“Tha Sap Town near Pattani River has good background and stories
To remember that it is a town of fertility.
Tha Sap Town has convenient and rapid transportation system, progressive sub-district
Advanced education and we love and care about everyone
Nowhere is as happy as this place
No matter how many days or years pass, here will be an important point
And today, everyone is united and the river links everybody together
And nurtures us with productive forest, mountain, and cave
This is a small point to be the destination of trading for a long time
Just maintain it, and this place is a town of prosperity, Tha Sap Town, One and Only”
Above is a lyric of “Tha Sap Town, One and Only” created by a local artist of Tha Sap Sub-district, Mueang Yala District, Yala Province, with aims to strengthen harmony in the community through a story telling of the background of Tha Sap Town, a large port town on Pattani River Basin with Pattani River and Saiburi River as the main vessel nurturing people in the community which has long history. From historical context, it is resolved to be an area bringing peace and harmony in form of riverside market called “Talad Tong Chom or Tha Phae Floating Market”
King Prajadhipok’s Institute as an independent state organization under supervision of the president of parliament has missions to promote and develop knowledge about administration in the democracy regime and emphasizes development of local administration to be a stable foundation of democracy. It then has organized a ceremony to grant King Prajadhipok’s Award and certificates since 2001, by focusing on local administrative organizations that have outstanding performance in terms of transparency and promotion of public participation. Later, in 2009, the Institute expanded King Prajadhipok’s Award to cover local operations such as promoting public participation in local activities, bringing peace and harmony in local areas, and encouraging network constitution from different sectors in operations about local development.
Tha Sap Sub-District Municipality is a local administrative organization that has outstanding performance and is a model of bringing peace and harmony to local areas in a concrete way because Tha Sap Sub-District Municipality is a multicultural area with Buddhist and Muslim people living together despite having different traditions and cultures in living a life. As a result, Tha Sap Sub-District Municipality has a policy with focus on every person no matter what sex, age, religion they have or whether they are disabled or underprivileged, living together under differences but maintaining their own identity with affection, harmony and peace to reduce conflicts resulting in perpetual peace. Finally, it is granted with King Prajadhipok’s Award in 2018 type 2: bringing peace and harmony, from King Prajadhipok’s Institute.
With the situations of unrest in the southern-border provinces since 2004, Thai Buddhist and Muslim people are terrified and live with fear. So, Tha Sap Sub-District Municipality realizes that it is necessary to solve such problem to mitigate fears and anxiety among Thai Buddhist and Muslim people to live with affection, harmony and unity as in the past. It thus creates an innovation and works to enhance peace and harmony under “Local wisdom bazaar for local cultural inheritance project”, which has been arranged since 2017 in a form of annual festival, and it has been organized until today at the old raft pier near Ruean Cham Bridge, Village No. 1, Tha Sap Sub-district, Mueang Yala District, Yala Province.
This bazaar project is operated under a policy of inviting people to go out of their houses and do activities together with cultures as a media to link people together. It is also to implant good conscious mind for children, youths and people to conserve arts, cultures and local plays that have been inherited for generations, and they may disappear from our memory one day and from routine life of children and youths. Furthermore, the new-generation youths will be implanted good conscious mind to learn about and conserve arts and cultures to last forever.
There are various activities with cultural diversity such as Sila or Dika or Bue Dika Performance, which is martial arts of Thai Muslim people in the southern-border provinces, Thai dancing performance, stick rice stirring activity to build up good relationship, cooking and local dessert contest, demonstration of shadow puppet making, wickerwork, bird cage hook making, Tarikipas Dancing (local dancing art), Dikir Hulu, Menora Dance, Shadow play, rowing against tide race, wooden toy competition (Kasing) etc. Many people in Tha Sap Sub-district Municipality and others from nearby areas joined this festival.
Apart from the local bazaar for local cultural inheritance project which is an annual festival, Tha Sap Sub-District Municipality also extends the activities by organizing an event at the same place and in nearby areas including Talad Tongchom Tha Phae-Tha Sap where local food and products are distributed on every Saturday, and OTOP Inno-Life Tourism Community which was once Tha Sap Walking Street. Various products are distributed on every Saturday in the beginning of each month in areas of Thai Buddhist community. Merchants with various religions distribute their products here, making them to develop their career and have more income. Furthermore, it is to develop quality and uplift OTOP product standard, resulting in adaptation for market development that can attract people to stay in the village with OTOP Inno-Life Tourism Community, of which the income is more circulated.
At present, “The local bazaar for local cultural inheritance”, “Talad Tongchom Tha Phae-Tha Sap” and “OTOP Inno-Life Tourism Community and Tha Sap Walking Street” are events that draw attention of people in and out of Tha Sap Sub-district municipal area along with tourists to visit and purchase products. As a result, people have higher income and better quality of life, and it is a way to develop economy in a sustainable way. Furthermore, it is focused on promoting affection, harmony and unity and reducing fears and paranoids among Thai Buddhist and Muslim people in a multicultural society.