Austrians celebrated their country’s National Day with music and fund-raising at parties in Pattaya and Bangkok.
Ambassador Johannes Peterlik and Consul General Rudolf Hofer hosted a local celebration Oct. 27 at the Tappas Lounge in Jomtien Complex. Local business and charity leaders, such as Praichit Jetpai, chairwoman of the Y.W.C.A. Bangkok Pattaya Center, and Radchada Chomjinda, director of Human Help Network Thailand, attended.
The event not only marked Austria’s national holiday, but celebrated the work accomplished on behalf of two schools in Kanchanaburi thanks to charitable donations from last year’s party.
(From left) Ambassador Dr. Peterlik, Elfi Seitz and General Rudolf Hofer present 77,780 baht to Praichit Jetpai.
Again this year, the plate was passed around, with guests such as Herbert Pfeiffer donating 20,000 baht and Reinhard Gander donating 40,000 baht. In all, 77,800 baht was raised to help more schools.
“I am proud of my Austrians in Pattaya,” a smiling Peterlik told the crowd. “You as Austrians living in a foreign country know that there is a specific Austrian life-model where the individual counts, where safety and solidarity are important, and where the so-called non-material esteems are respected and appreciated because they create our quality of life.
“As an Austrian in a foreign country you make a contribution to the self-assertion of this life-model beyond the borders. I would like to thank you for that,” he said.
Reinhard Gander and Peter Malhotra engage in a fun chat.
Along with Viennese waltz music playing, two children from the Pattaya Orphanage danced an original Austrian dance.
There was also plenty of music at the Austrian National Day celebration the night before in Bangkok, where the Siam Sinfonietta youth orchestra that in July played the golden hall of Musikverein Vienna performed at the Intercontinental Hotel event.
The children got a standing ovation for their rendition of “Wiener Lieder” and pianists Eri Nakagawa and Paulo Zereu followed with pieces from Mozart.
Here again Peterlik hosted, welcoming special guest Christine Siegel, mayor of Gleichenberg. The ambassador mentioned the tight friendship between Thailand and Austria and expressed his hope that this ties will even become stronger in the future.
“This year is an auspicious year in Thai-Austrian relations,” he said. “In 1912, the first resident ambassador of the then Austro-Hungarian Empire established the first embassy in Thailand at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. And 100 years later, His Majesty the King appointed the first member of the royal family as ambassador to the Republic of Austria. We are proud and privileged to hold this special relationship with Thailand.”
Following speeches, Siam Sinfonietta took the stage again to perform Austria’s national anthem, followed by folk songs by Dampflgeiger of Styria. With food from chefs Jürgen Kleinhappel and Christoph Widakovich, the evening proved to be a memorable one for all attending.