The Royal Thai Embassy, in collaboration with the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, organized the Thai Cultural Nights event on 4-5 March, 2014 at the Dasma Theatre and the National Museum Theatre, respectively.
This event was held to celebrate the two occasions of Kuwait’s National Day and Liberation Day, as well as the 51st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Kuwait. The Thai Cultural Nights event featured three kinds of traditional craft-making demonstration and various classical performances.
The highlight was Khon or a masked dance drama which is considered the highest form of classical Thai performing arts. The performances also introduced beautiful sub-cultures existing in different regions of the country and presented another stunning Thai martial art.
Thailand and Kuwait established diplomatic relations on 14 June 1963. Both countries have enjoyed cordial relations based on mutual understandings and close cooperation in various areas. The close ties between Thailand and Kuwait are manifested through several exchanges of high-level visits. In June 2006, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah graciously participated in the 60th Anniversary Celebration of His Majesty King Bhumibol’s Accession to the throne.
His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, former Prime Minister of Kuwait, paid an official visit to Thailand in August 2008. H.E. Ms. Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of Thailand, paid an official visit to Kuwait in October 2012 and participated in the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) Summit. The strong bond of friendship also extends to mutual assistance in times of crisis.
Thailand supported the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in 1991 by dispatching Thai soldiers, doctors, and nurses to join the United Nations Iraq – Kuwait Observer Mission (UNIKOM). Kuwait in return made generous financial contribution for disaster relief effort in Thailand. Most recently was the donation of US$3.5 million to assist the flood victims in 2011, the worst flood in five decades experienced by Thailand.
The bilateral relations between Thailand and Kuwait have been strengthened particularly through trade. Trade between both countries has increased steadily, with total trade volume in 2012 reached approximately US$1.2 billion.
Looking ahead, the Thai Government is ready to join hands with the Government of Kuwait to deepen relationship for the benefits of the two countries. Over the coming decades, both countries’ economic ties will be further connected by food and energy security. Thailand anticipates the increase of export of rice and frozen food to Kuwait to promote food security in Kuwait while Kuwait’s export of crude oil and petrochemicals will, in turn, support energy security in the Thai economy.
The strong Thai-Kuwaiti relationship is also underpinned by people-to-people contacts. At the people’s level, tourism, including medical tourism, and academic cooperation have made a profound contribution to friendly relations of the two countries.
While a lot of Kuwaiti nationals and residents have a good grasp of what to do and things to see in Thailand, many may have little idea of Thailand’s exquisite culture of handicrafts and delicate traditional dances. Yet, these are an indispensable element of Thai cultural heritage.
Recognizing the importance of cultural exchange in nurturing personal connections and mutual appreciations among people of different backgrounds, the Royal Thai Embassy seeks to promote this kind of cultural diplomacy in an attempt to further deepen the people-to-people relations.
The Thai Cultural Nights event received a lot of attention and has brought to Kuwait another exotic dimension of “Thainess”.