The only thing I knew before I did my master's dissertation was that I wanted to educate myself about current international academic knowledge. And when I finished I would use the knowledge to help my country.
This is the most relevant data that I have found and I ardently want to push it forward.
"Commodification is a process of changing things from subjectified, for example culture and people, to objectified for the global market's values". (Andrews, Leopold, Meethan and Geen)
"The culture was being sold "by the pound" and as such the people were being robbed "of the very meanings by which they organise their lives" (Greenwood, 1989)
"To sale the product or service, culture, they have to provide special experiences and satisfy customers' needs" (Pine and Gilmore, 1998)
I have heard a number of outsiders call us, for example, the lifestyle destination. Most outsiders expect Thailand to be a mysterious place, with simple people and most things so full of meaning. I would like to ask, how much you think you have seen or know the truth? Have you ever questioned the thing you have seen or known and whether it was just a commodified version of the original? If it was not a commodified version, would you feel as excited or you will feel the same as if you saw salt and pepper on your table?
I am extremely aware of "commodification tourism in Thailand" and I think Thailand has gotten negative effects in terms of culture. If the culture will change, as it always has and will, it will be more acceptable for a better life, not only for capitalism.
Due to the above, I have opened a real cooking class to educate insiders and outsiders to know what "is" really is. Because I believe that understanding will solve the problems that effect Thai society and culture. And I know that people are openminded enough to learn about differences and we do not need to commodified it to enjoy the realness.
Ms. Warangkana Masanga
Owner of Ton Gluay, Thai Culinary Heritage
Ton Gluay is the Thai word for banana tree. The banana tree is very important for Thai households. Back then, every new family must grow two things: banana trees and sugar cane in the house's area. Every part of a banana tree can be use in many ways and undeniably it has been used apart from and in Thai dishes.
I grew up in old-school Thai family compared to others in my age group. I learned how to cook from my mum, who learned from granny and so on. Our recipes stayed more or less the same because we lived in the countryside where not much innovation happened. I actually prefer Central Thai and Isan cuisines because my home town is in Nakhonsawan and my mum is from Isan. However, I met friends from every part of Thailand and as always I never forgot to talk to them about food and learn how to cook it theirs.
Why I am in Chaing Mai at the moment? Well, the simple answer is that foreigners know Chaing Mai better than my hometown. So I believe Chaing Mai is a great place to educate more people. The more people understand the realness, the more we can reduce the impact on society and culture.
Hopefully, one day I can return home and educate people at my hometown which is the better place to learn how Thai people cook and live with nature.