The bridge of culture, the bridge to future

Thai smeArt is one of many methods of human communication. Sometimes it helps portray the meaning that words cannot convey. It helps connect the shades of cross-cultural ideas to be seen as one big united picture. From the inspiration to preserve the art, culture, tradition, and lifestyle of Thai Lanna inherited for more than 2,000 years, Rukbatik has applied existing Lanna patterns combined with universal art to become “Modern Art” and their silk scarves and shawls are hand-painted from natural color. Rukbatik has been operating for over five years, and it is not just a business; it’s a bridge of culture. Their exotic products have been exported to different countries to share Thailand’s culture and art with the rest of the world. However, like everything, the pandemic has affected this bridge and requires a change to survive.

“Before the pandemic, our main income was exporting to Korea and Japan, as well as showcasing our work in many worldwide exhibitions. However, once COVID-19 hit, our revenue decreased by 80-90%.” Nutcharat Chumpanichwasut, the owner of Rukbatik said, “We need to change, not only in terms of the product but also how to sell it. In terms of products, we are testing new ones related to the protection of COVID19. We need to keep up with trends and adapt unless we want to be left behind. We are also doing more online marketing to retain old customers and reach new customers in terms of how we sell it. Online is not the future anymore; it is now.”

For some local, unique, and heritage products, online platforms are like a gateway to connect the past with the future. It allows people to share and value the heritage of the community. “The training with Kenan and Meta introduces me to the world of Facebook and Instagram and how to use the platforms to generate income. The lessons are straightforward to understand and are suitable for a beginner like me. As a senior, sometimes I can be slow with digital things, but support from the team makes me feel like there is nothing we are too old to learn”, she went on to say that “After the training, I felt proud of myself and looked at myself differently. Gaining a new set of skills makes me feel that I’m still an active and contributing community member. Now I can create a different kind of valuable content to continue to deliver the art, culture, and belief of Lanna, even in this challenging time.”

Learn more about Kenan’s Driving Economic and Social Inclusion programs at www.kenan-asia.org/lasting-communities

Kenan Asia

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