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Savory spice sensations accent Thai foods festival

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2004-11-26

The marvel of Thai cooking is that the tastes can be exactly what you want.

Some like it spicy. Some not. Thai dishes can be tweaked to just the right degree of ‘hot’ to tempt your palate.

Thai foods are among the world’s most delicious.

A Thai Charity Festival of Loy Kratong is coming up Saturday evening, and it provides a perfect opportunity to sample a wide variety of the Kingdom’s top dishes. The event takes place at the Army’s Torii Station, on the beach, beginning at 6pm, and runs until 11pm. The event commemorates one of Thailand’s traditional holidays, while introducing new advocates of Thai cuisine.

Loy Kratong is held each November on the night of the full moon. Thai people prepare small round boats called kratong from banana plants, then decorate them with candles, incense and flowers. The boats are set adrift to float away on the klongs, canals, rivers and ponds, as well as the sea. Prayers are offered and the kratong is said to carry away the sins of its supplicants, removing the evil spirits.

The all-you-can-eat buffet showcases a dozen of Thailand’s top dishes, half of which are traditionally found in Thai homes more than in Thai restaurants. As guests savor the palate-tempting dishes, entertainers will perform a cultural dance program. In fact, after dinner guests are invited to jump up and join the dancers.

The buffet dinner and program runs 6~10pm. Tickets are $15 ¥1,500 for adults, while children 7-12 eat for ¥700. Children under seven enter and eat free.

Entry to Torii Station is authorized for both SOFA and non-SOFA guests attending the festival. Traffic control officers will direct guests to the festival site at Torii Beach.

This is the second festival staged by the Thai Education Center Okinawa, with cultural awareness and fundraising dual themes. The first festival was in Chatan at JaiThai Thai Restaurant, which was jammed with excited, hungry folks. Lines spilled out of the restaurant and down the corridor of the restaurant building, sending organizers to find a much larger venue.

Proceeds from the festival to support a children’s school lunch program and to combat HIV. The Thai community in Okinawa has been active in both programs for some years.
Reservations are available by calling Tassarin Nemeth at 090-9788-2112, or email: thaicenter_Okinawa@hotmail.com.

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