Rohingya Culture, Traditions Take Centre Stage in Bangkok Exhibition

©IOM Thailand

©IOM Thailand

©IOM Thailand

©IOM Thailand

©IOM Thailand

Bangkok, 20 February — With the theme Arar Rosom, Arar Elom (Our Culture, Our Wisdom), Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre (RCMC) is holding an eight-day exhibition in Bangkok, Thailand, showcasing the richness of the Rohingya culture and traditions.  

The exhibition presents unique stories and artefacts handcrafted by Rohingya refugees at the International Organization for Migration-run RCMC in Cox’s Bazar, where IOM seeks to promote healing, ensure the continuity of their cultural heritage for future generations, and create a powerful tool for self-advocacy.   

This exclusive event, hosted in collaboration with SEA Junction, opened on 20 February with the participation of H.E. Md Abdul Hye, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Thailand; Sarah Lou Ysmael ARRIOLA, IOM Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific; Gwyn Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) Bangladesh and Giuseppe De Vincentiis, Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Thailand and Multi-Country Offices.  

For decades, the Rohingya have periodically made their way to Bangladesh to escape persecution and conflict. In August 2017, thousands of Rohingya were compelled to leave their homes in Myanmar due to widespread violences. They settled in Cox’s Bazar, which since 2017 has become home to almost one million Rohingya refugees, making it the largest refugee settlement in the world. Due to their protracted displacement, the art, culture and traditions of Rohingyas are at risk of being forgotten. 

“This exhibition is not just about showcasing beautiful artefacts from the Rohingya community," said Sarah Lou Ysmael Arriola, IOM’s Regional Director in Asia and the Pacific. "It's also about preserving a culture under threat and keeping hope alive for those displaced. These artefacts are a powerful form of expression for the Rohingya community to share their stories, heritage and lived experiences, promoting their psychosocial well-being and positive identity.” 

Abdusattor Esoev, Chief of Mission of IOM Bangladesh, emphasized that “In this context, the impact on mental health represents a significant challenge, which led IOM to come up with creative and innovative solutions, such as the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre. All the activities of the RCMC, including masterclasses, story-telling sessions, women's and children's activities, awareness dramas, and musical performances are initiatives to foster a sense of pride, resilience, and healing among the Rohingya refugee population.”  

IOM has been on the ground in Cox’s Bazar since 2013, providing vital humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees, including mental health support, using innovative approaches that combine fostering psychosocial well-being, safeguarding and preserving cultural identity. The needs of the Rohingyas living in densely populated and disaster-prone camps in Cox’s Bazar remain extensive and meeting them depends entirely on continued support. 


For more information please contact:   

In ROAP, Viriri Itayi at  

In Thailand, Anushma Shrestha at  

In Bangladesh, Tarek Mahmud at