University of Vermont

Asian Studies Outreach Program

Thai Art Day

Visiting Scholars share Thai art and culture with Bakersfield Elementary School

With the help of all four Visiting Scholars from Thailand, Bakersfield Elementary Middle School (BEMS) hosted a day-long celebration of Thai art and culture at the Bakersfield Elementary School. The morning began with students honoring their teachers in a Thai Wai Kru ceremony, with students presenting paper flowers and teacher offering words of encouragement for their pupils.

The day-long event was coordinated by Visiting Scholar Beau with support from school faculty and administrators. Prior to the start of the Wai Kru ceremony, Principal Chaunce Benedict took a moment to speak to the students about their value, and the value of their teachers. For a celebration that was meant to honor teachers, Principal Benedict spoke of his appreciation of the caring and hardworking teachers at BEMS, and all their extra efforts that go towards to support their students. Quoting Henry Adams, Principal Benedict reiterated the value of a teacher: A teacher affects eternity; he or she can never tell where his influence stops."

Following the Wai Kru ceremony, Visiting Scholar Jang shared with the students the art of Thai sword fighting. In the afternoon, Visiting Scholar Chanlinee taught the BEMS students how to make tissue paper "jellyfish", or “Pog Ma Hod” in Thai, while Visiting Scholar Nattida shows groups of students the basics of Thai boxing.

The Saint Albans Messenger reporter, Jessie Forand, created a video that highlights the main activities of the day. The video can be seen on the Saint Albans Messenger Facebook page or on their YouTube account.

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