Folklore Museum

A beautiful and folkloristic Sunday with the children of the orphanage

Hello, we are Lorenzo and Nicolo’, from Italy. We spent a month volunteering in the Folklore Museum of Yo island, in the lake of Songkhla; but the time here has not run only during the work days. In particular it has been a special Sunday in which all the museum has shifted in Sosa Orphanage in Hat Yai. What does it mean? We explain: since the fact that the orphanage has not enough budget to visit the museum, its staff decided to bring there the opportunity of living a day of full immersion in the southern Thailand folklore. We brought in the orphanage objects and information from the museum creating a little new one for the children. We brought also everything useful to build up a little fresh (and free) market in the garden… it couldn’t have been nothing better to support the activities and the games of the day! Everyone of the staff had taken care to hold a space in which every child could try ancient and traditional games passed from generation to generation.

It has been wonderful looking how the games, usually kept behind dusty glasses inside the museum, have woken up in the hands of the happy children! In exchange we got a very nice show with children dressed in traditional clothes performing fascinating dances for us. The day went off among laughter, smiles, crushing spinning tops, kicks at the ball (it isn’t a traditional game, but the temptation was too strong) and a very exciting challenge of coconut graters. What is this? Every player is sitting on his coconut grater, the typical and still used tool to grate the coconut meat, and every one has a coconut to grate, of course; the first finishing the coconut is the winner. Easy, maybe little dangerous, funny!

 We think that the worth of the day was over the good entertainment given to the children of the orphanage; with this initiative games and culture has been blended together, preserving and passing them a heritage which maybe too often remains closed in the rooms of the museum, far from the real life. The museum was alive, vibrant: it was outside the museum, achieving its mission in the best possible way.

Lorenzo and Nicolo’

August 2013