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» The sky above Chinatown is blocked by a dense layer of yellow flags and lanterns and banners; the air heavy with grease from industrial-sized frying pans. Navigating Yaowarat with any form of transportation, on foot or on a bus, during the past week has been more chaotic than ever. The annual Vegetarian Festival, which ends on Thursday, is celebrated not by just believers, young and old, in white and in every other colour, but also by the media and sponsors ranging from banks to amusement parks.
» 'Molam can't be tamed," so the old saying goes. The years have certainly proven this true. From now until the end of March next year, the Jim Thompson Art Center presents "Joyful Khaen, Joyful Dance", an exhibition tracing the development of molam from its ritualistic roots in Isan, through its passage as anti-communism propaganda, to its current place in pop culture, where the once rural music is played to the cool or even international crowd of Bangkok.
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