On Friday, April 4, 19 students accompanied by the teacher Tuk, from Thailand arrived in Sooke. Part of the goal of the program is to share Thai culture with the community, and also to learn about our culture and community by taking part in different excursions, Canadian school classes and living with home stay families. Some of the students were assigned to Edward Milne community school and some of them to Journey middle school.
In the past five weeks, they shared their culture and we shared ours with them. But the highlight of this cultural exchange program was the Thai Night, in which the students presented main aspects of their culture. The Thai Night took place on Wednesday, May 7. The evening involved eating Thai food (provided by Little Thai Place in Langford), as well as a celebration of Thai culture through performances and presentations put on by the Thai students in the EMCS theatre. They showed us some of their traditional Thai dances, Thai boxing — better known as Muay Thai — with the help of two Muay Thai champions, their famous water ceremony, and they also played popular Thai games with some of the audience.
This night was important for us because, this year, we had the honour of having with us the Thai Consul-General, Mrs. Sutthiluck Sa’ngarmangkang and her team of staff. They were impressed by what the Thai and Canadian students made up over the short time they were together; because of that, they are looking forward to see what else is possible. They are also willing to help, so the bond between Canada and Thailand will grow stronger.
Our traditional guests, the home stay families, teachers, councillors, administrators from EMCS and Journey and the International Program, Canadian Student Ambassadors and other international students were also proud of the Thai students and enjoyed it.
We are grateful for having an excellent time with the Thai students, we are glad that they had the best experiences here, and we hope they can come back someday. The Education & Cultural Exchange (ECE) has been collaborating with us for the past few years and we can’t wait for the next cultural exchange.
Submitted by Elise Ristow, Daniel