The Khon performance of Thailand is inscribed by Unesco as the intangible cultural heritage of humanity during a meeting in Port Louis, Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.
The Department of Cultural Promotion has set out plans to promote the Thai Khon performance throughout 2019 after it was accepted by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
Meanwhile, a similar dance style in Cambodia, called the Lakhon Khon, was inscribed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage ‘in need of urgent safeguarding’.
Lakhon khol, a court dance, was added to the Unesco Representative List in 2008.
Minister of Culture Weera Rojpojanarat said today he had received a report from the Department of Cultural Promotion’s Director-General Chai Nakhonchai advising that the ‘Khon Masked Dance Drama of Thailand‘ has officially been listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.
The department represented Thailand at the recent 13th meeting of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Commission and submitted Khon for consideration.
Now that the art form has been recognized as intangible cultural heritage, the department will spend 2019 promoting and celebrating it. A performance will be held this December 3-4 at the Thailand Cultural Center, an animated version is being produced for screening in theaters, demonstrations will be staged to promote knowledge about the performance, and exhibitions will take place nationwide in honor of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit of the Ninth Reign’s patronage of Khon.
Thailand started applying for listings of intangible cultural heritage after the country ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage on June 10, 2016. Next year, other examples of Thai wisdom being submitted to UNSECO include traditional Thai traditional massage (Nuad Thai) and the Nora performance (Southern traditional dance). The department is also looking into cultural heritage shared between Thailand and its neighbors.