Wat Thai Washington, D.C. takes part in Embassy Adoption Program

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Wat Thai Washington, D.C. takes part in Embassy Adoption Program

Thai temples have long served as schools for children not only in Thailand but also overseas. This role is accentuated in foreign countries where children rely on temples to learn about Buddhism, Thai language, music and culture.

That is why the Embassy seeks support from Wat Thai Washington, D.C. in Maryland (“Wat” being a Thai word for temple) to host a group of 21 fifth graders from H.D. Cooke Elementary School in Washington, D.C. under the Embassy Adoption Program.

The Embassy Adoption Program (EAP) is a partnership by District of Columbia Public Schools, Washington Performing Arts and participating embassies in Washington which has played a significant role in exposing American students to global education and knowledge about other countries.

The EAP celebrates this year its 40th anniversary, and the Royal Thai Embassy is proud to have been an EAP partner since 1983. During the current academic year, the Embassy adopted a H.D. Cooke’s fifth grade class and has organized a series of activities with the students to let them to get a glimpse of Thailand and its rich culture.

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On April 8, 2015, the Embassy took the class to Wat Thai, Washington, D.C., where Phra Maha Ruangrit, or “Monk Jack”, briefed the students about Buddhism and its method of meditation. The students also had a hands-on experience with Thai musical instruments, demonstrated by Teacher Pat and Teacher Bew, Chulalongkorn University graduates who flew across the continent to help Wat Thai, Washington, D.C. spread Thai culture in the United States. Moreover, the students had Pad Thai, a world renowned Thai dish, as their lunch. Ms. Kayla Gatalica, EAP Specialist from DC Public Schools also joined the event.

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To end the program, the students planted a cherry blossom tree on the temple’s ground as a memento of their visit.

After this visit to Wat Thai, Washington D.C., the Embassy’s adopted class will give a presentation on their knowledge about Thailand at the Embassy in June.


Thanida Menasavet