In the afternoon of April 17, the once-a-year Southeast Asian Songkran Festival started among the delighted students and teachers in the North Building Square in the College of Chinese Language and Culture, Jinan University. Professor Ye Qin, Deputy Party Secretary and Vice-President of Jinan University, faculties and teachers from Students' Affairs Office, the Youth League Committee, the Career Guidance Center for Students, Psychological Health and Education Center and the college attended this festival. The Consul General of Royal Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou, Mrs. Suphatra Srimaitreephithak and other officials from Royal Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou, Royal Danish Consulate General in Guangzhou, Consulate General of Mali, Guangzhou, Consulate General of the Lao People's Democratic Republic in Guangzhou, Consulate General of the Republic of Cuba in Guangzhou, New Zealand Consulate General, Guangzhou, Consulate-General of The Republic of Singapore - Guangzhou, The Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Guangzhou, Consulate General of the Philippines in Guangzhou, Mexican Consulate-General in Guangzhou, Consulate General of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Guangzhou, Consulate General of Malaysia, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Guangzhou also attended the festival. Over 1000 foreign students from Jinan University, South China University of Technology, Sun Yat-Sen University, Traditional Chinese Medicine University of Guangzhou participated in the festival.
At 2 pm, the two hosts, from China and Thailand respectively, announced the opening of the festival in both Chinese and English. On behalf of Jinan University, Ye Qin extended sincere congratulations for the arrival of the New Year shared by Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, etc. Then he briefed the development that Jinan University and the college have achieved, and expressed cordial congratulation for the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Royal Thai Consulate General, Guangzhou and gratitude for their support for this festival. Suphatra Srimaitreephithak also delivered a speech to express their gratitude for the respect of their traditional culture from Jinan University. She also introduced the cultural customs and traditions of Songkran Festival and extended her best wishes to all students.
(Professor Ye Qin, Deputy Party Secretary and Vice-President of Jinan University, is giving a speech）
（The Consul General of Royal Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou, Mrs. Suphatra Srimaitreephithak is giving a speech）
In the wake of Suphatra Srimaitreephithak’s speech, invited by the officials from Royal Thai Consulate General, Guangzhou, leaders from Jinan University and all the foreign guests processed the solemn Bathing of the Buddha Ritual, Thai Asperges and Baci Ritual specialized in Laos. As the Bathing of the Buddha Ritual was undergone through the traditional procedure of Thailand, the Buddha was bathed by the elders. On the Asperges, after the students received the holy water from the golden Buddha, they poured the water in the the hands of the honored guests as blessings, then the guests sprinkled the holy water on the faces of the students as blessings. For the Baci Ritual , the guests tied strings around a youth’s wrist to preserve good luck.
Exotic singing and dancing shows, full of Southeast Asian style, were performed by students from different colleges and universities. The lively atmosphere soon had a great effect on the audience, with several students standing to join in with the singing and dancing. Later, Beauty Contest “Miss Songkran” began and attracted over 20 overseas students from Southeast Asia. With a close battle, student of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine from Malaysia, student of South China University of Technology from Thailand and student of Jinan University from Laos were awarded as the top three. With the exciting “Lucky Draw” link, the atmosphere was pushed to a climax.
（Miss Songkran Winners）
After the performance, students roamed the square with containers of water such as washbasins, buckets and water guns to throw water upon others as blessings and the whole North Building Square was full of water and joy, pushing the celebration to a new high and rounding off the whole ceremony with blessings for the traditional new year of Southeast Asia.
It is the second time for Jinan University and Royal Thai Consulate General, Guangzhou to co-organize “2014 Southeast Asian Songkran Festival”, with strong support from Royal Thai Consulate General, Students’ Affairs Office and International Affairs Office of Jinan University, and departments of the College of Chinese Language and Culture. The attendance of the Vice-President of Jinan University and Consul General of Royal Thai Consulate General in Guangzhou and guests of other countries fully showed the great attention they have paid to this event. All handouts and commentary for the ceremony were presented with both English and Chinese versions, highlighting the international characteristics of the college. Through this event, Jinan University was recognized by more Consulate Generals in Guangzhou and universities in China. Besides, several cultural stalls of different Southeast Asian countries were specially set to exhibit their food, handcrafts as well as traditional costumes. As the organizer, Youth League and Students Union of the College of Chinese Language and Culture devoted a lot, so did the volunteers of students from home and abroad. This festival, as a brand event, has promoted not only the friendship between mainland students and overseas students, but also the contacts between Jinan University and other universities in Guangzhou. It also provided a platform for students to show talents and experience colorful cultures of Southeast Asian countries. Many students expressed that, with such delicious food to eat, interesting games to play, fascinating performances to watch in this year’s event, they were looking forward to the “2015 Southeast Asian Songkran Festival”.
(By LIU, Xiaoxiao)