Special report: The 4th Thai American Youth Heritage Program

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The Thai American Youth Heritage Program was first initiated in 2004 in which American born to Thai families and grew up in the U.S. had a chance to visit Thailand, their motherland. 

The program has since been organized every two years by the committee who oversee the entire process. The Heritage Program is now on its 8th leg and this year the American born Thais on the program will have a chance to celebrate His Majesty the King 84th Birthday Anniversary and Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday on 12 August, 2011.

120 Thais of U.S. citizenship, who are traveling to the Kingdom on The Thai American Youth Heritage Program, are from 5 different states including California, Arizona, Georgia, Washington and Texas.

Former Air Force Commander in Chief Air Chief Marshall Kan Pimanthip who is the president of the Thai American Youth Heritage Program spoke highly of the program, adding that Thai youth who were born and raised in the U.S. would have the opportunity to learn the Thai ways and visit important places as well as participate in various community services.

Ms Kanitha Suwannakul, one of the parents, said the Heritage Program is excellent because it allows her and her daugther to return to Thailand. They have been on the program four times including this year. Ms. Kanitha said her daughter had got to learn how strong the relationships His Majesty the King and his subjects are. She was concerned for His Majesty’s well being when there was political violence in Thailand last year.

Meanwhile, the Thai American youth all said they were glad to return to Thailand and they felt the generosity Thai people had for each other. They have the opportunities to speak Thai and they will visit Thailand again if they have a chance.

The Thai American Youth Heritage Program has been sponsored and supported by many organizations and it is considered one of the most well invested programs since it gives the chance to Thais living overseas to experience Thailand and learn more about the monarchy and Thai people in real life.