Welcome to PlaaPlaaPlaa!

So you may be wondering why PlaaPlaaPlaa? What are those strange fish symbols above? What is ปลา and what does it mean? In short, this is a blog site, so surely there's going to be plenty of rambling. Unfortunately BlahBlahBlah was already taken, so I had to settle for the 'Plaa'. But there's actually more to it then just ramblings. The first fish symbol is actually a Christian symbol meaning ICTHUS - a greek acronymn which means "Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour". The other strange letters you see in the last fish is actually the thai word for fish which funnily enough is pronounced "Plaa". So when you put it all together, this site is going to be my ramblings in telling people about how Jesus Christ is God's Son, the Saviour in Thailand (with plenty of good stories about food in between). Happy reading.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Songkran Festival

Since i first heard about Songkran 5 years ago, I've always wanted to be here for it and play. Finally, this year, i could!! Despite many of my friends from Chiang Mai telling me that it's HEAPS more fun in Chiang Mai then Korat, i've still had a BLAST of a time in Korat, and if Songkran in CM really is better, then hopefully if i'm still here next year, i'm in for a massive treat! :) haha

So what is Songkran? The best way i can think of describing it is:
- think of the best water fights you used to have with all the the neighbourhood kids when you were a kid (before water restrictions came into play). You know the ones where you could use hoses, fill up the garbage bins full of water, add ice so the water is REALLY cold when you throw it at people, run around with water guns shooting people. Even throw flour at each other
- well, multiply that by a whole city of people being involved with lots of music, food, cars
- and multiply that by 3 days!!!

that's SONGRKAN!! For those wanting more details, Songkran is basically the Thai New Year festival of cleansing. If you want to read more about it, check out this wikipedia linkabout Songkran.

Songkran for me started when i came to Korat. We went over to Peace & Proud's Aunty's place (i've been staying here with Peace & Proud's famiy while i'm here), where we did a traditional sprinkling of water onto the hands and feet of those in generations above you where you wish each other long life. We actually did it quite often at various relatives houses and other close friends. We then did it at church as well where all the adults were seated and all the 'kids' got to sprinkle water on them.

What started as a traditional ceremony IN church then turned into a waterfight IN church. Pretty amusing really, but hey, i guess that's why they have tiled floors over here. Easy to clean.

Tong & Nick after rolling in the mud at church

I can't imagine having a festival like this in Australia at all. But it was great to go around the city with the guys here from Korat. Even though we had plenty of fun throwing water at each other, spreading 'powder' on each others faces, getting stuck in the biggest traffic jams i've ever seen, there also opportunities used to give away these free foam 'hats' saying that 'Jesus Saves'. Who knows if people understand it or not, but hey, it's a good opportunity all the same.

Despite being hot season over here (and here in Korat, it's seriously HOT!!! Each day has had a bit of welcomed rain. Last night it bucketed down like i've never seen, and i actually found myself shivering in the back of the ute as we went back to the office at the end of the days fun. Getting hit by ice cold water when you're already cold in the back of an uncovered Ute is something else! i'm surprised now i'm not actually sick :) hehe.

Unfortunately Just cos of the amount of water that was being thrown around, i don't have nearly as many photos as i'd like of Songkran. I did manage to get a bit of I've got a bit of video footage through a plastic bag which i'm still trying to work out what to do with.

It's also been great to spend more time with friends here in Korat and get to know them more and get to know their families. It's one thing to come here with the team from oz, but to come here on your own and stay with their families has been awesome. a huge eye opener to other parts of Thai culture, hospitality and family life. It's actually the first time i've 'lived in' with a family here, so that's been really interesting and cool. I might even have a couple of them come back to CM with me this weekend which could be really cool.

Anyway, here are a few snaps from the past few days of fun...

Peace & I after walking through the city

my usual self shot

Fun outside the World Vision Office in Korat

More fun outside the World Vision Office

Me & Boong up to mischief

a group of people we gave "jesus Rescue's' Hats to

The remnant after the day of 'warfare'