important aspect of life.

          This knowledge and understanding enables people to hold high the torch of culture and, since culture is so dynamic, it gives them strength to survive even the most turbulent changing times.

          *‘‘Economic Quadrangle’ refers to the border area of Thailand, Burma (Myanmar) and Laos, the former ‘Golden Triangle’ which by ongoing road construction and other infrastructure works projects will soon be creating the conditions for intensifying trade with Yunnan, the southernmost province in China.