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Thailand e-book exhibition to help people learn the rich cultural history of the country

Despite the government’s relaxation of lockdown measures, recreational venues remain restricted and lots of office workers are still performing from home. To satisfy bookworms and people curious about Thailand’s rich history and wisdom, the National Library of Thailand (NLT) is arranging a web exhibition named “10 Books From the precious Ancient Documents Of The National Library”.

Available on mobile.nlt.go.th and therefore the NLT Library app, this exhibition is showcasing recreations of historic khoi paper manuscripts referred to as Samut Thai so as to teach future generations about Thai cultural heritage and conserve ancient documents.

“Back in 2018, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn suggested that we create a book exhibition that displays both printed books and original documents to teach people about Thailand’s roots,” said Dipwat Watjarasiriamon, director of manuscript and inscription collection at National Library of Thailand.

“The project began last year and our team of experts have selected 10 rare prints and manuscripts that are popular with readers and have interesting content also as astonishing illustrations that highlight the sweetness of Thai cultural heritage. thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve shifted our attention to a web platform this year in order that people of all ages can access this e-book exhibition from home.”

On a digital bookshelf, you’ll find Tamra Maew during a pictorial calendar version and a hoary manuscript with stunning illustrations of 17 auspicious cat breeds and Thai poetic verse. A feline is intelligent, flattering and devoted, making it a well-liked pet and special gift.

In the past, Thais believed that owning an auspicious cat would bring fortune and prosperity to the owner. for instance , Maew Nilrat with black eyes, nails, tongue and teeth brought wealth and guarded its owner from harm. Maew Supalak with a copper body, nails, and ruby-shaded and white whiskers was believed to bring prestige while Maew Mares with its white nails, whiskers and eyes also as nimbus-like hair brought happiness and auspiciousness.

Samutphap Khlong Ruesi Dat Ton was first published in 2007 to celebrate the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 80th birthday.

This 154-page book includes 80 classic Thai yoga poses, including self-stretches, massage, breathing and meditation.

According to Prince Damrong Rajanubhab’s novel, Siam adopted the normal healing arts of India which Brahmans practice during their pilgrimage to form muscles and tendons supple, improve blood circulation and lift their spirit.

We can find out how to face and extend our arms forward to alleviate tight muscles, find out how to take a seat and place one leg and two arms over our head to alleviate a headache and lie on the ground and stretch our arms over our head to appease a cough.

Phra Samut Tamra Phaen Khotchalak is that the oldest elephant book with Khmer-Thai and Thai-Pali descriptions from the Ayutthaya era. Pachyderms became an integral a part of Thai culture during the Sukhothai dynasty.

Based on King Ramkhamhaeng’s inscription from 1292, they’re clever, strong and delightful , making them ideal for training as a king’s chariot. This manuscript was created within the reign of King Borommakot for instance the attributes of auspicious elephants and teach the way to tame and train them, following Hindu beliefs.

For instance, Phra Aiyara features a towering mountain-like body, long ivory, large star-liked eyes and a bow-like back. Meanwhile, Chang Mongkol Hatee features a dark purple body and Chang Buntarik features a fragrant white lotus-like body, an enormous head and pure white tusks.

Based on an ancient book written during the reign of King Rama III, Samutphap Sat Himmapan boasts 73 drawings of mythological animals from Himmapan forest. This pictorial book was issued in 2017 to commemorate the royal cremation ceremony for King Bhumibol Adulyadej after the bottom of the royal crematorium was designed to resemble the Anodard pond and adorned with sculptures of Himmapan creatures.

Following Buddhist beliefs, the Himmapan jungle stretches over the foot of Mount Meru, home to quite 1,000 mythical creatures. In Thailand, all Himmapan characters are extracted from imagination and therefore the majority are a mixture of terrestrial and aquatic animals or humans and beasts.

For example, Nok Thanthima features a bird head, peacock tail, human limbs, ox ears and crocodile eyes, while Kinnorn and Kinaree are a mix of humans and birds and Kodchasi may be a hybrid of a lion and elephant.

Also on view may be a pictorial manuscript depicting King Narai the Great’s royal march to Wat Yom within the former capital of Ayutthaya to perform a spiritual ceremony.

After that, visitors can enjoy a historic cruise through a pictorial manuscript of the royal barge procession during the reign of King Narai. It features four large throne boats, each of which is driven by 80 oarsmen with a gold-gilded horse-like bow. Both processions represent Siam’s might.

Based on the manuscripts from the late Ayutthaya and Thon Buri periods, a series of Samutphap Traiphum depicts Lord Buddha’s life, the Himmaphan forest, and therefore the city of enlightenment and hell also as Vessantara Jataka and Mount Meru to spotlight the principles of Buddhism and Thai traditions.

The 160-page book titled the primary Drafts Of Krua In Khong will transport readers back to the reign of King Rama IV when Western culture expanded to Siam.

Using modern Western techniques, artist Krua In Khong played with light and shadow to make three-dimensional murals, during which angels and demons stand alongside foreigners. There also are drawings of King Rama IV, Himmaphan animals, Chinese and Western merchants, people in several postures and traditional kanok patterns.

Samutphap Pritsanatham may be a book about Buddhist teachings and enlightenment meditation. Using corpses in various condition to depict the cycle of life and death and a lotus, which is born in mud but sprouts and blooms over water, to represent intellect.

The reading hour ends with the Buddhist literature Supriti Dhammaraj Jataka Khamluang, which is believed to possess been written during the Ayutthaya period. It recounts the story of Supriti Dhammaraj, who gave his three sons to a Brahman so as to achieve nirvana.

“To promote the worth of ancient books, we’re preparing a replacement project to showcase some rare books like a medical treatise during the reign of King Rama V and therefore the Three Seals Law of Ayutthaya to market the worth of ancient books. Moreover, we’re working to enhance our e-book database, which contains quite 1,000 inscriptions, dhamma cabinets and other manuscripts in order that people can enjoy our services from home,” Dipwat said.

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