Melayu Route: Open a new route with the heart of Melayu is the first Manga-style comic book in Thailand, related to Melayu cultures in three southern-border provinces. It is the work created from lesson learned derived from years of work experience in southern border areas of the author “Jirask Audnoon” and “Kittikhun Kittiamornkul”, members of media production department of Ramajitti Institute who draw cartoons making the stories of “root” and “pattern” of Melayu Culture to be lively, and accessible even with those who are unfamiliar with this.
Ramajitti Institute is an organization working with the three southern-border provinces more than a decade especially in developing education that it is necessary to understand problems in the area, comprehend contexts of local youths on attitude toward education. This is to promote youths to emphasize education or to earn living themselves without being a victim of different kinds of threats such as narcotics or being a member of a group at risk of security, as a major problem in the three southern-border provinces until present.
The first book entitled “Melayu Route: Open new route with the heart of Melayu” is a story of Raojong Amir, a new graduate who dreams to work in Bangkok to earn living. This book will take readers to survey different areas through well-informed people in the community. All stories are based on research studies, making local people to see how much cost they have and how to turn this cost to value or how to add values.
After Melayu Route, the second book was originated in the name of Melayu Line: On Melayu Line, that the author would like the readers to join an errand and find answers with Lina and Mali, the characters, about what patterns in the past bring to us. The team was funded for publishing by Safe and Creative Media Development Fund until it becomes a complete book to be propagated to educational institutions nationwide in the beginning of 2020.
The story written as a comic book reflects social condition at present that new-generation people disappear from the community such as leaving hometown to work in different places or being on a way with risk of threats from narcotics and delusion although the community has cultural capital from numerous local wisdom. The researcher team of Ramajitti Institute exercises a research methodology to contribute to designing a process of knowledge restoration for children and youths to realize existing cultural capitals. As a result, they will perceive value in what they have and possibility of developing their hometown.
Children in southern-border provinces grow with technical and handicraft work since childhood. They just know that their parents, grandparents taught them this way and made this pattern. So, they would like to know the roots of community’s arts and cultures as well as original Melayu pattern about what it is like. Thus, Ramajitti Institute organizes “Local product value study and development based on cultural capitals of youths in southern-border provinces program” by designing a learning process together with the youths through well-informed persons in the community, local learning centers and workshops. The researcher team brought the youths to learn in neighboring countries by seeking well-informed villagers who specialized in Melayu patterns from Malaysia to be a teacher for youths to learn Melayu patterns that they saw or made, but they never understood its root, indeed.
What to consider is that this Malaysian lecturer has spent 20 years, gathering arts with Melayu patterns in lines, and he collected these patterns during his stay in Pattani. All learning processes enable the youths to truly understand and realize that the backgrounds of wisdom that has been inherited for long time exist in their village. They learn how these cultural roots grow leading to inspiration of conservation and development of these cultural capitals to become an occupation that they can be independent and stay in their home town with great pride.
*Read Melayu Cartoon on Documentarism Page (Facebook)