This weekend, my girlfriend and I went to a huge Thai commmunity gathering here in Copenhagen. I always enjoy going to these cultural events as I really enjoy being immersed in Thai language and culture.
It took us a little while to find the place, but I could tell that we were nearby when I heard the familiar sound of Thai tones echoing around in the street! When we went into the sports hall where the event was, I was very surprised to see hundreds of Thai and Danish people listening to Thai music and eating delicious Thai food.
I ordered some ส้มตำ (papaya salad) for me and my girlfriend, and also some ลูกชิ้นปลา (fish balls). They tasted so good, and it really brought back a strong sensation of being in Thailand! When I ordered the food, I did it all in Thai because that’s what I’m used to – but also because I’m not so confident with my level of Danish yet.
I was told later by my girlfriend – who is a native Dane – that they tried speaking to me in Danish but I didn’t respond at all! It was a very noisy and busy environment, and my ears are only really passively ‘tuned in’ to the sounds of English and Thai.
Actually, she said that there was a huge amount of Danish being used in general at the event. She found it amusing that we went to a Thai cultural event and she could understand more of what was going on than me – and she doesn’t speak Thai!
I really enjoyed being part of the community here and I’m glad that my Thai language skills are still being used in my life here in Denmark. I’ve got a long way to go with my Thai language progress, and by the sounds of it an even longer way to go with my Danish!
The most important thing that I took from this event is that it reminded me that you need to really live a language to get the most out of it. I feel very inspired to continue on with my language studies, and there are lots of Thai events every few months here in Copenhagen for me to get a feel for how I am doing with my progress.