Thailand Cultural Exchange September 4, 2017

Thailand Cultural Exchange

By Jonathan Poser, Quentin Heilbroner, and Alexandra Bustamante

 

USA Pavilion (USAP) Student Ambassadors Jon, Quentin, and Sasha switched places with three staff members from the Thailand Pavilion as part of USAP’s second ambassador exchange.

Representatives from the Thailand Pavilion greeted us in the morning and posed for pictures in front of the USAP wings before escorting Sasha and I to their pavilion. Once we arrived, we learned how to bow and greet guests and were shown the queue operations. In their first hall, we received an explanation of the video presentations and how guests can post pictures of themselves in the pavilion to social media using their promotional hashtags to receive a souvenir at the end. Next, they were seated in rows in their main hall, given 3D glasses, and watched a presentation about energy production in Thailand which introduced the pavilion’s mascot, Palang, a 5-foot tall animate corn cob that knows an incredible amount about renewable energy, specifically bioenergy.

The final hall hosts several interactive exhibits with models of sugar cane and the back half of an elephant, and interactive panels demonstrating the refining process to biological materials into ethanol. At the very end, there are three craftspeople creating traditional works of art – one woman weaving ornate baskets and jewelry from grass, a man carving leather to create detailed portraits and landscapes, and another man decorating wet clay jars with intricate patterns. Later in the day, another artist would be joining to demonstrate their skills in carving fruits and vegetables into elaborate decorations. The reception was incredibly warm, the Thai staff was receptive to questions, and conversation came easily.

Jon got to work in the first hall of the Pavilion with two of their staff members – Belle and Siri. Together, they greeted guests, explained the video presentations that they would be watching, and ushered them into the next hall once the videos had ended. He learned how their control systems worked, and switched off English and Russian versions of their spiels. Good times were had by all.

 

This post reflects the opinion of the author and not the USA Pavilion and its sponsors.