Baum + Whiteman food consultancy recently chose Kimchi, Korea’s traditional fermented vegetable dish, as one of the top food trends for 2016. According to Google, Bibimbap was one of 2015’s top five ‘rising’ foods by search query volume. And T.G.I. Friday’s—the north star of mainstream Americana—has even experimented with adding Korean tacos to its menus.

Last month, the head of the Thai junta, Prayut Chan-o-cha, visited India for the first time since he seized power in a military coup in May 2014. Though India and Thailand have long been diplomatic partners, the visit saw an uptick in their cooperation as they prepare to commemorate the 70th anniversary of their relationship next year. 

Thailand’s delegation signed three major agreements during the visit, including an action plan for cultural exchange and two MoUs; between Nagaland University and Chiang Mai University for further cooperation in education, and between India’s Axis Bank and Thailand’s Kasikorn Bank.

Every school year, foreign exchange students — some on short visits and others on year-long exchanges, walk the halls of local high schools. Spending time in the U.S. gives the students an opportunity to immerse themselves in American culture, language and customs, an experience they embrace and value. But it’s not only the students who are enriched — the families who host them also learn about cultures and people distinctly different from their own.

 However, India’s larger objective is to woo its neighbors through soft diplomacy. The Indian government has formulated a grand plan to promote tourism in places which are part of its "Buddhist Circuit." Accordingly, all of the relevant sites will have airports so that visitors will be able to travel between them with relative ease. 

For years Kayan women and girls have been driven across the border by poverty and conflict to earn money posing in holidaymakers' pictures in purpose-built Thai villages decried by rights campaigners as "human zoos". Now several have returned to their remote native Panpet area in Kayah state, Myanmar, with an entrepreneurial plan to reverse the flow of departures [...] from decades of solitude.

February 17, 2016

160 years of Bangkok-Paris diplomatic relations are being celebrated this year. Life caught up with new French Ambassador to Thailand Gilles Garachon to discuss food, the AEC and cultural exchange. Political and economic diplomacy may be the core business of his job, but the ambassador puts emphasis on understanding culture.

It’s Saturday evening February the 13th and the Royal Danish Embassy in Bangkok has opened its garden for a night with Jazz on the Grass. An event that took off last year as an initiative by music lover and Danish Ambassador in Bangkok, Mikael Hemniti Winther.