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Princess Sirindhorn creates unique perspective for cultural integration

(People's Daily Online)

15:24, January 25, 2013

Princess Sirindhorn writes calligraphy.(CRI Online)

Key Words: Princess Sirindhorn, cultural integration, Chinese food, cultural characteristics

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As the saying goes, "China is home for gourmet." Chinese food is famous overseas.

Not long ago, a distinct Chinese cooking show was performed at the palace of Thailand. In December 2012, Chinese chefs came to the palace of Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and cooked delicious Hubei cuisine for her.

Princess Sirindhorn tasted and praised the foods and even took photos for each of them. Moreover, she came to the kitchen to learn how to cook specials cuisine of Hubei, and asked about the origin and characteristics of each dish.

Sirindhorn's learning of making Chinese food caused wide interest of the Thai people and provided a more unique perspective for local people to understand Chinese culture.

A Thai national said that what the princess tasted not only the delicious food but also profound Chinese culture.

Everyone knows Sirindhorn in China. Over the past 30 years, she learned Chinese language, calligraphy, writing of travel notes and urheen, and was known as a "China hand" princess. Sirindhorn also funded to build schools for poor students in China, which promoted bilateral cultural and educational cooperation.

Sirindhorn's kindness and generous acts benefited many remote villages of China and the people there. At the end of 2009, Sirindhorn was overwhelmingly elected one of the "Top 10 International Friends with Chinese Connections" by the Chinese public. She said with emotion, "I still haven’t done enough. I will continue to make greater contribution to promote the Thai-Chinese friendship in the future."

Princess Sirindhorn's younger sister Chulabhorn Walailak showed special preference to classical Chinese instrument guzheng. When she traveled by boat on the Lijiang River in Guilin in 2000, she heard someone playing the famous musical composition named "Colorful Clouds Chase after the Moon" with guzheng and she was immediately attracted by it. Since then, she began to learn how to play guzheng with a Chinese teacher.

Chulabhorn Walailak also held songs and dances parties named "Chinese and Thais are Like Brothers," using the song she composed based on the famous musical composition she had heard as the theme song. She even played the song with guzheng on stage, thus becoming the first royal member playing guzheng on stage in the world. With the influence of Chulabhorn Walailak, an upsurge in Chinese folk music was soon appeared in Thailand.

China is the neighbor of the Southeast Asian countries, but they have different cultural characteristics. The actions of Thai princesses and non-governmental exchanges and cooperation enriched the culture of the two countries, sowed the seeds of mutual understanding and respect, and make the two peoples get closer to each other.

Read the Chinese version: 从诗琳通公主做中餐看文化交融(碰撞)

Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Xu Wentong.


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