There’s undoubtedly countless unsung heroes that carry on
cultural heritage. I’d like to congratulate and honor Bruce and Jida Sukpradit who shared with me their valiant effort to conserve and perform traditional Thai dance. Bruce (Jida’s husband) told me that with no grant or aid, they went to Thailand and meticulously collected costumes and dancing specific to the different regions of Thailand. So while others might modify music, or perform a northern dance with a southern costume on, Jida is sure to accurately represent a regions’ music, dance and costume.
Her diligence is why they brought back ten suitcases full of costumes and jewelry. He estimates 25 bins in a room dedicated to costumes, plus additional closets full of costumes “…and then there’s the jewelry…”
“We do this to keep the culture going”
Jidi originally learned dance in Thailand in the 4th grade. She stopped learning in high school,
but revitalized her love “5 or 6 years ago”. Now she teaches her 2 daughters
Mayuri Pon and Ginger as well as volunteers her time teaching at the temple. Jidi does not describe her dances as “traditional” but as “culture dance” that comes from the “tribes that no one sees
anymore. Most of the people tend to forgot about that. Every dance has meaning, some dance is just the water, some dance are traditional, nobody keeps that anymore.”
Once again, let me thank your entire family for sharing your dance and culture with me and for continuing your rich dance legacy.