Are you feeling a bit blue in the grey Summer of Denmark?
Do not worry. I give you greetings from a distant destination, like a digital postcard … And the funny thing is, I never travelled any further than Islands Brygge in Copenhagen for one (hot) morning.
Welcome to Thai Festival!
Thailand is far away to most native Danes. However, a number of Thai are working, studying and living in Denmark, and Danes seemed to be more and more interested in travelling to Thailand. In other words, it is time for the Danes to get to know their Thai friends a bit better. So the Thai Embassy in Copenhagen creates a Thai Festival with music, dance, sports, acting, food and what else makes up a cultural heritage.
The colourful host and hostesses made an effort to present every performance in Thai, English and Danish to leave no one out of their cultural postcard from Thailand. Even though the Danish male presenter had to put up with a little giggling from his fellow ladies on stage for his Thai pronunciation.
“Mooon ti daaaa …” Well, language is always a hard one.
One thing to amuse me is the difference between men and women, as they are getting ready to perform.
Look at the young man practicing his stickfightning for a performance in the traditional martial arts. All casual and skilful. While the young woman has worn her stage costume for at least an hour before she performs her danceable popsongs on stage. Here she seems to go over final details before a powerful show reveals her wonderful self-confidence:
“I am good enough my own way”. Danes definitely need to hear that – and perhaps Thai do to?
Another thing that we might need to hear is the voice of our faith, and Thai are willing to share their faith, but presumably only with someone who are able to read Thai letters. I got this flyer and my native Thai friend told me that this is about religion. Without her help to translate, I would have been lost, so I can only guess the details. Pretty symbolism, though.
Live on stage is another matter. The young children here only need the international language of pure joy to reach the hearts of their audience. Bright voices sing out loud, and my guess is that these skilful children already know more than one note of language. Attending a Thai school in Denmark, they (and their parents) will work with Thai, Danish and perhaps even English from a young and playful age. What a challenge to the rest of us.
Speaking of challenges … I could not miss out on the next one. Being an amateur in fitness martial arts I am delighted to watch some of the best Thai boxers in action. They all start with a small ceremony to great the sport and their master, and then they will fight each other. Since this is a show fight, they will only use half of their actual strength to hit their match, but it still looks much impressive to me.
These cool female boxers demonstrate an attack, close to the crane (left). Completely balanced, focus on front, blocks up and ready to kick.
Among the male boxers I had the pleasure to watch the third best Thai boxer in Denmark in action.
No fighting on empty stomach. I cannot tell what the Thai boxers had for lunch, but my Thai food was excellent. Rice with spicy pieces of meat and cabbage. Plus (accidentally) a taste of sweet fried rice as I picked the dessert on my full plate as well. I let my native Thai friend collect the food – so how was I supposed to know which package goes to what …?
Finally, I want to share these lovely Thai men and women in their much joyful “Coconut Dance”.
The empty shells of a coconut makes a great musical instrument to perform rhythm for dancing. Judging from the never-ending smiles on the dancers’ faces it was as fun to perform as it was to watch the strictly choreographed moves. They earned an applause with the effort of strong self-ironic humour and not unlike the sound of good old “Apache” from The Shadows. Bravo!
If this postcard was not enough for you, you can always go for the real thing.