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National Chung Hsing University Faculty and Students Gather Around with Thai Students in Taiwan to Celebrate the Annual Water Festival

2021-04-19
興新聞張貼者
Unit秘書室
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Source: Office of International Affairs, National Chung Hsing University/Adam Shih

Every April in Southeast Asia is at mid-spring when the temperature begins to rise, as well as the perfect moment for the water-throwing festival, formerly known as “Songkran”. For Thais, Songkran is as important as the New Year – Saying prayers for blessings and elimination of disasters, receiving blessings through water splashing/throwing with friends and family to cleanse the dust of the past, and expecting the forthcoming year. To relieve the homesickness for Thai students stranded in Taiwan due to the long distance and the pandemic, the Office of International Affairs, together with the Thai Student Association, held a water festival (Songkran) on the campus this afternoon, hoping that Thai students, Taiwanese students, and all the foreign students could join in the event, letting the Thai culture splash onto the soil of Taiwan. Together they re-created the images of which water poured on the body symbolizing the washing away of sin.

There are more than 30 Thai students participating in the festival, along with dozens of Taiwanese students and faculty. Our special guests included Vice President for International Affairs, Distinguished Professor Chia-Lin Chang, Emeritus Professor Yau-Shiang Yang, who is retired from the Department of Horticulture at NCHU, Professor Wen-Ling Deng, Director of the Division of Foreign Student Affair, and Mr. Prasart Saejong, Honor Chairman of Taiwan-Thai Association, who came to offer his sincere blessings and congratulations to the Thai students at NCHU during the celebration.

Aunchaya Suttanew, a graduate student from Thailand, pointed out that the water festival was not only for the Thai students, but also to bridge the gap between different cultures. Although graduation is approaching, she hopes that NCHU will hold more exotic festivals in the future, so that Taiwan's knowledge of foreign cultures can spread more widely, enhancing the motivation and cohesiveness of foreign students coming to Taiwan. She believes that the development of multiculturalism will bloom at NCHU and in Taiwan someday.

This splendid water throwing festival included Buddha bathing, beauty pageant, hand cleansing – a ritual of bodily/ spiritual purification – ceremony, Thai traditional dance performance, Thai milk tea brewing, and the balloon stepping competition. Students of different nationalities sincerely blessed each other with enthusiasm. Through the familiar rituals, food, feeling of bonding, and the tempting activities of getting soaked, the Thai traditional vibe is well-enjoyed throughout the festival.
Faculty and Students Gather Around with Thai Students to Celebrate Festival.

Faculty and Students Gather Around with Thai Students to Celebrate Festival.

Vice President for International Affairs Prof. Chia-Lin Chang and the Champion of Beauty Pageant.

Vice President for International Affairs Prof. Chia-Lin Chang and the Champion of Beauty Pageant.

Foreign Students Facing “Mexican Standoff” during the Thrilling Balloon Stepping.

Foreign Students Facing “Mexican Standoff” during the Thrilling Balloon Stepping.

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