Asian Studies Outreach Program
Vermont Academy hosts Thai Culture Day
A school-wide program hosted by Visiting Scholars from Thailand highlights Thai history, dance and culture
- By Jacqueline Drouin
In the Performing Arts Center filled with Vermont Academy students, faculty and staff, Visiting Scholar Parisa Seesook-rachada took the stage to begin a lecture on Thai culture and history. For some students, this February 13 lecture was not the first time that they met Parisa; she had joined the Vermont Academy community in the middle of January, spending the majority of her time observing classes. When she asked the crowed if they were ready to hear more about Thailand, the audience responded back enthusiastically positively.
The lecture was just the starting point for the hour-long presentation that would include music and dance performance by Visiting Scholars Thitima Muakphet, Kanokwan Klowutthiwat and Sukanya Srisuk. This February 13 performance would mark the first school-wide event that encompassed all four Visiting Scholars from Thailand.
“What makes this event great is that the students can observe the regional differences in Thai music, dance and culture.” Commented Gerry Gatz, ASOP curriculum coordinator. Visiting Scholar Sukanya’s dance style featured music from Ratchathani, whereas Visiting Scholar Kanokwan’s dance style was more common in the southern part of the country. For many people, hearing these two different styles of music and seeing the difference in fashion is what helps them realize how diverse a culture can be.
The video performance of the event can be viewed on youtube at VA Thai Performance. For more information on hosting a school-wide event on Thai culture, please contact Bill Williams at William.H.Williams@uvm.edu