Sunshine and blue skies presented the perfect setting for the 10th Thai Food and Cultural Festival 2012 at the Royal Thai Embassy in Canberra, last weekend.
One of Canberra's most anticipated annual cultural events, and held every Spring since 2001, the Festival celebrates Thai culture, food, music, sport and dance. Thai sports were the theme of this year's, reflecting the 2012 Summer Olympics. Lively and colourful performances of Thai dance, kick boxing and Krabi Krabong martial arts were sponsored by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
His Excellency, Mr Maris Sangiampongsa, Ambassador of Thailand opened the Festival with a very warm welcome, noting that December this year will mark the 60th anniversary of Thai-Australian diplomatic relations.
'With the firm and longstanding foundation of the two countries, various areas of cooperation, especially political and economical aspects have been significantly strengthened,' His Excellency said. 'People-to-people contact continues to flourish, with more than 800,000 Australians visiting Thailand last year and the Embassy will continue to attach greater importance to promoting people-to-people contact through cultural diplomacy, bearing in mind that closer ties between Thais and Australians will contribute to sustainable and admirable relationships. I do hope you will enjoy our festive day, which offers you even greater variety of "Thainess".'
And enjoy it, we did, together with thousands of other visitors! Spread across the grounds of the Embassy were more than 20 stalls offering a range of traditional finger foods and dishes from some of Canberra's best Thai restaurants; as well as massage, 'made-in-Thailand' products. The Thai Temple, Wat Dhammadharo, also had a stall, with profits helping fund the Temple’s building project in Lyneham.
If you missed the Festival this year, there's always next time, and please don't let a cloudy day discourage you from attending. This event is simply too good to miss. 'It's such a wonderful day out. I can't believe we've never been before!,' one of my dear friends told me on Monday morning.
Postcards and Morsels:
This stand in the garden reflects Thai hospitality in its subtle way. Thai people store rain water in clay container, which helps keep water cool. The coconutshell ladle is used for drinking from the vessel. In the old days, and even nowadays in rural areas, there is a wooden stand with a water container and ladle in front of each house so that thirsty passers-by can stop for a sip of cool rain water!
The Thai Food and Cultural Festival is held at the Royal Thai Embassy in Yarralumla, Canberra, to coincide with Floriade. For more information about the event, visit the web site for the Office of Educational Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy, Canberra.
Hello. I'm Liz, a writer, cook and traveller based in Canberra, Australia.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.