Indian community pushes for Holi festival near Pattaya Beach

Pattaya's Indian community met with Mayor Poramese, photo by The Pattaya News.

Pattaya’s Indian community is pushing for the upcoming Holi festival to be held near Pattaya Beach. The festival, considered ‘Indian Songkran’ by some, is to be held on Sunday, March 11.

The Pattaya Indian Association and Domestic Tourism Association met with Pattaya Mayor Poramase Ngampiches to request the hosting of the “Happy Holi Festival of Colours in Pattaya Thailand” near Pattaya Beach.

The head of the association, Sukraj Singh Kalra, said the festival will include cultural activities to promote the beauty and diversity of Indian life. He added that there will be a ceremony to decorate an altar for the god Krishna, The Pattaya News reported.

In the afternoon and evening, there will be food and drink stalls, light and sound displays, and a colour-splashing event. The festival is similar to the upcoming Songkran Day, with attendees throwing or spraying colourful powder or water on each other to create a playful and vibrant atmosphere.

The Pattaya Indian Association hopes that hosting the Indian Songkran festival will help boost tourism in Pattaya, particularly among Indian tourists, who have increased in number since the pandemic.

Mayor Poramase responded positively to the proposal and plans to request permission from the Chon Buri governor to hold the event. He said he believed that the event is a good idea, and will help strengthen Pattaya’s relationship with India.

Thailand has a large, thriving Indian community. Ever since around 2500 years ago when Emperor Ashoka sent Bhikkhus to Suvarnabhumi, many Indian priests, traders and common people have come to Thailand through the ages, according to the Embassy of India in Bangkok.

The Pahurat district, a large fabric market, is Bangkok’s Little India. The Indian community has played a significant role in the development of Thailand’s economy, particularly in the areas of trade and commerce.

Indian culture has had a significant impact on Thai culture, particularly in the areas of food and religion. For example, Indian spices and cooking techniques have influenced Thai cuisine, while Hinduism and Buddhism are both major religions in Thailand.

The Indian community in Thailand is also active in social and philanthropic activities, with organisations such as the Indian Association of Thailand and the Thai-Indian Chamber of Commerce supporting various charitable causes.

Today, the Indian community in Thailand is estimated to be over 100,000 strong.

In October last year, the largest Indian restaurant in Southeast Asia opened in Pattaya. The restaurant, named “MumbaiSe,” is located at the Stardice Pub on Pattaya-Naklua road.

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.