About this talk

Cha-Time with SEACHA#31 will be on Saturday, 22 June at 11:00 AM Bangkok time! We are happy to share that this Cha-Time will feature Mr. Tashi Topden, an expert in tourism from Bhutan. He will address the topic, “How Traditional Ways of Life in Bhutan Help Sustain the Environment.”

This Cha-Time will discuss how the relationship between the Bhutanese people and the environment has been forged over centuries within moral, cultural, and ecological boundaries. Traditional and local beliefs promoted the conservation of the environment, and key ecological areas were recognized as the abodes of gods, goddesses, protective deities and mountain, river, forest, and underworld spirits. Buddhism and animism reinforced this traditional conservation ethic and promoted values such as respect for all forms of life and giving back to the Earth what one has taken away.

Despite these deeply embedded environmentalist beliefs, climate change impacts cultures across the globe, and Bhutan is no exception. While globalization and modernization have posed new threats, Bhutan has developed unique philosophies to preserve its ways of life and ecosystem. These philosophies have developed as an imperative of not only traditional values alone, but in conjunction with modern science.

Speaker & Roundtable:

Speaker: Mr. Tashi Topden

Tashi is from Bumthang in Central Bhutan. He is a senior tour leader/travel agent in Bhutan and has been leading treks and tours for three decades. He studied in Bhutan and India. He was also handpicked by Bhutan Tourism to attend a course in Eco Tourism in Thailand, Mountain Leadership in Switzerland and Mountaineering Training in Austria. He combines a deep respect for Bhutan’s traditions with a genuine open-mindedness towards other cultures. Tashi enjoys sharing his experiences and insights with guests-immersing them in the wonders of Bhutan every step of the way.

Roundtable: Ms. Kanitha Kasina-Ubol

Kanitha Kasina-Ubol is the managing director of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage and SEACHA Director, Thailand. She has decades of experience in Southeast Asian cultural heritage preservation and programming as well as in the library sciences.

Roundtable: Ms. Jarunee Khongswasdi

Jarunee Khongswasdi is the Siamese Heritage Trust manager of The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage and a representative of SEACHA. She has her MA in Arts and Culture Management and has a strong interest in culture and climate action.

Roundtable: Ms. Nicha Patradhilok

Nicha Patradhilok is a communications officer at The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage. She has her BA from Chulalongkorn University in English Language and Literature/Letters and her MA from SOAS University of London in Cultural Studies. Her field of interests are Southeast Asian literature and Thai cultural studies.

Roundtable: Ms. Thepduangchan Bounthideth

Thepduangchan Bounthideth, or Koun Xinh, is a Ph.D candidate in resources management and development. She hails from from Luang Prabang, Laos and is a SEACHA Youth Alumni. With a passion for intangible cultural heritage, she hopes to promote sustainability and culture awareness.


Moderator: Ms. Amanda Ong

Amanda Ong is an international programme officer at The Siam Society Under Royal Patronage under a fellowship from Princeton in Asia. There, she works closely with the SEACHA board as a representative of The Siam Society. She grew up in the United States and attended Columbia University for her undergraduate degree and the University of Washington for a MA in Museum Studies.

Registration is available here.

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