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ASEAN Ground Barred Dove Festival in Yala

1 March 2015 (Readers 1048)
The southern border province of Yala will hold its annual ASEAN Ground Barred Dove Festival, comprising cultural activities to promote relations and harmonization among the people.

The festival, the 30th of its kind, will take place on 7-8 March 2015 at Khwan Mueang Park in the town of Yala. It will be organized jointly by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Southern Border Provinces Administrative Center, the Yala City Municipality, and the Yala Provincial Administrative Organization.

In this event, participating Javanese doves compete to make the sweetest and most melodious cooing sounds. The doves are judged by their melody; the loudness of their cooing, and the pitch. For a dove to be prized, its cooing must be resonant and rhythmic, and it must be able to sing for a relatively long time. Good cooing doves can command a high price in the market.

Mayor of the Yala City Municipality Pongsak Yingchoncharoen said that Javanese cooing dove raisers from many areas in Thailand and other ASEAN countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, will take part in the 30th ASEAN Ground Barred Dove Festival. The upcoming event will see the participation of about 2,000 doves.

Mr. Pongsak said that, apart from the dove competition, there will be a food fair on 6-8 March as part of the festivities. Delicious food from the three southern border provinces of Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat will be offered to visitors, as well.

He said that the ASEAN Ground Barred Dove Festival helps stimulate the local economy, generate income, and promote tourism. Yala province has developed this event as one of its creative economy schemes, under the "Yala Bird City project. The festival has led to new businesses, such as dove farming and exports.

It has also generated jobs, such as those concerning the making of birdcages and food production for doves. In terms of tourism, the hotel business, transport services, restaurants, and sales of souvenirs and other local products have also benefited from this event.

Not only residents in Yala, but also those in other southern border provinces Pattani, Narathiwat, Satun, and Songkhla have raised Javanese cooing doves. In Thailand, doves, especially the ones that have "good qualities, are believed to bring good luck to those who raise them.

The festival helps boost people-to-people contact and bring ASEAN people closer together. It also opens cultural space, which will lead to better understanding among the people of different faiths who share a mutual interest in cultural activities. Better understanding among the people is believed to contribute to a peaceful and happy society.

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