Splendor! … The Magical “Sithan KKU Festival 2019″

“Boon Somma Bucha Nak Nov. 9-11, 19” creatively succeeding the tradition and culture while retaining the identity of “Faith, Fun, Cultural Nurturing” and the concept of, “Not obsessed in the old, nor engrossed in the new” 

         November 4, 2019 at 10:30 –12:00 hrs. – Khon Kaen University met the press for reporting the “Boon Somma Bucha Nak” of 2019 or the Sithan KKU Festival 2019. Mr. Chalermchai Wongnakpet, a qualified member of KKU Council and the Chairperson of Sithan Festival; Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, Advisor to Acting President of KKU; Mr. Worathat Thuleechan, Vice Governor of Khon Kaen; Mrs. Noppasorn Phrayalo, Senior Professional Cultural Officer; Mr. Kiattikhun Jankaen, Director of Cultural and Educational Office; Mr. Teerasak Teekayupan, Khon Kaen Mayor; Miss Siriwan Seeharat, Director of Thailand Tourism Authority Khon Kaen Office; Deputy Chief of Staff, Military Circle 23; Investigation Superintendent, Khon Kaen Provincial Police, administrators from different sections were among those at the press meeting which took place at Khum Sithan Room, Khon Kaen University. 

         Mr. Chalermchai Wongnakpet welcomed the guests and media, “Sithan KKU Festival – Boon Somma Bucha Nak” is held to foster and nurture art and culture, to develop economy for the community and the country. The festival is scheduled during the Loi Krathong festival and the theme is this year “Boon Somma Bucha Nak”. The event will integrate art and culture with the Loi Krathong tradition that includes the dimension of faith towards traditional values and the dimension of awareness of natural resources and the environment. The word, “Somma” is an Isan word meaning ‘sorry’ or requesting for forgiveness for the wrong act. Loi Krathong tradition is associated to request for forgiveness from the Mother River or Water and at the same time to paying respect towards Buddha’s Relics, Buddha’s Footprint, and Phra Uppakhut according to Buddhism belief.” 

         “There are multiple and various activities for Khon Kaen and Isan people to enjoy and to be exposed to valuable art and culture. Each day features different activities. There are indigenous art and cultural performances, cultural lawn, Creative Walking Street, and floating boats. The place will be colorfully decorated with ‘Thung’ or Isan flags and lanterns with the Great Snake’s pattern. These are made by lecturers and students of Khon Kaen University and those who are interested. They are used as the “sorrowful” and “worshipping” kits according to Buddhists’ belief. Moreover, the colorful lanterns in the old and modern styles will make the place look beautiful all over, around the eastern and western lakes. I would like to invite KKU folks and Khon Kaen people, Isan people and tourists to come to Sithan Festival 2019 “Boon Somma Bucha Nak” to help fostering art and culture and developing economy for the community and country.” 

Mr. Chalermchai Wongnakpet, a qualified member of KKU Council and the Chairperson of Sithan Festival
Mr. Chalermchai Wongnakpet, a qualified member of KKU Council and the Chairperson of Sithan Festival

         Mr. Worathat Thuleechan, Vice Governor of Khon Kaen added, “Khon Kaen has graceful culture and tradition that succeed from generation to generation according to “Heet Sip Song Khlong Sip See”. In November of every year, or on the day of the 15th waxing moon of the 12th month, the “Loi Krathong” festival is held. This has changed to “Sithan KKU Festival – Boon Somma Bucha Nam” at Sithan Lake of Khon Kaen University and has been under this title for 4 years. On behalf of Khon Kaen, welcome every tourist to Khon Kaen, which is the center for Isan cultural and traditional conservation center. We also have many well known religious places, local wisdom resources, tourism spots. For accommodation, we have good hotels ranging from 5 stars to condominiums and apartments totaling tens of thousands units. In addition, Khon Kaen has come up with the measures to facilitate tourists who come to the festival with strong traffic system and safety precautions. We are supported by many sectors, especially the police force and army led by Chief of Staff, Military Circle 23 and Commissioner of Provincial Police Region 4. All are aimed at driving Khon Kaen according to our vision towards being “the attracting city, trading and investment center of Me Kong sub-regional countries.” We believe that Khon Kaen and Khon Kaen University are well prepared to welcome tourists and everyone to Sithan KKU Festival “Boon Somma Bucha Nak” on November 9-11, 2019.”

         Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, Advisor to Acting President of KKU said, “All along the 55 years that Khon Kaen University has used science and technology as the bases for instruction and development of the region, there are also the art and cultural heritage which is the national and regional local wisdom that we always nurture. At present, we integrate art and culture with different courses and activities so that students will learn and acquire true experiences from gurus. As these are under Khon Kaen University’s development strategies, Khon Kaen University Council under the lead of Dr. Narongchai Arkaraseranee, KKU Council President had Sithan KKU Festival organized in order to maintain and promote art and culture as well as to upgrade this local fair to a regional and international festival. The past year festival was appreciated by people in Khon Kaen and other cities, local and central media that reported news of the festival. This year the event will still retain the key concept of “Not obsessed in the old, nor engrossed in the new”. More importantly, the key concept of tangibility of the festival will be aimed at leading to the words: Sithan KKU Festival “Boon Somma Bucha Nak”. Formerly, “Nak” and “Nam” represent the same thing which is the belief and faith of people here. We therefore will pay homage to “water” and the fertility which is the identity of Khon Kaen University with beautiful wooden areas and beautiful-minded people. All of the goodness will be brought to “Sithan KKU Festival “Boon Somma Bucha Nak”. The festival will be organized under the concept of “Faith, Fun, Cultural Nurturing” this year. 

         November 9, 2019 – The day of “Faith” – There will be food offerings to monks in the morning and worshipping ceremony towards Phra Uppakhut. The procession of Buddha’s Relics will start as the opening ceremony with 15 families of the Great Snakes and the ‘Khan Mak Ben’ to worship Luang Po Phra Sri (50th Year of KKU), Buddha Pisek of Luang Po Sai Khaw and Invitation of Phra Uppakhut and Phaya Nak worshipping ceremony. 

         In the evening, there will be the procession of Buddha’s Relics, ‘Khan Mak Ben’ and “Nak” followed by the grand opening of the Sithan KKU festival 2019, Folk music contest for “Dao Luk Thung Mo Din Daeng”, Mo Lam by Duan Pen Amnuayporn and a puppet show by Pet Nong Rua. 

         November 10, 2019 – The day of “Fun” – This day features the colorful KKU Carnival of the students, Pong Lang contest, “Lam Khaen” contest Lam Phaya Yoi, and Mo Lam by Siang Isan.     

         November 10, 2019 – The day of “Cultural Nurture” – This day features Loi Krathong and floating of lit krathongs and lanterns according to the tradition. There will be beautiful processions and Pong Lang show by the band that wins the contest, followed by Miss KKU Angel Contest. 

         All over the area will be decorated beautifully and places of activities that run on over the evening. “Nak” will be integrated as the major component with patterns on the Isan flags, lanterns and the pagoda built with 40 Phaya Naks, decorated with over 3,000 lanterns with Nak’s patterns. These are created by lecturers, students, local sages, local craftsmen. There are also other activities that reflect Isan art and culture as well as contemporary creativity.

         The activities at the activity lawn will be organized every day featuring art and craft of Isan people. In the water, there will be the show of Krathong Fai and fire boat. Other interesting points include Creative Walking Street, folk music contest, Isan indigenous performances, Isan puppet show, Pramothai movie, Miss Noppamas contest Miss KKU Angel contest. Food and beverages will be sold everywhere with containers made from natural items to denote clean environment concept. Selling of fireworks of all kinds is banned as well as alcoholic drinks. 

News / Photos: Wachara Noichompoo

[ Thai ]