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Dancing for the King's Birthday!

By 6 years ago
Categories Phang Nga

Thai dancing for the King’s birthday (a huge celebration every 5th December here in Thailand – they love the King!) is probably the most exciting thing I have done since living in Ao Luk. When we were first shown our dance we were all quite worried… we had to perform this up on stage at the 3 day long Rak Ao Luk (Love Ao Luk) cultural festival on the opening night! Over the next two weeks somehow we all managed to find time to learn our individual dances, as well as the group dance at the end.

All Thai’d up

Finally, the day arrived and we all went down to the salon together to be dressed up, Thai style. It was busy, but the 4 stylists were absolutely amazing – the hairstylist must have completed each of us in less than 5 minutes! I was done up with a huge hair piece and a golden tiara – I felt and looked like a Thai Princess.

Lana and Phil wow the crowd

As we walked into the festival grounds we were greeted by many of our students, completely amazed by our transformations from plain school teachers to glamorous Thai-style dancers! We were all a bit nervous, but that obviously that did not stop us from putting on an awesome performance which ended in a huge applause from the crowd; on stage we were given a present from the festival and were all able to introduce ourselves.

The finale

Afterwards we set out to explore all that the festival had to offer. We are all pretty used to being the only farang (foreigners) around our town, but the reaction from everyone seeing us dressed in traditional Thai clothes was amazing – we felt like complete celebrities! I like to think of we were “tourist attractions”… we are tourists and we were an attraction. Everybody we ran into wanted to take pictures of us; it really made us feel accepted by the locals that we were willing to enjoy and participate in such a huge part of their culture.

Applause!

It was definitely an experience that I am glad I was given the opportunity to have, and one I will never forget.

Lana de Bastiani