Ball State's Global Harmony Hosts Songkran Festival

<p>Members of the Royal Thai Consulate pose for a photo with Sakdidach (Joseph) Nobpatsorn (center) at the Songkran festival April 12 at Emens Auditorium. Nobpatsorn is the president of Global Harmony student organization. Andrew Berger, DN</p>

Members of the Royal Thai Consulate pose for a photo with Sakdidach (Joseph) Nobpatsorn (center) at the Songkran festival April 12 at Emens Auditorium. Nobpatsorn is the president of Global Harmony student organization. Andrew Berger, DN

Global Harmony, a student organization at Ball State University that looks to promote cultural exchange, hosted a festival at Emens Auditorium on Friday, April 12 to celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year.

The festival drew a diverse crowd, including Ball State students, faculty, staff and local community members, all coming together to celebrate and appreciate Thai culture — a testament to Global Harmony's commitment to fostering cultural understanding.

The presence of the Royal Thai Consulate-General from Chicago elevated the festival, adding a touch of authenticity and cultural significance.

To start the event, the Royal Thai Consulate led an opening traditional parade. Two men held a gong and led the parade, hitting it in time with the music. The women of the Royal Consulate held ornate golden pieces and wore traditional dresses and jewelry. 

After the parade, the Royal Consulate performed a traditional Water Pouring Ceremony, which symbolized cleansing, reverence and good fortune.

The Songkran celebration also featured traditional Thai elements designed to celebrate culture and educate attendees. Guests were treated to Thai food, dancing and art. A highlight of the evening was the art exhibition, shown by Ball State University students, which offered a glimpse into Thailand's cultural heritage.

Sakdidach (Joseph) Nobpatsorn, president of Global Harmony at Ball State University, spearheaded the initiative to invite the Royal Thai Consulate to the event. Nobpatsorn expressed the organization's dual mission of supporting international students and enriching the cultural fabric on campus.

“Global Harmony is not just about helping international students adapt to life at Ball State; it's also about introducing local students to diverse cultures," Nobpatsorn said.

As the organization continues hosting festivals representing various cultures, it remains dedicated to building bridges and fostering mutual respect among people of all backgrounds.

Royal Thai Consulate member Consul Urasee Thiratangsathira Jeong expressed the consuls' recognition of the Ball State students who participated in setting up the event.

“Global Harmony's mission is to enlighten the world of cultural differences. This festival exemplifies that beautifully” he said.

He described the night as one of understanding and inclusion, two ideas Global Harmony works hard to promote through its work at Ball State. 

Global Harmony meets every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Ball State Rec Center, where members participate in activities like ping-pong while they hang out and meet local students.

"This festival was to help them celebrate their home," Jacob Miller, a senior criminal justice major at Ball State and member of Global Harmony said. "Global Harmony has brought me so many enriching friendships.”


Contact Andrew Berger with comments at andrew.berger@bsu.edu

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