Thai music chimed in the University Village Center during a
celebration of Thai culture on Saturday night.
About 400 people attended “A Night in Thailand,” which was the
first celebration at CSU to focus solely on Thai culture. The
celebration hosted a diverse crowd of all ages and different ethnic
“There’s a good mix of students, members of the community and
residents of Apartment Life,” said Alfred Flores, director of
Many faces were adorned with white Thai powder that was mixed
with water. This ritual is practiced during the Thai New Year
“We focused on several different aspects of the culture,” said
Hosam Ahmad, manager of University Village. “There is a focus on
social interactions, between the U.S. and other cultures, and a
focus on cultural experiences through entertainment, informative
posters, fashion, martial arts and music.”
People gathered, some seated and some standing, to watch Thai
dances. The hum of small conversations coming from the audience
almost faded into the serene Thai music. As the dancing portion
came to an end, the seated audience cleared an aisle in the room’s
Traditional clothing of bright, dark and gold-colored fabrics
held the audience’s attention as male and female models appeared
individually and in pairs. Beginning with a bow on stage, the
models then walked down the aisle.
“We wanted to do something so people (in Fort Collins) could
learn more about Thailand,” said Pattinee Na Bangchang, a graduate
student who modeled a traditional dress.
After traditional Thai fashion was presented, there was a
presentation of Krabi-Krabong, a unique form of Thai martial
After the martial arts presentation, Thai music continued to
fill the air as Sansanee Hanveerawong, community coordinator of
University Village, invited audience members to take part in Thai
“We wanted to bring something that people have never seen
outside of Thailand, something people would love to see,”
Thai food was served earlier in the evening. The meal included
appetizers, main dishes, desserts and Thai Ice Tea. There were
vegetable, chicken, beef and pork plates available.
“We were able to serve 300-plus people in about 40 minutes,”
The celebration of Thailand and its culture is part of the
“Knowing the World Series,” a program that serves as a bridge
between cultures, Ahmad said.
“(CSU Apartment Life) has the most diverse community in Northern
Colorado according to the 2000 census,” Flores said.
As relationships are formed between residents and staff, more
can be learned about different cultures, which can lead to a
celebration like the Thai celebration, Flores said.
“We promote sharing culture with the community,” Flores
The celebration continued on Sunday with a Thai martial arts
workshop and a Thai movie show. People were able to watch and ask
questions about Thai Boxing and Krabi-Krabong.
“It is one thing to learn about different cultures in the
classroom,” Flores said. “It’s another to experience, see, taste
and smell it.”