December 30, 2016
K and I ended the year with a wonderful celebration at our Tessaban in Phruphi, Banasan, Suratthani. Since Christmas is celebrated by very few Thai’s (1% are Christian) most gifts are given at New Years. Our Pre-K and Kindergarten were no exception. Each child brings a gift fully wrapped. Then the Kru (teachers) number each gift.
Kru Kitty cutting out the numbers!
The student that dresses up for the party gets to pick the first number! Of course Super Hero’s are huge here.
After each child gets a gift they all pose for pictures!
The students do NOT open their gift at the party. It is a Thai tradition to only open a gift at home and not in front of the person giving it. We were amazed that no one broke this tradition!
The students definitely wanted us to take their pictures. Especially since they wore their best clothes!
Of course the party included Thai dancing for those who were not shy!
Amee stole the show!
NO party can be complete without ICE CREAM and THAI KANOMS!
Khun Ju Scoops ice cream and Cap Tan is a two-fisted participant!
A tradition of the Tessaban after every holiday is for our Department Head Khun Ju to provide SOM TOM for everyone! Som Tom is a papaya salad made with many other ingredients. It can be Nit Noi Pet(a little spicy) to PET MAAK MAAK! ( very spicy) we had three different Som Toms! K can eat the very spicy I cannot.
Oh! if you are curious about the roll of TP on the table this is the preferred Thai napkin. Yes, we were baffled at first but now it is perfect!
After Som Tom K and I handed out our gifts. We had stayed up very late the night before making traditional family Holiday cookies. We made Strawberry, Blackberry, and Pineapple Kolachky (Mom Solek’s family recipe), Ginger Crinkle cookies, and Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip muffins. We also signed New Year Cards and placed a ribbon star made by wrapping a Thai Baht with ribbon and folding it many ways until a 5 pointed star is made. These are often given out at Thai celebrations. Our PCV friend Linda showed us how to make them. And it would not be complete unless a picture is taken!
And to start our year off right! Meaning a Slovak/Polish tradition, according to my parents, we had to eat SAUERKRAUT! Since that does not exist here in Thailand but cabbage is plentiful K and I made our own. We also made homemade Artisan French bread and Seitan. So to honor the day and start the New Year we made Reuben sandwiches with real Cheddar Cheese! A meal fit for a KING!
From our home in Thailand to your home may 2017 be Loving, Kind, and Compassionate. May you be Blessed with many wondrous gifts and opportunities to help others. PAX!