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Studio Aeroplane's Blog

Moon Festival 2012 in Yaowarat

September 30th, 2012

The weather was good tonight when we visited Charoenchai Community to attend their third annual Chinese Moon Festival Ceremony. The community is located on a small alley within Yaowarat (Bangkok’s Chinatown) and has undergone some preservative movement triggered by the advent of Wat Mangkon Kamalawat Subway Station.

Although not as well-known as other Chinese communities in Bangkok, such as, Klong Thom (an important trade community for electrical equipment) or Nakhonkasem (an important trade community for mechanical equipment as well as musical instruments), Charoenchai is an important trade community for Chinese ceremonial offerings. Visiting the alley during business hours would bring a pretty sight of vivid color, gold-adorned ceremonial paper products, incense sticks, red candles, etc. As part of the preservation effort, the community is now housed a hundred-year-old house museum where visitors can see the interior of one of the row houses that characteristically lined the alley. And, lastly, the popular “blue-collar noodles,” where one can get filled up with a giant bowl of noodles for 30 baht, is also located near the entrance of the alley.

Right now it’s uncertain what development direction the new subway stop will bring to this community and Yaowarat district. At least now the community is taking the time to learn about its strengths and weaknesses and gradually coming to understand itself better in order to prepare them for the inevitable changes. Rather than letting itself being transformed by the outside factors only, this community is taking control in developing its own transformation.

Happy Chinese Moon Festival 2012!

Our recent interactive installation visualizing level of freedom of countries around the globe. Exhibition will be open to public end of this month at Thai PBS Museum.

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