Reading ..Labour of love ..

Labour of love

SW visits a workers museum

By Itsarin Tisantia

Located on Makkasan Road in Bangkok, the Thai Labour Museum is a great place for to learn about the history of workers in Thailand over the centuries. The museum features six main zones that are full of displays aimed at promoting awareness about the importance of local labour.

Student Weekly recently went along to explore this interesting museum.

 
On display are lyrics and instruments that belonged to Chit Phumisak, who wrote inspirational songs for Thai workers, including “Labour March,” “Honours of Labour” and “Mayday Folk Dance.” These songs were performed by workers during the October 14 revolution in 1973.
 
This display is dedicated to the more than one hundred thousand workers who died while building the Death Railway in Kanchanaburi province during World War II. As prisoners of war, they were forced by the Japanese army to build a 415 kilometre railway intended to be used for deploying soldiers between Thailand and Burma.
  This display honours King Rama IV’s official abolition of Siamese slavery, in accordance with the 1905 Slavery Abolition Act, which brought equality and liberty to local labour.
 
This part of the museum shows the equipment used by workers in various fields, including an old barber chair and a 3-wheeled rickshaw that was a precursor to the modern Tuk Tuk taxi).
  The cabinet displays dolls and belongings found at the Kader Toy Factory in Nakhon Pathom province after a fire there killed 188 and seriously injured 500 workers in 1993.
 
The walls at the museum are decorated with tools used in local agriculture, most of which were handmade from natural materials.
  The Migration of Chinese Labour zone shows how Thailand has had long-standing trade relations with China for hundreds of years, with a great number of Chinese workers coming to Thailand by ship to settle in past centuries.

 

Vocabulary

labour (n): the people who work or are available for in a country or company

awareness (n): knowing that something exists and is important

abolition (n): the ending of a law, a system or an institution

equality (n): the fact of being equal in rights, status, advantages, etc.

revolution (n): an attempt, by a large number of people, to change the government of a country, especially by protest or violent action

deploy (v): to move soldiers or weapons into a position where they are ready for military action

settle (v): to make a place your permanent home

barber (n): a person whose job is to cut men’s hair and sometimes to shave them

rickshaw (n): a small light vehicle with two wheels used in some Asian countries to carry passengers, usually pulled by somebody riding a bicycle

precursor (n): something that comes before something similar and that leads to or influences its development

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