Bangkok Folk Museum

By: Dawn SRV

Aug 01 2016

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Category: For the love of the river, Uncategorized

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Another interesting, well kept folk museum is Bangkok Folk Museum or Bangkokian Museum. The place belonged to Associate Professor Waraporn Surawadee who had lived there until she donated it to Bangkok Metropolitan in 2004. When you walk through the gate, you just feel that you are back in time. Bangkok 80 – 100 years ago must have been like that, with trees everywhere making the place cool from soft breeze even at noon time.

The museum has three main buildings. All are wooden houses built in colonial style. The original owner was a middle class business man. This house has survived the Second World War and watch the community change over the period. Most exhibits belong to the owner family, even the television set and refrigerator in the dining room. Their ancestor’s relics are still there, in one of the bedrooms. Explanation comes in simple sentence like, “This is mother’s handmade cutwork table cloth. It has always been used with this table. Mother rearranged flower vase on the table every day.” So, when you walk through, you get a feeling of walking through lives of people who once lived there.

I meant to write about the place some time ago, but didn’t quite get round to it yet. Until one day, I learned from the internet that Professor Waraporn is asking for help from the community. The adjacent land will be sold to a new owner as a site for high rise building. Since the museum itself is situated in a small plot of land, this new high rise building will be an eye-sore. So, she approached the owner and asked if she could buy it instead. Yes, it cost 40 million baht. Professor Waraporn offered her own money of 30 million baht as a down payment. Then she needs another 10 millions, which she asks for public help. What about Bangkok Metropolitan’s role in this case? They have no regulation on this and are thinking about it. Good grief!!

Friends and readers who are interested to learn more about this museum can visit the Facebook page or Google Map 

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At the end of the story, Professor Waraporn solicited the amount required to purchase that plot of land. Bangkokian Museum will be situated in a piece of tranquil land as it used to be. It seems that Professor Waraporn’s mission has been completed. In January 2017, she fell off the staircase in her house while reaching out to take her cat for its meal, causing skull fractured. She had been rushed to the hospital and was unconscious for seven more days and passed away peacefully.
I blog the above paragraph as a tribute to a kindhearted lady who had led her life as an example for us all.