Traditional clothes see sales rise
hit period soap boasts garment trade
Sales of traditional garments have risen nationwide due to the popularity of the soap Bupphaesannivas (Love Destiny), while Hawaiian shirts are also seeing a sales surge ahead of the Songkran festival next week.
In Nakhon Ratchasima, residents yesterday flocked to a market in the municipality to purchase traditional attire, particularly jong kraben, Thai-style pantaloons, and sabai, a long, shawl-like cloth draped diagonally, covering the breasts and hanging loose behind the shoulders.
Teenagers also bought Hawaiian shirts which are currently popular among singers and musicians.
Phitthayathorn Yaisomphong, proprietor of a clothes store in the municipality, said traditional apparel priced between 250 baht and 550 baht has sold like hotcakes thanks to the hit soap Bupphaesannivas, resulting in the shortage of supply. As a result, a pre-order was required three to four days in advance as his outlet currently only stocks Thai outfits in children's size.
Meanwhile, the biggest-selling Hawaiian shirts were those with Chinese hibiscus and rose patterns priced 150-350 baht. Shirts with images of coconut trees, the sun, the sea and the beach were also popular retailing at 199-350 baht each, he said.
The turnover of floral shirts is expected to increase by 20% ahead of the Songkran festival, compared to that of the previous year.
A weekly market in Chai Nat's Muang district was crowded with customers who snapped up traditional clothes, especially the jong kraben sported by the cast of the period soap opera.
Most of them will don the outfits as they take part in water-throwing activities during the upcoming Songkran festival which will start on Thursday.
The Thai-style pants are priced 160 baht for an adult and 120 baht for children.
In Khon Kaen's Mancha Khiri district, officials of the administrative authority and residents were yesterday dressed in Thai outfits as they attended an annual ceremony to pay homage to ancient rulers of the district to mark Songkran.
Also yesterday, Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat said large-scale events to celebrate Songkran festival will be held in five provinces: Sing Buri, Chanthaburi, Kamphaeng Phet, Kalasin and Nakhon Sri Thammarat.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Lt Gen Sansern Kaewkamnerd said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha instructed the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of the Interior to harness the popularity of the TV series to boost domestic tourism in 55 provinces by focusing on their local products and wisdom.
The premier also mentioned the 18 latest items which were recently added to the intangible cultural heritage list by the Ministry of Culture.
They are classified under six categories: folk literature and language; arts performances; rituals and festivals; local natural wisdom; ancient handicrafts; and local plays, sports and martial arts.
The 18 include the Thao Saen Pom folk tale, which falls under the first category. The second has likay (a Thai traditional dramatic performance) in Phichit and Nakhon Sawan provinces.
Sanai, a musical instrument from Si Sa Ket, has also emerged as a hot topic, as has Wayangkulae, a shadow puppet performance in the southern province of Yala.
In addition, khanom farang kudeejeen, a baked dessert from Bangkok, soft chalk (din sor pong) from Lop Buri and Luang Pu Sook's ancient medicine handbook in Chai Nat have been added to the local wisdom category.