Austrian National Day celebrated in Pattaya

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Marking 60 years of independence and neutrality

Thailand’s annual Austrian National Day celebration came to Pattaya for the first time this year, presided over by H.E. Enno Drofenik, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Austria to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Over 150 Thai and international guests joined the Oct. 27 “Tu Felix Austria” festivities at the Thai Garden Resort, co-sponsored by the Austrian Embassy, Austrian Honorary Consulate Pattaya, and Pattaya Mail Media Group.

As Thai Garden Trio played during the welcome, everyone had the opportunity to meet the ambassador and take photos.

Among the guests were Deputy Head of Mission Stefan Heisler, Honorary Consul General Rudolf Hofer, Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh, and Nicolai Gram of the Norwegian Consulate.

Pattaya City Deputy Mayor Ronikit Ekasingh presents the key to the city to H.E. Enno Drofenik.

Thai Garden owner Gerrit Niehaus, General Manager Rene Pisters, Iwao Segiguchi, the ambassador’s father-in-law, Jeffrey Gaudiano, managing director of BMW Manufacturing Thailand and Werner Kühr, hotelier and former vice president of the Kitzbühel Tourist Board also were among those attending.

Local community leaders also enjoyed the Austrian hospitality, including Diana Group Managing Director Sopin Thappajug with her meditation group, and Radchada Chomjinda with volunteers from her Human Help Network Thailand.

The extremely talented APPA quartet delighted the guests with their beautiful music.

Pattaya Mail Managing Director Peter Malhotra served as emcee, wearing a genuine Tyrolean hat. Being fluent in three languages, he guided the audience through the evening and his jests were the source of many laughs.

He spoke of Austria’s history and explained how the country, after 10 years of occupation, was able to achieve a treaty to become an independent and neutral nation.

Gerrit Niehaus and Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh enjoying the party.

Austrian Ambassador H.E. Enno Drofenik, in his speech, said he was very happy to celebrate Austrian National Day in Pattaya since this gave him the opportunity to finally get to know his fellow countrymen in the city.

Honorary Consul General Rudolf Hofer thanked all those present for coming and expressing his hope that this celebration might be repeated here next year.

The young folk music group “APPA” played alternately with the Thai Garden Trio to entertain guests throughout the evening.

The Bärntalplattler boys performing their inimitable Schuhplattl dances.

The folk dance ensemble Bärntalplattler in their smart leder hosens was greeted enthusiastically as it marched in over the bridge of the swimming pool, waving the flags of Austria and Styria. Many guests sang and cheered the ensemble and admired the jaunty, precise Schuhplattl dances.

During the course of the festivities, six prizes were drawn. The Thai Garden Resort donated three prizes and the ambassador added three main prizes from Swarovski. The winners of the main prizes were: Noi Emerson, charity chairwoman for the Pattaya Sports Club, Doris Berger-Peters from the Plauderstunde, and Tony Portman, healer and medium.

The happy crowd joined in the ‘landler’.

The “Bärntalplattler” came on stage twice and the audience applauded thunderously. During their second appearance they asked some ladies from the audience to join them in a brisk waltz followed by hopping, stamping and yodeling the ‘landler’.

(l-r) Peter Malhotra, Mr. Jingu Kim, President of In Metal (Thailand), Sopin Thappajug, MD Diana Group, H.E. Enno Drofenik, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Honorary Consul Rudolf Hofer.

The “APPA” group also returned to play folk tunes and pop music as those remaining chatted with the ambassador.

It was late in the evening when the event ended and many thought that it was wonderful how the Austrians, with the help of the Germans from the Thai Garden Resort, managed to stage such a memorable affair.

(l-r) Stefan Heisler, Deputy Head of Mission Austrian Embassy, H.E. Enno Drofenik, Radchada Chomjinda, Director Human Help Network Thailand and Rudolf Hofer.

(l-r) Irene Schuermann, Jeffrey Gaudiano, H.E. Enno Drofenik, Werner Kühr, Hans Spoerri, Elfi Seitz, Rene Pisters (GM Thai Garden Resort) and his charming wife Ploy.

Winners of the valuable Swarowski prizes (l-r) Tony Portman presented by H.E. Enno Drofenik, Doris Berger-Peters presented by Stefan Heisler  and Noi Emmerson presented by Iwao Segiguchi.