Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok marks International Friendship Day with Swedish-Thai relations

The Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok celebrated the 30 July International Day of Friendship by highlighting the long-standing bilateral relations between Sweden and Thailand while sharing a few of the stories of the people featured in the Embassy’s 2018 photo exhibition “Neighbours from Afar” that celebrated 150 years of relations between Sweden and Thailand.

Bilateral relations between Sweden and Thailand began in 1868 when the first Siam-Swedish friendship treaty, The Treaty of Friendship, Commerce, and Navigation, was signed, the Embassy stated.

Moreover, the Embassy wrote, “In 2018, the Embassy produced a photo exhibition “Neighbours from Afar” to celebrate 150 years of relations between Sweden and Thailand by highlighting unique people-to-people relationships that bind our two countries together. The photos highlight Thais with relation to Sweden and Swedes with relation to Thailand. The photo exhibition was displayed in Bangkok, Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Hua Hin, and Phuket.”

Featured below are a few of the stories of some of the 15 persons who were featured in their exhibition

Orathai Khongram, 62, Farmer, Hedemora: Orathai met her Swedish husband in Thailand in 1983. Two years later they moved to Sweden. As Orathai’s husband was a farmer they got installed on his farm in the countryside of Hedemora in Dalarna. Orathai has since her husband passed away run the farm all by herself. The main product is potatoes, but other seasonal vegetables like beetroot, onion, and salad are also grown, as well as some Thai vegetables. All of Orathai’s products are sold at the farmer’s market in Hedemora. Orathai is a very busy lady with a lot of energy. Besides running the farm, she also works at the cemetery to care for graves during summer. In wintertime, she works in a restaurant at a nearby ski resort. Besides that, she also has another important winter job – she sells Christmas trees from her farm at the town square.

Orathai Khongram. 62. Farmer. Hedemora. Photo: Micael Engström

Kenneth Rimdahl., 57, Tea Merchant, Chiang Mai: During a work trip to Thailand, his friend and current business partner, Vorakarn Wongfu, introduced him to the traditional northern Thai food Miang (fermented tea leaves from the camellia Sinensis plant). Kenneth could not believe the tea leaves were edible as he had never tried them before. To prove that it really was tea, Mr. Vorakarn took Kenneth up to the mountains and showed him the tea, growing in harmony with the forest, used by Thai people to make Miang for centuries. After almost 20 years in the tea business in Europe, Kenneth embarked on a new journey, to create tea from Thailand, by using forest-friendly tea.

Kenneth Rimdahl. 57. Tea Merchant. Chiang Mai. Photo: Thomas Engström

Likit Neimwan-Andersson, 45, Hockey Coach, Bangkok: Likit was born in Thailand but moved to Borås in Sweden with his mother at the age of six. When arriving in Sweden, in February, it was snowing. The school had an outdoor ice hockey rink and that’s where it all started. Soon enough his mother drove him to hockey practice five times a week. When Likit was 19 years old he signed a contract with Borås Hockey Club. Likit’s dream was to play professional hockey in North America. In 1999, at the age of 26, Likit moved to Trenton, New Jersey, to realize his ambitions. He was very successful and was drafted to Augusta, Georgia, where he stayed for three years. Likit was a professional hockey player for 15 years in both Europe and the U.S. In 2009 he decided to move back to Thailand to contribute to the growth of ice hockey in his country of birth. Eventually, he became a playing coach for the Thai National Team. Likit coached them for the Asian Winter Games winning the Gold title in 2017.

Likit Neimwan-Andersson. 45. Hockey Coach. Bangkok. Thomas Engström

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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