Festival In Bad Homburg Championing Thai Culture
Thousands descend on German town to experience Thailand’s rich cultureAugust 07th, 2019
Over the weekend of the 20th and 21st of July the town of Bad Homburg in Hochtaunuskreis, Hesse, Germany, which has a residency of only 53 884 welcomed more than 30 000 for a festival celebrating Thailand’s culture.
To the uninformed it may initially seem curious that the festival was held in Bad Homburg, however, there are historical links with the town and Thai royalty. In 1907, the King of Thailand Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, was suffering from kidney disease and travelled to the town to receive treatment. Although he passed in 1910, the treatment sustained him for the final years of his life and he donated a temple to the town for their help. Referred to as Thai Sala, it sits proudly in the town centre. It was made in Bangkok before being disassembled and sent by boat to Germany. It was opened in 1914 and inaugurated by Prince Mahidol Adulyadej. The links between the town and the state have continued. In 2007 in commemoration for the century anniversary for the treatment King Chulalongkorn received, King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit sent another Thai Sala, making it the only municipality outside of Thailand with two Thai Salas. Members of the Thai royal family have visited Bad Homburg many times, with it becoming an essential stop for royalty on any European tour.
The Thai Festival, celebrating its 10th anniversary, took place in the shadows of the grand structures gifted by the royalty. It promoted numerous aspects of Thailand’s rich and diverse culture. Attendees paid witness to classical dances, such as the ‘Nora’ ‘Khon’ and ‘Taksinaree’, which through the medium of dance tell the ancient stories of the kingdom. Thai Martial Arts Academy Germany presented ‘Muay Thai’ to those present, which translates to Thai boxing and is referred to as the ‘art of eight limbs’ due to its characteristic of utilising fists, elbows, knees and shins. Thai business was also promoted, with authentic Thai products on sale to the revellers. Through the event, Thai food was also being freshly prepared and enjoyed by the many people who decided to take part.
The event commenced following speeches from Mr Dhiravat Bhumichitr, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to Germany, who welcomed all to the event and championed the fantastic opportunity for people to get an opportunity to experience a slice of Thailand in western Germany. Equally, The Mayor of Bad Homburg, Alexander Hetjes, emphasised the special relation between town and the state of Thailand. The event was enjoyed by all present, with it a celebration of Thailand's culture.