Business is booming for Siri Seatea’s traditional dress shop in Bangkok.
“Out of the 30 years I’ve been running this shop, this is the peak for us,” 53-year-old Siri told Reuters as she stitched a Thai sarong for a client.
History fever is gripping Thailand and a growing number of Thais are wearing traditional dress, a phenomenon encouraged by the junta and the palace, and fuelled by a popular television soap opera.
Among the popular costumes are those worn during the reign of former King Chulalongkorn, known as Rama V, who ruled from 1868 to 1910 and is credited with saving Thailand from Western colonialism.
Television has also played a part.
“Love Destiny”, a soap opera set during the 1656 to 1688 reign of King Narai the Great, has taken Thailand by storm.
Many Thais are visiting the ancient capital of Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok, where scenes from “Love Destiny” take place. They pose for “selfies” dressed in traditional garb against the backdrop of the ruins.
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