Big event – KKU Mo Lam Festival 2024, celebrating KKU’s 60th Anniversary and enhancing culture and economy with soft power

Monday October 9, 2023 – Khon Kaen University held the opening ceremony of Mo Lam Festival on the occasion of the University’s 60th Anniversary. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University presided over the ceremony while Assoc. Prof. Niyom Wongpongkham, Ph.D., Vice President for Art, Culture, and Creative Economy gave the reporting speech. The event, held at Si Than Lake, was joined by a lot of folk artists, Mo Lam artists, administrators and the public.

The opening ceremony began at 17:00 p.m. – The President lit the candle and incense sticks to revere the Triple Gem, the Angels and the sacred beings. Next, Mae Khru Mo Lam, Dr. Chaweewan Damnoen, the 1993 National Artist and Po Khru Mo Lam Chalad Songserm, the 2005 National Artist, recited the worshipping words to the Triple Gem and respecting words to the ‘Teachers’. Mr. Pongsaporn Uppani, played the Lai Yai Khaen to pay respect to the ‘Teachers’. These rituals were followed by more rituals: “Presenting sugar cane to pay respect to ‘Teachers’”, “Casting Khaw tok and flowers” and the opening ceremony of the big Mo Lam Festival to celebrate the University’s 60th Anniversary. Dr. Chaweewan Panthu, a national artist, sang a Mo Lam song signaling the official opening.

Assoc. Prof. Niyom Wongpongkham, Ph.D., Vice President for Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Khon Kaen University explained that Mo Lam is one of Isan’s folk performance art and part of creative economy. It is one remaining cultural performance that has not declined with time, even though there has recently been impact from the social and technological changes. Mo Lam has continuously improved itself under the changes.

“To express the pride and the celebrate the 60 the Anniversary of Khon Kaen University, and to conserve and promote local Mo Lam performance art and to deploy creative economy, Khon Kaen University by the Art, Culture, and Creative Economy has collaborated with the Mo Lam Story and Poem Club, Sri Isan Nakhon Film, Co. Ltd., to organize this Mo Lam Festival. The event is honored to have national artists, Isan heritage artists, Po Khru , Mae Khru joining, with 24 Mo Lam bands.”

Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of Khon Kaen University said that Khon Kaen University has an important mission to campaign for and promote art, culture, industrial and cultural development for deploying creative economy.
“Mo Lam Festival to celebrate Khon Kaen University’s 60th Anniversary is organized under the social development strategy, academic service for social benefits, and values building in creative economy. Mo Lam is accepted as one business that brings income to the people, community and the country. Khon Kaen University has regularly promoted Mo Lam artists in terms of the venue for the artists to present their valuable performance art. It is expected that this event will internationalize Mo Lam, the soft power and Isan cultural capital in the future.”

Miss Nattidaporn Khankham, a Mo Lam singer of Siang Isan Band revealed that she was happy and proud to join the occasion, where 24 bands including teachers and friends also participated. She loves Mo Lam because she has been trained by Mae Noknoi Uraiporn in singing, dancing and reciting poetic songs. Therefore, she loves and sees the value of this occupation, which she holds as the principle occupation that brings income to her family. Miss Nattidaporn believes Mo Lam is one performance art of Isan and only one in the world that is a fantastic culture and Soft Power ready to be adjusted to the current age by various media. The new generation has become interested in Mo Lam more than in the past. Mo Lam bands have dedicated themselves to practice and disseminate the culture to the world. It is believed that Mo Lam will not vanish as long as her generation still sees its value and conserve it.

.”In the past, when we talk about Mo Lam, only the elderly would be interested. Now, young people aged 14-15 years also are interested in this culture. I’m happy that Mo Lam spreads into all parts of the country with all age groups interested in this art. The media nowadays are multiple, but Mo Lam still exists with more younger generation interested in it. This is a good sign and it shows that no matter how far the world steps ahead, the younger generation are still tied to the livelihood and Isan culture. Siang Isan is scheduled to perform on October 11, 2023, the last day. We have prepared a show related to Isan culture, contemporary show and real Isan culture. Please come and cheer us.”

Mo Lam Festival to celebrate KKU 60th Anniversary was held on October 9-11, 2023 by the Cultural Center, Khon Kaen University, at Si Than Lake.
October 9 – Rabiab Watasilpa, Mo Lam Jai Koen Roi, Mo Lam Pet Lam Ploen, Mo Lam Khwan Jai Faen, Mo Lam Watjanasilpa, Duan Pen Amnuayporn, Nu Parn Wisesilpa, Thung Siam Watasilpa.

October 10 – Prathom Banthoensilpa, Ratanasilpa IntaThairat, Silpin Phuthai, Kaen Nakhon Banthoengsilpa, Saw Noi Pet Ban Phaeng, Somjit Bothong, Nuengpet Muang Chai, Nong Mai Muang Chumpae.
October 11 – Siang Isan, Kham Phun Ruammitr, Isan Nakhonsilpa, Bua Rim Bueng, Nueng Rungtiwa Amnuaysilpa, Chan Lao Banthoengsilpa, Neung Nampet Prasansilpa, Neung Song Sam.
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News: Rawiporn Saisaenthong
Photos: Attapon Hampong


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