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Uniforms and Identity

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Title

Uniforms and Identity

Description

In March 2013, the Ministry of Culture filed a proposal with the Cabinet suggesting that Cabinet ministers only wear clothes made from Thai fabric. Since then, this proposal has been adopted by many Ministries, Public Organizations, and public schools to varying degrees of success. In Surin, all civil servants must wear Thai fabrics on Fridays, and on Tuesdays, they must wear clothing featuring local Surin patterns. Local schools have also incorporated Surin patterns into their uniforms or requested that students wear any kind of local pattern to school at least one day per week. This photo shows blouses that a weaver in Baan Tanongrak Village made for her elementary-school-aged daughter to wear to school. Though these initiatives attempt to foster local pride and support local economies, they also represent national efforts to control and regulate bodies so that they conform to national concepts of “Thainess.”