July 9-10, 2021 – Thai Language Department and the Institute of Mekong Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, organized a project called “Creative Folklore: Marketing on Story-Telling of Cultural Wisdom Heritage” to promote the archaeological site of Koo Kaew historical health-care pavilion, Koo Kaew Monastery, Don Chang Sub-district, Muang District, Khon Kaen. The project was headed by Ajarn Kaewta Jantaranusorn, Ph.D., and was organized under strict precautions taken against the spread of COVID-19.
Mr. Supachai Leekhawsung, Muang Khon Kaen District Chief Officer presided over the opening ceremony and joined in attending the talks. The District Chief Officer also shared experiences in the city’s development plans that will be useful for academic fields. He suggested the means to convey cultural heritage information to the public that will promote the identity of Don Chang Sub-district. Participants included leaders and governing officers of the sub-district, who joined and received the plans of the Creative Folklore Project.
The Creative Folklore Project is aimed at studying and compiling socio-cultural information in archaeological sites of health-care pavilion that will lead to development of health and gastronomic tourism at Don Chang Sub-district, Khon Kaen. Integration of multi-disciplinary networks and development of the potentiality of the archaeological sites are also aimed at in order to improve the economy of the sub-district as well as to be part of the instruction of the course “Folklore”, under the Thai Language Program and the language and cultural courses under the graduate program in Mekong Studies of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University.
There were talks by many experts. On July 9, 2021, the morning session featured lectures by Ajarn Wiangkham Chuan-udom ,Ph.D., Head of the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, on “The Importance of Koo Kaew Health-care Pavilion and Archaeological Tourism Opportunities from the Viewpoint of Historians and Archaeologists”; Khun Kulwadee Samakthai, a professional archaeologist from the 8th Art Office, Khon Kaen, on “The Life of Phra Bhodhisat and Beliefs on Phra Vacharadorn, Phra Vacharapani and Phra Yom at Koo Kaew Arokhaya San”. The two talks were very helpful and encouraged the leaders and governing officers of Don Chang Sub-district to become alert and see the approaches to convey the meanings of the place widely and profoundly in different dimensions. In the afternoon, Phra Khru Vuddhidhammapiram, the Abbot of Koo Kaew Samakkee Monastery lectured on “BukkalaThitthan, the Legend of the Great Naga at Koo Kaew Arokhaya San”. This talk demonstrated the power of nature’s mercy that supports lives and minds, bringing awareness and faith to guard the place. Koo Kaew health-care pavilion or shrine is a sacred place that is the spiritual center of Don Chang people. Next, Assoc. Prof. Rawee Hanpacheon, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Architecture and former Director of the Research and Development Institute of KKU, who has a lot of experiences in urban development talked on “Khon Kaen Model: Urban Development from Cultural and Ecological Bases of a River Basin”, which linked to another talk on “Archaeological City Plan, Reviving the Past, Wakening the Future – The Challenges for Building a Smart City from the Cultural and Wisdom Heritage” and the talk on “Koo Kaew Model” to expedite cultural heritage conservation by Don Chang Sub-district Community, Khon Kaen Province.
On July 10, 2021 – The morning session featured a talk by Miss Picharaya Phiaphet, a professional academic officer, Division of Culture and Religion Studies, Don Chang Sub-district Administrative Organization, on “Student of Thai Traditional Medicine and Experiences in Proving the Phenomena: “Visuvat” and “Wanpen” of the months: “Jaitra and Phiteesart”, according to the suggestion by Ajarn Sansonthi Boonyothayan, a geophysicist on the Great Songkran Day, April 14, 2021 and the 15 waxing moon day of the 5th month of every year. This added to the meaning and interesting of Koo Kaew Arokhaya San. It is thus believed that more tourists will become interested to visit this archaeological site, at least to watch the dawn on the Great Songkran Day. Lt. Col. Sathitapong Rakphuak, a traditional medical doctor at Boon-ob Traditional Medicine Clinic, Muang District, Khon Kaen gave a talk on “Arokhaya San and the Legend of Contagious Disease and Herbal Treatment by Traditional Doctor.” The talks in the afternoon were: “Drug Effects of the Herbs in the Inscription at Arokhaya San: Challenges in Solving Covid-19” by Lt. Col. Sathitapong Rakphuak, who has not only integrated Thai traditional medicine with other sciences, but also attempted to keep the balance of the different physical systems. The colonel mentioned drugs from Thai herbs that can be used to treat virus and are believed to be able to treat Covid-19. The next talk was by Mr. Nonthawat Kaewdee, a practitioner of Thai traditional medicine on “Salt and Flower Fluid and the work of Medical Wisdom, Thai traditional medicine at Arokhaya San by using cannabis and salt. The talk also included improvement of the drugs so that they are modern enough to be used for more purposes. The last guest speaker was Khun Natthaporn Khomjit, a food dish presenter and manager of “Huan Kham Nang” Restaurant, whose talk was on “The Design of Dishes for a Set Meal Based on Koo Kaew Arokhaya San” at Don Chang, Muang District, Khon Kaen. The purpose is to promote cultural and health tourism, and thus the talk emphasized information and stories about the food sources, the use of local seasonal raw materials with high medicinal benefits, the laying of dishes together beautifully, valuable story-telling to raise market values, and the design of special Koo Kaew menu to promote the identity and culture of Don Chang Community. After the talks, participants were able to ask questions and share their experiences before the event ended.
News: Kanjanaporn Phongphrom’
Photos: Information Technology Unit, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences