The 26th Annual Reunion of the Descendants of the Original Siamese Twins

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Eng and Chang, the original Siamese twins, has been subject of interest and famous among both Thais and foreigners. The story of their lives has been written into books and adapted into several movies and musical plays.

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Eng and Chang Bunker were born on 11 May 1811(204 years ago) in Samut Songkram province in Thailand – just 46 miles west of Bangkok. They later moved to the United States, and become famous and well-respected members of their community in Mount Airy, Surry County, State of North Carolina.

Their journey to America in 1829 actually predated the establishment of the formal relationship between Thailand and the United States. It was only four years later in 1833 that Siam (Thailand’s name at the time) and the United States signed their first Treaty of Amity and Commerce – the first that the U.S. signed with any country in Asia. That was during the time of Phra Bat Somdet Phra Nangklao Chao Yu Hua or King Rama III and President Andrew Jackson – the 7th president of the United States.

Generations and generations of the Bunker Family remain close and strong, and continue their prominent and respectable roles in the society and in the communities where they live. Paricularly admirable is the fact that they all are aware and proud of their roots that originated in Thailand.

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With that admiration, the Royal Thai Embassy is therefore delighted to be invited and be part of the Bunker Family Reunion for the third time this year.

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On 25 July 2015, Mr. Saroj Thanasunti, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the Royal Thai Embassy, on behalf of Ambassador Pisan Manawapat, attended and made remarks at the 26th Annual Reunion of the Descendants of the Original Siamese Twins at the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, Mount Airy, North Carolina. The event was also attended by Mr. Steve Yokely, Mayor of Mount Airy, and his lovely wife Ann.

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On this occasion, the Embassy also organized a Thai food buffet as well as Thai tourism corner and the “Experience Thailand: Creativity, Diversity, Opportunity” exhibition, which drew a lot of interests among those 200 participants at the reunion.

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Later in the afternoon on the same day, Minister Saroj joined the Thai communities in the area visiting Eng and Chang’s grave to pay respect at the Baptist Church in White Plains, North Carolina.

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Apart from local media, including The Mount Airy News, the event of the Bunker Family Reunion this year was also covered by the Voice of America.

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Suchada Maktara