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Thank you to all of our friends who visited our exhibit booth at the 2014 Irvine Global Village Festival at Bill Barber Park, Irvine, California on Saturday, September 27th. Once again we brought the rich and colorful culture of Thailand to you, your friends and family. Our booth received a constant stream of visitors who enjoyed our amazing presentation. Our volunteers worked hard bringing Thai culture as well as bringing our “Siamese Smiles” to Irvine. We hope that you all enjoyed our exhibit!

This year is marked a second year of our collaboration with Thai American Chamber of Commerce of California (TCCC) and received support from over 50 volunteers, and a generous support from the Royal Thai Consulate-General (RTCG), Los Angeles to present you with many examples of amazing Thai Arts and Culture.

Here are the many activities at our 2014 Thailand exhibit booth:

(Khun Nujarin Whitman & Khun Jintana Flaberty demonstrated fruit carving.)

Live Fruit Carving Demonstration

Fruit Carving is one of Thailand’s traditional carving arts with a very long history. It is believed to have been originally taught and learned among the ladies in the royal palaces. This year a talented team of artists from San Diego who brought their expertise in carving various fruits and vegetables into artistic masterpiece bouquets. We received a constant stream of visitors gathering in front of our booth. It was the most beautiful scene and the most photographed display in the exhibit area. People were amazed by the vibrant colors of these carved flowers brought uniqueness to our presentation.

(Khun Jamnan Sajakul was a gracious model for the Water Blessing ceremony.)

Thai New Year Festival (Songkran) Presentation

We presented the two aspects of Songkran tradition, the Water Blessing ceremony and the Sand Castle.

Water Blessing: Our volunteers demonstrated the water blessing ceremony. It raised the curiosity of the visitors as it was a practice that they had not seen before. They asked many questions about the ceremony. Many joined the activity by participating in pouring water into our volunteer’s hands. It was unique and became the most memorable event for our volunteers and visitors.

Sand Castle: We created models of the Sand Castle for our display. During Songkran festival, people also bring sand to the temple. This is a way for people to return the sand that they unintentionally brought away from the temple during their visit. They also build a sand castle to celebrate the festivity. Our volunteers enjoyed explaining about the idea behind the sand castle as well as its tradition during the Thai New Year.

(Khun Korjack Srivongse explained to visitors about the traditional Thai house)

Traditional Thai Architecture Presentation

Khum Khun Phaen, a traditional Thai house model was beautifully built by one of our volunteers. Its unique shape and color attracted many visitors. They wanted to know more about it. Visitors who traveled to Thailand referred to the model as a Thai temple. It was a good opportunity for our volunteers to present and educate people about traditional Thai homes.

(Khun Tussanie Chapanond taught visitors to weave pla-tapian)

Traditional Thai Fish Mobile “Pla-tapian” woven demonstration

Thai Traditional Fish Mobile making is an old tradition that has been passed on through many generations. Parents hang the fish mobile over the baby’s crib for blessing. This activity has proven to be very popular among kids and adults. They had their hands-on experience and learned how to weave. Weaving fish seemed to be quite a challenge for some visitors, but that didn’t stop them from trying. Small hands and big hands held onto two pieces of color paper strips and wove them into a fish shape. The satisfactory smile showed on their faces, “wow, I made it!”

The Long Drum “Glong Yao” Dances

Members of the UCI Thai Club performed the Glong Yao dance. The beautiful and colorful outfits of dancers brightened the exhibit area. The fun and exciting rhythm as well as dance movements made the visitors move along with the rhythm of the drum.

The Batik Dances “Ra-Bum Pha Batik”

Dancers from Lan Narthasin Thai Dance Group performed the Ra-Bam Pha Batik dance on-stage. Their graceful movements brought joy to the audience. The colorful batik fabric flower painted pattern outfits brightened the main stage area.

The Art of Muay Thai Presentation

Visitors enjoyed the arts of Muay Thai boxing performed at the Martial Art area. Besides performing the strong, powerful and fierce movement of boxing, the Muay Thai presenters also showed a soft side by transforming themselves into a target for kids who bravely participated in the activity.

So, we hope that you enjoyed our display of beautiful Thai Arts and Culture, and also saw fine examples of other interesting cultures at the 2014 Irvine Global Village Festival!
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