Ambassador Srivali said that for several decades, Thailand had celebrated as its National Day the birthday anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the 5th of December. As the king became older, the date also came to be celebrated in Thailand as Father’s Day. But last year, the Thai Embassy had not held its usual National Day reception because the king had passed away after a reign of seven decades.

The year of mourning had now officially ended but any Thai person would tell you that His Majesty lives on in the hearts of the Thai people, the ambassador said. In the new reign of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, therefore, the 5th of December continues to be celebrated as the National Day of the Kingdom of Thailand, His Late Majesty’s birthday anniversary, and Father’s Day.

Ambassador Srivali said that for the people of Thailand, it is a day of remembrance and gratitude, to celebrate the rich legacy that His Late Majesty bequeathed to the Thai nation.

“Part of this legacy was his work on agriculture. King Bhumibol was always deeply concerned about the welfare of the country’s farmers and developed a passion for agriculture. His approach was literally hands-on. Part of the palace grounds was set aside for agricultural experimentation.

“Countless agricultural projects were also carried out in development centres around the country. From this lifetime of experimentation, the king formulated the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy, an antidote to the excesses of modern life, and a proven path towards sustainable development.

“The knowledge accumulated over the decades was shared with the Thai people as well as those in other developing nations. In honour of His Majesty’s work on soil conservation, in 2014 the United Nations General Assembly designated the 5th December as ‘World Soil Day’.”


Ambassador Srivali said agriculture also has a special place in the relations between Thailand and Hungary. King Bhumibol’s grandfather, King Chulalongkorn, or Rama V, had visited Hungary in June 1897 to study Hungarian agricultural practices. Vajdahunyad Castle had been one of the places he visited.

“Today, the relations between Thailand and Hungary are on a solid footing. Our governments enjoy excellent relations based on shared interests and mutual respect. Economically, Hungary is one of Thailand’s largest trade partners in Central Europe. In the first three quarters of this year, two-way trade totalled over USD 470 million. Thailand is a popular destination for Hungarian travellers, and more Thai tourists are discovering Hungary. Culturally, Thai massage and Thai food are as popular as ever among the Hungarian public.

“Still, much potential remains to be explored. As Hungary is a gateway to the European Union, so Thailand is a gateway to the Association of South-East Asian Nations, a fast-growing single market and industrial base with a population of over 630 million. As the geographical hub of mainland South-East Asia, Thailand boasts good infrastructure and logistical networks, physically connecting it to the emerging markets of the Mekong Subregion.”


The ambassador said that in this connection, he is grateful to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary for organising the ASEAN Business Forum earlier that day. It had been an opportunity to help Hungarians understand better the potential and opportunities not only of Thailand but the entire ASEAN region.

The strength of the bilateral economic relationship had been bolstered by the mutual efforts to promote cultural understanding and education exchanges at the people-to-people level. This summer, the Thai Festival in Budapest – held alongside the Vajdahunyad Castle museum – had attracted its biggest audience to date, which was of course gratifying to him as a new ambassador, but also suggested that there was a strong foundation to build upon.

And over the past year, the embassy had been trying to do this. “We have provided training courses on Thai cuisine for master chefs in restaurants and hotels. For Hungarian food aficionados, we launched a Thai Cooking Video Competition on YouTube, which received a strong response. We also invited representatives of the Hungarian business sector and media to attend THAIFEX, one of Asia’s biggest food and beverage industry events, and encouraged participating journalists to share their experiences of Thailand with their Hungarian readers.

“On the sports front, we worked with the Ministry of Defence of Hungary to organise Muay Thai training for Hungarian military officers, which was very well received. And in education, Thailand and Hungary signed in October an agreement to provide 80 Stipendium Hungaricum scholarships for Thai students in 2018 and 2019. We look forward to seeing many more Thais who are graduates of Hungarian universities.”

Ambassador Srivali proposed a toast to the health and happiness of His Majesty the King of Thailand and the President of the Republic of Hungary, and to the everlasting friendship between the peoples of the two countries.


Loading Conversation

The news that made headlines

The Brief History of the Week

Geschrieben von BT

Presenting in one concise package the week’s most important and fascinating national stories,…

ComiX Coffee in District V

Inmates running the asylum?

Geschrieben von Attila Leitner

Briton Ben Innes became the very definition of cool on Tuesday. In case you missed this, the…

Protests, no apologies as government-teachers dispute widens

Fight of the roundtables

Geschrieben von BT

The civil public education platform representing the teachers’ movement, which calls itself an…