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Thai-yuan cultural expert Songchai passes away at 79

Thai-yuan cultural expert Songchai Wannakul passed away on Monday afternoon at his home in Saraburi province. He was 79.

Born into a Thai-yuan, Songchai founded the Thai-yuan Cultural Centre, which is located in Saraburi’s Sao Hai district.

He turned his ancient Thai house, which is nearly 100 years old into a cultural centre

Songchai, a former teacher at Saraburi Wittayakom School, had been preserving Thai-yuan culture for virtually his entire adult life.

He started turning his home into a museum in 1969, and then in 1993 founded the Thai-yuan Club and turned it into what is now the cultural centre.

As a tourist attraction in Saraburi, his house/centre exhibits a large number of historical wares, tools, weapons and handicrafts.

The house is characterised by a cross on the roof, like the homes that the ethnic group built in Chiang Saen after migrating to Thailand.

The centre has sometimes also been used as the set for film locations.

Bathing rites for Songchai take place from 3pm on May 8 at his house in Saraburi, and will be followed by the funeral rite at 8pm.  Nation

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