While writing this blog post, I have been reading about Amazing Tastes of Thailand, Thai Handicrafts- The Art of Wisdom, Thai Massage and Muay Thai and honestly I have discovered new things which I did not know before. In fact this was just an extension to a well spent afternoon which I spent discovering ‘Thainess’ in Leela Palace, New Delhi today. I am glad I was a part of this ‘2015 Discover Thainess’ campaign where Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officially declared Mary Kom as their Thai Boxing ambassador.
As the day went for me…
- I was greeted by a very hospitable team of organizers at the registration desk.
- As I made my way in the Grand Ball Room, it gave me an instant connect with the Thai theme.
- It was wonderful to interact one on one with the TAT Director Runjuan Tongrut and learn more about Thainess.
- Soon, I walked around to the side of the room where I experienced some relaxing Thai massage.
- I had a great time learning fruit and vegetable crafting. Yes, I made some designs on the cucumber (see the pic below). The lady at the desk was very sweet and encouraging.
- Soon, the event started and we witnessed some beautiful traditional Thai Dance performances with graceful movements and vibrant colors.
- The special guest of the event ‘M.C. Mary Kom’ and her husband Onler Kom were seating on the same round table as mine.
- Soon Mary Kom walked to the dais and talked about boxing, Muay Thai and her family trip to Bangkok.
- Also it was a proud moment for her as well as everyone in the room when she was appointed as the Thai Boxing Ambassador by TAT to promote the increasingly popular global sport of Thailand, Muay Thai.
- Last but not the least, it was photo shoot and media interaction time. I asked her few questions as well got my picture in the same frame.
- Its always fun to meet travel enthusiasts, bloggers. Today I met Tarun Gaur and Anil Yadav.
- The event wrapped up sumptuously with Thai Lunch.
You may wonder what ‘Thainess’ means just like I was too keen to know what it signified. Gladly, Runjuan Tongrut (Director, TAT, North and East India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal) answered this for me. She told me that it was about Thai people’s way of life and culture. More than art and murals it was about human connect, Thai way of living and Thailand’s strong culture, traditions, beliefs, values and customs.
Later when she addressed the audience in the hall, she also elaborated on the 7 products that Thailand was looking forward to popularize and wanted travelers to discover beyond the attractions and natural beauty.
The 7 Unique ‘ Thainess’ charms or priceless treasures are as below
- Experience Thai Food, Take up Culinary Tours, Cooking Classes, Fruits and Vegetable Carving Classes
- Having an eye for Thai Art– Umbrella Painting is a famous thing, Visiting Museums and attending Flower exhibitions
- Thai Way of Life– Visiting floating markets, going for slow travels, Canal tours, Long Tail Boat Racing and participating in community tourism
- Thai Wellness– Thai massage, Spa, Health and wellness services, Meditation
- Thai festivity– Year round celebrations and festivals take place in Thailand
- Thai Fun– Shopping, Beaches, Parties ans Events, Family trips, Adventures
- Thai Wisdom- Thai Boxing (Muay Thai) , Martial Arts
Check out the Thai dance video that I captured there.
The painted umbrellas look so pretty in four different colors
For Muay Thai, even Mary Kom said that it was not just a sport but a part of Thai heritage. It taught a different use of legs and arms and it was about discipline and tolerance. It is a great thought indeed that Thailand is focusing on its ‘2015 Discovering Thainess’ campaign by promoting a sport and they have chosen a champion Indian women as the face of it.
I returned with a wonderful ‘Amazing Thailand’ bag which contained useful hand-outs and booklets that helped me learn more about Thailand since I am yet to visit the country.
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. It is one of the most popular fighting sports in the world. It is a royal martial art and it had originated as a strategic warfare technique. Its inception dates back to Ayuthaya period (1350-1767)
What I also learnt in the day was that Hua Hin, a place 3 hrs drive away from Bangkok was growing as a hot wedding destination and 3-4 Indian weddings were taking place every month. Will continue to discover more about Thailand and promise to blog about it soon.
If you have visited Thailand, let me know about your experiences and what you have to say about Mary Kom taking up as the Thai ambassador.
For more information head to: www.tourismthailand.org