IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia
IKTT (Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles), from SiemReap Cambodia

Invitation to the Silkworm Festival and the fashion show

It is a slightly early announcement but I want to inform everybody this year's Silkworm Festival. IKTT has held the Silkworm Festival at Project site of Wisdom from the Forest on full moon day in September every year. As you may know, we produce the Cambodian traditional silk textiles. Over 400 trainee workers including myself, we rely on our living by selling the silk textlies. So to speak, the silkworms feed us.

But as you know silkworm cocoons are boiled in a bath for reeling into raw silk thread. Thus, it is a cruel procedure for silkworms. In Cambodia, a lot of people are pious Buddhists, such cruel procedures are of cource prohibited for Buddhists. When we were about to revive the traditional silkworm raising at Takaor village of Kampot province 13 years ago, the villagers said us that they do not want to do those cruel procedures. But I explained the villagers that the cruel procedures are not futility, because we relied on our living by it.

I recall such things when we revived the first law silk at Project site of Wisdom from the Forest in July 2003. We thought we should start holding a mass for those sacrificed silworms, and thank for relying on our living in this world by Ankor Gods and those silkworms. There were ceremonies to enshrine silkworms written in the old Chinese documents. And there are silkworm temples in Japan and Viet Nam. So it is no wonder that there are habits to enshrine silkworms in the prosperous silkworm raising places.

We decided to hold the Silkworm Festival at Project site of Wisdom from the Forest on the date of full moon in September every year since 2004. In the morning, we hold a ceremony to enshrine silkworms and have a lunch with all IKTT trainee workers. They prepares for lunch by themselves. After lunch, warming up by disco under the blue sky becomes now regular event.

The full moon day is 15 September for this year.

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Additionally, we think trying to hold a fashion show at Project site of Wisdom from the Forest at night of 14 September as the eve of the Silkworm Festival.

The annual Ankor Silk Fair has been held at the gardens of Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor in Siem Reap organized by the Cambodian Silk Forum so far. The Cambodian Silk Forum was established by the groups related to silk industry within the country to promote the Cambodian silk. The groups are NGO that supports silkworm raising, companies that make and sell silk textiles, textile designers, and shops which sell antique silk and so on.

And the main event of the Silk Fair could be the fasion show. IKTT has joined the fasion show since the 2nd Silk Fair. IKTT's basic idea is that we wear the clothes weaved by our hands and stand and show ourselves on the stage, not by professional models. I want each IKTT member to know how wonderful their textiles are.

But the fasion show of Angkor Silk Fair which held 4 times in the past has still not been held for 2008. The reason is that the Silk Forum members are not getting together for this year. So, we think that we should hold the fasion show uniquely by IKTT only.

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I would very much like to invite you to the Silkworm Festival at Project site of Wisdom from the Forest and the fasion show for this year.


Morimoto Kikuo
Translation by Mr.Takurou MATSUOKA

update : May 29, 2008 6:33 AM

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