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A Culinary Songkran at NPUST

With the advent of each major holiday, the thoughts of international students often turn towards family and friends back at home. And with Songkran passing in Thailand, those very sentiments were sure to visit the Thai students studying in Taiwan. Yet, travel restrictions have meant that returning home is not an option– and so to respond in the best way they could, students at NPUST made plans to let everyone’s taste buds “take a trip back to Thailand”, and enjoy the flavors of the holiday.
The activity was jointly organized by the Thai Student Society and the NPUST Office of International Affairs (OIA). Students from all nationalities were welcomed to join in the fun and learn from the Thai students how to make great tasting, authentic Thai food.
Presenting the familiar hometown flavors, Thai students wished everyone a smooth and safe New Year, while everyone enjoyed the delicious food. The activity, held on April 30, was divided into two sessions. Those who took part in the first session (from 9:00 AM to noon), made Pad Kra Pao (pork & holy basil) and green curry chicken. The rich green curry—mildly spicy, and accented with fragrant coconut milk—was served with tender chicken and a bowl of white rice. A delightful combination!
For the afternoon session (from 1:00 to 4:00), cool green papaya salad and Thai shrimp fried noodles were on the menu. Unlike the white-flower noodles most commonplace in Taiwan, the Thai dish (Phad Thai) called for the rice-flower variety. These clear rice noodles were flavored with a special sauce that gives them a pinkish color and were complimented with bean sprouts, chives and the brightly-colored shrimp. Topped off with a sprinkling of peanut powder, the masterpiece was completed. 
Food cultures are quickly closing distances between countries, and the activity was able to do the same for the international students at the university –meanwhile, it also made students from Thailand feel a little more “at home” during this important time of the year.


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