SUPPORT and OTOP Fair in Honor of Her Majesty the Queen

Many activities are held throughout August each year to celebrate the birthday anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit on 12 August.

Her Majesty the Queen has taken a particularly deep interest in arts and crafts and has set an example in the preservation of Thai arts and culture.

One of her royal initiatives was the establishment of the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques, known in short as the SUPPORT Foundation. This organization came into being following Her Majesty’s frequent visits to rural areas of the country to obtain first-hand information about local people. She noticed farmers’ difficult living conditions and found that their fine craftsmanship in arts and crafts should be preserved for future generations.

Her Majesty said that she wanted to see farmers engaged in supplementary occupations to earn more income and spend time fruitfully. Her awareness of the importance of preserving Thai arts and crafts resulted in the establishment of the SUPPORT Foundation under her patronage in 1976. The primary objective of SUPPORT is to set up women’s groups and provide rural Thai women with equipment, materials, and training in cottage industries. Apart from benefiting craft makers and their families, SUPPORT plays a part in reviving traditional crafts and preserving them.

Local crafts have been revived and highlighted, adding to the charms and the prosperity of various regions and localities. For instance, in the North, embroidery, weaving, wood-carving, silver and gold accessories, and ceramics are encouraged.

In the Northeast, ancient hand-woven textiles have been revived. The tie-dye or mudmee technique has re-merged as an exciting and lucrative home industry. Mulberry and silkworm rearing have been encouraged in all northeastern provinces.

In the Central Plains, artificial flowers, basketry, bamboo and hemp products, tiny clay dolls, and ceramics have been instituted in the program.

In the South, the local vine liphao, woven into containers and handbags, silver and gold neilloware, and the unique textiles of the region have become sought-after items in Thailand and abroad.

As part of the celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s 82nd birthday in 2014, the Community Development Department is organizing a SUPPORT and OTOP Trade Fair between 11 and 19 August at Challenger Hall, IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center, Muang Thong Thani, Nonthaburi province.

OTOP stands for the “One Tambon, One Product” program, aimed at building up small enterprises in communities by encouraging the people to manufacture local products using their homegrown skills and expertise.

SUPPORT handicrafts and OTOP products from all parts of Thailand are put on display and on sale at the SUPPORT and OTOP Trade Fair. More than 2,000 booths are joining this fair, which also includes food shops and cultural shows.

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