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Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory


เอาคำพูดและเนื้อหาที่ฝรั่งที่มีโอกาสได้เข้ามาร่วมการรำบูชาพระธาตุพนมมาให้ได้อ่านกันครับ



October 14th 2008 - The day of the biggest festival in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand; also known as Lai Rua Fai.

This is the day that my dance class, host parents, rotary club and friends had been talking about and preparing for over the last two months. Suzanne and I have been going to Thai dance class everyday for the past three weeks to practice for our performance in front of Wat Phra That Phanom [at least we were supposed to be there everyday, but we weren't]. Wat Phra That Phanom is the most sacred temple in the Northeast of Thailand because apparently, the chedi holds Buddha's left pinky.

My school's Thai dancers weren't performing at the temple this year, so I was invited to dance with Nakhon Phanom Witayakhom school's Thai dancers. Suzanne goes to that highschool and her mother is the Thai dance teacher. There are about 30 dancers from NPW and Thai dancers go over the top with their hair, accessories, costumes and makeup. This meant that we had to go the night before the performance to get our hair done so that we wouldn't be rushed in the morning.

So last night Suzanne and I headed to NPW to get our hair done at around 7:30pm and when we got there Suzanne immediately was taken over to get her hair done, and I ate dinner with some of the girls on straw mats outside. To do Suzanne's hair they took a big ring of black yarn and pulled all her hair up around it and then pulled it into a bun; the classic Thai dancing hairstyle. It looked nice, but I wondered how they were planning to do my hair as

a. my hair is too light and thin to cover up a big black ring of yarn, and

b. my hair is not long enough to cover up a big black ring of yarn



It turned out that they just teased the life out of my hair and made a "Emma's hair ring" out of the teased hair. It didn't look quite as tidy as Suzanne's; since it was held up on it's own the front of my hair swooped up like a mohawk and I didn't have a bun in the middle. This was solved by the girls finding a fake black bun and spray painting it gold. Gold, not blonde. Gold. Suzanne and I still laugh about how the giant spray-painted fake hair perfectly resembled elephant poo. And it was going to sit on my head. The colour was no where near the same colour as my hair, but I guess it was better than wearing a black bun.

This morning we had to be at the school for 2:30 so that all the dancers would be dressed with their hair and makeup done and ready to go at 6am. Most of the dancers slept at the school, but Suzanne and I slept at her house becuase her mother is the teacher and would be waking us up anyways.

We didn't end up going to sleep. We arrived at her house at 11pm, ate cornflakes, avoided the cockroaches in the kitchen while we did the dishes and then we sat on the---puter and drank coffee for two hours until her host mom came out to tell us we needed to wake up. We were still up.



Once we got to the school at 2:30, the adventure began.



First I had to get my hair fixed with another can of hairspray, some bobby pins and a hair dryer. It was fixed 4 times before we left [note to self, grow your hair long - it makes life much easier]. They put two big yellow sunflowers in it to dress it up nice and fancy - I kept them though I'm not sure if we were supposed to or not.



Station 1 - Foundation. Suzanne and I took turns going from station to station where students [usually boys] would cover our faces with layers and layers of makeup. Station 1 was foundation where a cute Thai boy [I think he's gay, most of the male Thai dancers are] smudged foundation all over our faces, ears and necks. After I was finished I looked in the mirror and it felt weird to have such a perfectly blemish free face.



Station 2 - Eyebrows. Good Moses, I scared myself when I looked in the mirror. It wouldn't have been so bad if they had the proper colour of eyebrow pencil to somewhat look nice with my hair colour. But instead they used the same eyebrow pencil [that they use on the Thail girls who have BLACK hair] for Suzanne and I, leaving us with extremely chiseled eyebrows that did not in any way match our hair. One eyebrow was drawn higher than the other, but they were drawn perfectly on my eyebrows so maybe my eyebrows are just naturally lopsided. Either way it looked rediculous.



Station 3 - Eye Makeup. Another male Thai dancer perfected our highlights and shadows all over our faces. He started by putting red along my eyebrow/eye crevice, then brown and purple and finally finishing with white on our eyes as well as all along our nose to make us look like the sun is on our faces. We tried to explain that we are white skinned, we already have these highlights and shadows when we go outside, but they would not listen. There is a rule of thumb for makeup - make it look like you're not wearing any. This does not apply for Thai dancers, I swear I had enough blush on my face that someone back in Canada could see that it was abnormal if they peered over to Thailand with a telescope. However, he was probably the most talented makeup artist ever, though it was hard not to laugh while he was doing my makeup becuase Suzanne and I kept talking about how stupid we looked.



Station 4 - Fake Eyelashes. With the amount of makeup we had on, we would have looked stupid if we hadn't had some excessive eyelashes to go with the excessive pounds of makeup. So we were given some [Suzanne got one's with rhinestones on them.. lucky!] and I got my eyelids superglued together a few times until finally the girl doing them said they looked fine and she covered up the glue with eyeliner. Thick eyeliner that was not drawn straight. She then proceeded to put black eyeshadow all along the bottom of my eye.. it was hideous. Suzanne was not given the pleasure of the ulgy black makeup so I decided it was not needed and took it off. It looked much nicer once I had finished.



Station 5 - Costume.

First, there is one thing you need to know about Thai people - they never admit when they are wrong, and they like to keep the falangs out of the loop for practically everything so we are usually surprised with a change of plans everyday. Today's surprise - they had made us custom costumes becuase we are taller than Thai students, but they had not asked for our measurements. Another thing to keep in mind is that I am not only shorter than Suzanne but I have th emost odd proportioned body of anyone I know - super long torso and short legs. So when they brought in two custom skirts for us that were too long for Suzanne, there was NO WAY IN HELL that it would fit me. The skirt dragged on the floor and instead of giving me a regular Thai skirt [that I would fit in since I have the same length legs as them] they decided to roll it over 4 times and---pletely resew it - while we are supposed to be leaving for the temple. The costume was a three quarter length, yellow, collared jacket with a long green skirt and sash. They also seemed to think we were much skinnier than we are because they could not tie the belt around and had to pin it and make it look like it was tied. Much too much effort when they could have given me a Thai student's skirt, or else asked for our measurements three weeks ago when we started learning the dances.

The whole situation baffles me.



Station 6/7/8 - Lipstick. That's right, there was not just one station to perfect our lips, there were three. The lipstick process was practically pointless as 2 minutes later I had lipstick all over my teeth and ended up wiping most of it off. I also fell on Suzanne while taking a picture on the moving bus and I had a nice pink lip mark on my yellow jacket. Classy.
ตั้งกระทู้เมื่อ : 20 ก.ย. 2553,19:22   เข้าชม : 6483 ครั้ง
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หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
ความคิดเห็นที่ 1 โพสเมื่อ : 20 ก.ย. 2553,19:23 น.

We were on our way to Wat Phra That Phanom.
When we arrived there we sat for a little bit and then walked all the way down the street [in our bare feet on the concrete ground] and lined up to dance towards the temple. One of the things I am still frusterated with is how many people ask for pictures. They don't even know me, where I am from, what my name is or why I am in their country; they just want a picture of me. They want pictures of me by myself, with Suzanne, with them and with their children. It blows my mind why they would take pictures of a---plete stranger. I can just imagine them showing the picture to a friend saying "This is some falang I saw at Phra That Phanom".
"Oh really, where was she from?"
"I'm not really sure"
"Why was she there?
"I don't know"
Now honestly people, honestly. Does that make any sense? So after we took a bunch of pictures with a ton of different women who literally dragged us to different people for pictures [they also put their arms around me and touched my butt!!!] we started dancing. Horribly enough, the dancers from the 5 other schools knew a different version of this first dance and our school had no idea what was going on. We caught on eventually and had to be on our toes for when they changed hand movements, then finally we stopped and chanted for what seemed like forever! It was so hot outside that I was sweating buckets, and sweating with that much makeup on is extremely itchy. By the end of it half my foundation was smudged and i had drips of skin coloured sweat on my jacket. They fixed my hair [for the sixth time] and fixed my makeup but adding another pound of foundation on my chin, cheeks and forehead.


After taking a break for a little while [and taking pictures with a billion more people who I was never introduced to] we did the peacock dance. We were all equipped with two long peacock feathers each which we flung around and waved. After the peacock dance we were pulled over to take a group shot.
For the record, I would officially like to say that I hate women who dress in all pink. Every single woman here who has dressed in all pink has made my life hell, and a particularly frilled pink woman took literally 100 pictures of us. She kept dragging us around, walking in front of the other paparazzi members to fix our peacock feathers or move us and each different pose she took 10 pictures. She kept changing us around, moving us into different photos and taking us off by ourselves until finally, I looked at Suzanne and said "run away... seriously, run". Half of them don't even ask for your picture, they just pull you beside someone and snap a bunch of pictures then run away. It took Suzanne and I 10 minutes to get back to our straw mat at the temple where we could eat. People kept pulling us to take pictures and at that point I was so tired from lack of sleep, exhausted from the heat and pissed off from being pulled all over the place that I finally just walked away from everyone and whenever someone asked for a picture I said "NO". I felt horrible saying no to people, but if I had kept saying yes I would never---e back to Canada. We took a bunch of pictures with friends [which I don't mind so much, since I know them] and then we lined up for our third and final dance. We stood outside the big doors leading outside of the temple and we were all jumping around dancing and hooting. It was so much fun. After we left the temple grounds and walked out to the crowd, boys from our school would start chants of "OH! OH! OH! OH!" and everyone would join in with clapping or cheering or shouts of "Areeba!!!" on my part. The spectators were allowed to---e into the dancers and take pictures, and within 30 seconds Suzanne and I were swarmed with people trying to get us to stop dancing to take a picture with them.

Dancing at Wat Phra That Phanom was over by 12pm and the day hadn't even begun, but it was the most amazing thing I have done in a long time. I will write a different blog post about the rest of Lai Rua Fai later this week.

"So won't you tell me why you live like you're afraid to die. You die like you're afraid to go"

ขอบคุณเนื้อหาจากบล๊อคของเธอด้วยครับ
---://emmathailand.blogspot---/2008/10/wat-phra-that-phanom-lai-rua-fai.html
หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
ความคิดเห็นที่ 2 โพสเมื่อ : 04 ต.ค. 2554,14:32 น.

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หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
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หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
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หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
ความคิดเห็นที่ 5 โพสเมื่อ : 25 ก.พ. 2555,19:22 น.

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หัวข้อ : Wat Phra That Phanom - Lai Rua Fai Festival in memory
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