Milli’s viral Coachella performance leads Thai PM to push mango sticky rice for UNESCO listing

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Thai rapper Milli’s viral Coachella performance has led Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to push for UNESCO listing for mango sticky rice.

On Sunday (17 April) at the California music festival, the 19-year-old artist brought a bowl of the beloved dessert on stage with her, sparking a surge in sales of the dish across Thailand.

Her performance included a mockery of Thai stereotypes – “I don’t ride an elephant” – and criticism toward the Thai government: “The country is good, people are good, our food is good but the government is bood [rotten],” said the rapper during her set, which took place as part of the 88rising showcase on the main Coachella stage.

Despite the rapper’s public criticism of the country’s leadership, the Thai government has sought to capitalise on the trend.

Following the viral moment Thailand’s PM announced that the culture ministry may send a proposal for mango sticky rice to be listed as a cultural heritage item with UNESCO.

“It’s important for Thailand to use its soft power abroad. We have plenty of resources that can be promoted on the international stage,” Prayut said, according to the Bangkok Post.

According to Google Trends, online searches for “mango sticky rice” have spiked 20 times and recipes and memes have multiplied across Thai social media.

The 88rising showcase also saw a surprise performance from Chinese popstar Jackson Wang, much to the crowd’s delight.

Catch up on anything you may have missed during the festival’s first weekend here.

Weekend 2 of Coachella is scheduled for 22 to 24 April.

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