Night dedicated to Thailand

Apr 042004
Authors: Joanna Larez

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

Apartment Life

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,”

Hanveerawong said.

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,”

Ahmad said.

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.”

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