Review of Random Thainess At Expique in October 2015

A country of randomness? Yes, it’s Thailand. Interested and inquisitive Thai culture seekers joined us on a Monday night on a unique journey where our guest speakers offered us different pieces to the puzzle of ‘What is Thainess?’

Erk began by showing us how Thais are masterful at adaptation. The openness of Thai culture means it can accommodate many foreign ideas, including the Western cosmos, Portugese egg desserts and even Japanese team cleaning. It’s all about making things fun and easy… but don’t count on it always making sense.

For our second speaker, Prae, Thainess essentially comes down to two everyday dishes – kai jieow (Thai omelette) and kai pa-lor (five-spice pork and egg stew). Her grandmother cooked according to the seasons (which in Thailand always includes the word ‘hot’) and included intriguing ingredients like grachai (fingerroot) in rainy season, sadao (the neem plant) in ‘winter’ and bowls of khao chae(rice in jasmine-scented iced water) in blistering heat of April.

We welcomed back Joe, who spoke about the developments and achievements of Thai film director M.L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul. Though not as widely acclaimed or known to Thai audiences, his movies pose thoughtful questions about the nature of the individual, society, right and wrong. Julia, a Colombian living in Bangkok, humorously shared with us some of the culture shocks she first experienced. Happily, she now knows the safe distance for greeting Thai people and her work as a Buddhist life coach means she takes many leaps of faith and practices the art of letting go.

Everyone can agree that Thailand is a touristy place, but there are still many destinations that remain under the radar. Paul showed us some wondrous sights, including the uncrowded beaches of Prachuap Khiri Kan, the wooden bridge in Sangkhlaburi near the Burmese border, and the caves of Trang. What you need on your travels to discover ‘unknown’ Thailand is simply the question: ‘Why not?’

The night included a beautiful and haunting performance by Khun Matt on the sor-duang, a traditional two-stringed instrument. Thanks to Dwight who shared with us the stories of how he began supporting asylum seekers in Thailand with In Search of Sanuk, and how The Courageous Kitchen creates fun and develops skills in children. 2,500 baht was raised through the proceeds of the night for these charities and we thank everyone for coming.

Random Thainess continues to grow and we welcome all to explore more Thainess at our next event on Thursday 3 December – – see you then!

Below are some photos from the event.

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