Ashley / Bangkok / Holidays and Celebrations

A Sense of Community in My Corner of Bangkok

Last Sunday our housing community of Samakee Gardens up here in Nichada Thani hosted a potluck Canadian/American Thanksgiving dinner. In these stressful times of flooding here in Bangkok holing up in my apartment, cooking all weekend and reflecting on my own blessings in my life were exactly what I needed.

My teammate, Nicky, getting ready to carve my turkey!

Before the meal a member of the community got up and gave a blessing on the meal. In that blessing he asked the question, in a time of such crisis here in Bangkok, should we be having such a plentiful celebration? His answer was yes, as what better a time to strengthen community, break bread together and remind ourselves of the wealth we have in our lives, the food and water that we can consume, the house that we can come home to every day and the families who are safe and cared for. It is also such a great reminder to give back, especially now, to those who do not have such things, or have recently lost them.

Thailand also just celebrated the Thai holiday of Loi Krathong, a lunar holiday ironically connected to giving thanks to the spirit of the waters and sending all of your accumulated negativity on a float, or krathong, down the river. Thais float candles and flowers down the river, set to the air hundreds of lanterns and fireworks in this celebration – in a sense, letting it all go. The city has asked residents not to float anything in canals or rivers, concerned that the debris would clog vital water pumps. Because of this, many locals are bummed that Loy Krathong is “cancelled” this year. Well despite all of the hardship that many Thais are facing, there were fireworks up in our neighborhood, Moo Bahn Pop Sook, on Thursday night.

My school and home remain dry, but we’re practically on a island created by the flooding around us. I am safe, food and water are available and some barricades have actually been taken down. Our school and students have been back for over a week now and are getting back into as best as a routine as can be created in these circumstances. We are very lucky though, others are not.

The community at school have made wondrous efforts to provide relief to local neighborhoods inundated with water as well as our local staff who have been drastically affected by the floods. Among the plans are fund raising events, putting together supply bags, filling water bottles – students, teachers and parents are coming out in droves. The following video came out today and man, it makes me thankful to be part of such a touching place:

Do consider donating to the victims of the flooding in Thailand as many have lost everything. A recommended site for giving is the Thai Red Cross.

 

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