Today is Songkran, a traditional festival to celebrate the Thai new year (incidentally, according to their calendar, it is now the year 2557, not 2014!). I went to the Buddhapapida Temple in South London to celebrate.
I really enjoyed the celebrations, but I also relished in the fact that I got to practise some of my Thai language.
On the temple grounds, there was a small marketplace. It felt great ordering food in Thai, and being able to read the signs on the market stalls. There was so much freshly prepared food that tasted absolutely delicious!
I recently blogged about how I’ve been using using music to practise Thai and it was a delight to hear these now familiar songs. I’m also used to hearing them either through earphones or through tinny laptop speakers. It was exhilarating to hear this music loudly echoing around a public place, and to feel the energy in the air of people who were enjoying it! I also loved that I could understand when the emcee was working the crowd – imploring people to get up and dance, and asking people if they were having fun, etc.
Random background chatter ไดยินมาคุยกันของคนอื่นๆ
I also loved being able to hear snippets of other people’s Thai conversations. Perhaps this is because not too long ago, it was just unintelligible noise to me. Now I appreciate the simple pleasure of passive listening.
Thai language and culture is something that I will always treasure. It was ultimately the catalyst that started me off on this polyglot journey, and made me realise that I can learn languages and communicate with other people. I’ve come a long way since then, but I’ve still got a long way to go!