Indian Republic Day at Marriott Hotel
In celebration of the 75th Republic Day of India, the Consulate of India hosted a well attended reception at Marriott Chiangmai. Commander of 33rd Military Circle Major General Teera Padungsoonthorn was the chief guest while Vice Governor of Chiangmai Mr Worawid Chaisawad read out a message of congratulation on behalf of the Governor. Government officials from various provinces, in including the Vice Governors of Chiangmai, Chiangrai, Lampang, Lamphun, Phrae and Tak, members from the Diplomatic Corps, media and academia, trade & business chambers, and professionals from various spheres, including those from the Indian Community attended. In his welcome remarks, Consul Krishna talked about the growth and development in India over the last 75 years since India became a sovereign democratic republic on January 26, 1950 and stated that the Consulate, now in its 53rd year of its functioning in Chiangmai is committed to expanding the relationship of northern Thailand with India. He also talked about the deep imprint of Buddhism on the Constitution of India, the founding document of India’s democratic secular republic and highlighted the connection between the Indian State of Bihar where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and also gave his last sermon, where the first republic in the world was established in the sixth century BC, and functioned on the basis of Buddhism; where the capital of Maharaj Ashok was located who brought Buddhism to Thailand; and from where Ajarn Jeevak came to Thailand bringing with him the traditional medicine and healing practices. Chiangmai based Indian National and Chiangmai University (CMU) alumni Mrinalini Rai (Tina) from Women for Bio-Diversity made a presentation about her work among hill-tribe women. There was scintillating Indian dance performances by Thayarat Panya, a student of Grade 2 Primary School of Rajaghat University Demonstration School; by Dakshina/Shashi of Bharatavidya Division from Faculty of Humanities of CMU; and by Sneha Mehta and Paula Mazoomdar Nair. Thai artists of Bharat Sangeet Band rendered a couple of Hindi songs popular in Thailand and also a soothing instrumental number. The Consulate displayed many models and banners depicting Nalanda, the first University of the world established 1500 years ago in Bihar; Kesariya, the tallest Stupa in the World; the Bodhgaya temple, the Thai styled temple Metta Buddharam which is also located in Bodhgaya and the Ashoka Stupa at Vaishali.