The French Embassy in Thailand has started a new cultural exchange program called “Sawasdee France” to strengthen the countries’ long-standing relationship. A party was held at the French Embassy over the weekend to kick off the program. There, businesses, educational institutions, and members of the Franco-Thai community set up booths and displays for the public to look at. People could also look at the art around the ambassador’s house.
Eve Lubin, the French Embassy’s Counsellor for Culture and Cooperation, said that the embassy has been working to encourage the exchange of arts and culture between the two countries since 2004. At first, this was done through an event called La Fete (“The Party”). It has now decided to add more to what it has to offer.
“It was a big success, but over time we saw that the activities went beyond parties and art swaps,” she said. “Through [Sawasdee France], we want to show our Thai partners what else we have to offer, because of this, during the pandemic, we decided to change the name of “La Fete” to something that shows that Thailand and France are working together in more than just the festival.” she said.
Ms. Lubin picked Sawasdee France for its simplicity. “We want something that tells the audience what the programme is all about, in the past, most attendees were aware of ‘La Fete’ because they are studying French or had studied French in the past, or perhaps because they were interested in the arts — but very few were aware of our work with our Thai partners,” she said.
Ms Lubin said the embassy will host more events and public outreach programs this year to raise awareness of Thailand-France collaboration. She hopes this would encourage further long-term collaboration with France.