Site icon Global New Light Of Myanmar

Lacquerware makers striving to keep business afloat in monsoon season

20

Lacquerware valued at K1,000 to K3 million is produced. This business is required to keep running and those stockholders in the supply chain are exerting great efforts to keep the business afloat as the majority of them are making a living on it. photo : kanu

COVID-19 situations and global economic instability are drastically affecting the tourism industry and lacquerware businesses in Bagan’s ancient cultural heritage zone which are heavily relying on homegrown visitors and tourists are struggling to keep the business going during the monsoon season.
Lacquer is an aesthetic finest art which has been passed down from the previous generation to generation since the Bagan era. Lacquerware (locally called Yun De) developed with advanced technology without losing its cultural grip is attracting local visitors and tourists.
Lacquerware businesses are displaying more than 80 types of lacquer crafts with over 100 designs and features in Bagan. Lacquerware such as a small token of appreciation at the wedding reception and birthday events, lacquer alms bowl, lacquer tea leaf plate with lid, trays, lacquer alms bowl and food carrier, cups, boxes and containers are selling well. Foreigners fancy buying lacquer wine-cup, mugs, lacquer bowls of small and large sizes, trays, containers, boxes, souvenirs and other decorations.
Lacquer sales dropped due to the COVID-19 impacts. Nonetheless, lacquerware businesses are attempting to rise out of tough times. The makers are keeping the business afloat and developing new designs and features to keep abreast with the developments of other regional countries.
Visitors enjoy horse-riding, temporary hand-painting, purchasing souvenirs and photographing during their pilgrimage to Bagan. Lacquer businesses with the large investment are facing hardships to keep surviving in the difficult times owing to the low sales.
“We always welcome tourists. Our ancient city is relying on tourists. Bagan is recognized as World Cultural Heritage Site. Myanmar’s ancient cultural heritage lies in the heart of Bagan. Therefore, preserving tangible cultural heritage, maintaining physical artefacts and temples from generation to generation as the lifeblood of the country and promoting soft power in cultural aspects are national responsibilities. As Bagan and lacquerware businesses are coexisting, protecting the lacquerware business from the verge of extinction can be regarded as preserving the Bagan cultural zone. This being so, keeping lacquerware business alive is of vital importance in Bagan,” said U Aung Kyaw Tun, secretary of Myanmar Lacquerware Association.
To maintain lacquer arts and crafts, the Lacquerware College has been offering lacquer arts and innovative approach with international technology and original artworks. Those artisans from Bagan city and Myinkaba village are passing this art on to future generations.
If the lacquerware businesses can receive government subsidies just like the micro and small enterprises obtaining loan access under the COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan, it will help the business survive in the monsoon season, some lacquerware businesspersons shared their opinions.
The big challenge in the lacquerware industry is transport costs even the tourists flock to Bagan cultural zone. The soaring shipping cost might possibly affect the domestic handicraft industry. The regional countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand see blooming handicraft businesses in international markets due to the facilitation of shipping by sea.
Bagan’s lacquerware business is relying 30 per cent on homegrown visitors and 70 per cent on tourists. Hotels, motels, restaurants and transportation businesses in Bagan city are depending 60 per cent on tourists and 40 per cent on local travellers. The lacquerware business, in which half of the local population is involved, is heavily relying on foreign tourists. Myinkaba and Phwasaw villages in Bagan are the main producers of lacquerware. Therefore, lacquerware is the backbone of Bagan’s economy. Lacquerware valued at K1,000 to K3 million is produced. This business is required to keep running and those stockholders in the supply chain are exerting great efforts to keep the business afloat as the majority of them are making a living on it. — Nyein Thu(MNA)/GNLM

Exit mobile version