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Namaste Thailand

 
 

The India-Thailand relationship has been shaped by centuries of deep-rooted historical and cultural connections. Located within close proximity of each other’s extended neighborhood, there have been extensive people-to-people contacts and a long history of a bilateral diplomatic relationship, which has now evolved into a comprehensive partnership.

Over half of the Thai language has roots in the Sanskrit and Pali languages, which originated in India. Buddhism, which flourished and spread under King Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty, has now become the official religion of Thailand. Drawing inspiration from Indian arts and legends, the influence of Hinduism is also apparent in Thai religious practices, art, architecture, music, drama, and literature. The Hindu epic Ramayana has greatly influenced the Thai lore of Ramakien, from which the classical dances of Khon and Lakhon derived their inspiration. The Thai festivals of Songkran and Loy Krathong are enthused by the Indian festivals of Holi and Diwali.

In the recent past, India’s Act East policy has complemented Thailand’s Look West policy, which has greatly helped in bringing the two countries closer economically, politically, and culturally. Both countries are undergoing all inclusive reforms. India’s “Make in India” is pursuing sustainable and broad-based economic growth, while Thailand’s 4.0 economic model is transforming the economy into an innovation driven one, targeting the sufficiency economy philosophy to achieve sustainable development goals. To maintain security, prosperity, and stability in the region, and to link South and Southeast Asia, both countries cooperate in regional integration processes like the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), East Asia Summit, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, and Indian Ocean Rim Association.

The relationship was on display during the three-day long Namaste Thailand Festival, from March 9 to 11 in New Delhi. It provided an opportune moment to witness the culture of Thailand, in all its manifestation, in the capital city of India.

Arenla Jamir is an independent researcher based in New Delhi.

Namaste Thailand
The audience enjoys music from Asia 7 at the Namaste Thailand festival in New Delhi.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Exhibitors from Thailand had their products displayed in these tents.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Thailand’s most famous umbrellas, handmade from mulberry bark (sa), brought all the way from Chiang Mai, northern part of Thailand.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
A Thai woman displays the meticulous art of food carving, a significant aspect of Thailand’s historical richness in art and crafts.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Children getting their hands painted by artists from Chiang Mai at the workshop area.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Delhi’s Thai High and Radisson Blue’s Neung Roi restaurants served sumptuous spreads of authentic Thai cuisine.
Image Credit: Jentilemla Amer
Namaste Thailand
Visitors receiving complementary Thai shoulder massages.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Asia 7, a group of eight musicians from the College of Music, Mahidol University, enthralled the festival with their renditions of Thai, folk, jazz, pop, and western fusion.
Image Credit: Asia 7
Namaste Thailand
Cooking demonstration of Pad Thai (Thai-style stir fried noodles), Tom Yam Kung (Thai hot and sour soup), Som Tum (Thai Papaya Salad), Kaeng Kiew Wan (Sweet Green Curry) by H.E. Mr Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Ambassador of Thailand to India.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Thai music popularly uses this percussion instrument with 21 wooden bars, called the Ranat.
Image Credit: Jentilemla Amer
Namaste Thailand
The mask of Hanuman, the mythical White Monkey in Thai’s classical epic, Ramakien. The dancer is getting ready to perform the masked dance Khon Ramakien
Image Credit: Jentilemla Amer
Namaste Thailand
Handmade rose flowers, garlands, gift bags, and home décor, all made from mulberry paper, exhibited by MakeMeFromPaper during the festival.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Cock fighting, also known as fighting rooster dance, is a popular dance routine where two people dressed up as roosters pretend to fight each other.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Dancers from the Academy of Dramatic Arts, Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Sri Thammarat, perform.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
Namaste Thailand
Children admiring the decorated paintings on mini fans by artists from Thailand.
Image Credit: Arenla Jamir
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