To increase the appeal of Thai cuisine to Indians, the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata and Mayfair Lagoon, Bhubaneswar, together organized the “Thai Food Festival in Odisha.”

To encourage the popularity of Thai food among Indians, the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Kolkata, in partnership with Mayfair Lagoon, Bhubaneswar, and with support from the Thai Trade Centre in Chennai, the Tourism Authority of Thailand New Delhi Office, and Charoen Phokphand Foods (CPF) India, co-hosted the “Thai Food Festival in Odisha” from April 12–21, 2024. The inaugural reception was attended by around 60 individuals from the private sector, travel agencies, tour operators, Friends of Thailand, influencers, travel bloggers, and local media. Many Thai foods, including Massaman Curry, Gaeng Khiaw Wan (green curry), Tom Yam Goong (spicy prawn soup), Khao Niaw Ma Muang (mango curry), and Som Tam (green papaya salad), have been voted among the best in the world.

The Festival aims to celebrate both the traditional new year for the people of Odisha (Pana Sankranti) and Thailand (Songkran), which fall on the same period and reflect the cultural affinity, and to foster closer people-to-people ties between the two regions through the exchange of culinary cultures, as Ms. Siriporn Tantipanyathep, Consul-General of Thailand in Kolkata, reaffirmed during the inaugural reception. She also extended an invitation to Odisha residents to travel to Thailand in order to participate in the Songkran Festival, which was recently officially recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. They could also take advantage of the two weekly direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Bangkok offered by IndiGo and the Royal Thai Government’s visa-exemption program, which have made travel easier for Indian tourists.

In addition to promoting Thai cuisine, the Consulate-General coordinated the Lord Buddha statue’s bathing ceremony, which upholds the Songkran custom of washing away bad luck from the previous year and bringing in good fortune for the upcoming year. The visitors were pleased with the ritual because, in Hinduism, Lord Buddha is revered as, in their view, he is one of Lord Krishna’s avatars. A presentation of a tourism promotional video by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the serving of Thai dishes prepared with frozen products by CPF India, and the display of Thai products by the Thai Trade Centre in Chennai and the local Thai ingredient seller SS Frozen World were among the other interesting events.The goal of the Consulate-General is to support the Royal Thai Government’s policy of promoting Thai food as a “Soft Power” and “Ignite Thailand Vision,” which aims to develop Thailand as a global hub for the food industry and search for new markets and opportunities, by increasing the popularity, competitiveness, and value of Thai food products exported to India. The Consulate-General will also enhance the well-established reputation of Thai culinary items for their distinct tastes, variety, sophistication, and health advantages—all of which contribute to Thai cuisine’s popularity among Indians.

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