We had the good fortune to be invited to the opening night of a new textile exhibition at the Bank of Thailand Museum in Chiang Mai, Thailand on Dec. 20, 2013 -- "Spectacular Textiles of Nan River Basin." And spectacular they are, as was the evening's show.
Guests arrrived in their finery -- dressed in elaborate, handwoven textiles from Nan province, Lanna textiles (from Northern Thailand) and beyond. We enjoyed local food -- noodles of all sorts, bananas roasted over a fire and glazed with pineapple and coconut, sweetened sesame sticky rice balls and other delicacies served in small bowls made from dried leaves secured with hand-carved toothpicks, along with fruit drinks served in cups made from segments of bamboo.
Our focus this trip is to spend more time learning about and appreciating traditional textiles in this region. It was great to see so many young people at the exhibition opening, as without their interest, these traditions face an uncertain future.