The traditional blackboard slates makers in the Mu Doon village of Chaungzon Township in Mon State tried to revive the business with creative designs. Yet, pandemic-induced demand slumps stopped production, coupled with travel restrictions.
Nowadays, the blackboard slates are rarely seen as a teaching tool as technology changed clay tablets to digital boards. However, that did not stop makers following design trends. They are trying to maintain the traditional business with creative designs such as chalkboard paint, chalkboard wedding invitation, chalkboard souvenirs and more interior decorations. The business is on the verge of extinction if they don’t follow the trend, said U Aung Moe Khaing. The creative designs attract both local travellers and tourists. According to Mu Doon village souvenir shops, the travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 resulted in low demand.
The blackboard slate business has commenced in Mu Doon village since 1945. The whole town used to rely on the business heavily. On the back of low demand, only ten makers are remained to maintain the traditional industry. — KA (Chaungzon) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)