On 3-4 April 2021, the Royal Thai Embassy in Japan hosted the "Thai Drama Festival in Japan 2021". It was the first time ever that the Embassy organized a hybrid event- combining the physical event at the Embassy together with having a virtual event broadcast live from Thailand. Ambassador Singtong Lapisatepun gave an Opening Remark emphasising the purpose of the event to introduce Thai culture and Thainess through Thai dramas which has recently become more popular in Japan, in particular during COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of two days, the Embassy welcomed pre-registered Thai and Japanese visitors to enjoy the Thai Drama Fair at the Embassy. The entire activities were specially designed under the theme of “Thai drama”. For example, Thai food, drinks and products shown in Thai dramas were sold at the Fair, such as Thai desserts, grilled prawns, and Moo Sarong (deep fried minced pork wrapped with noodles) from the drama "Love Destiny"; Blue Hawaii soda, Kana Mookrob (stir-fried Chinese broccoli and crispy pork) from "2gether"; and Kapao rice and Pink Milk from "Sotus the Series".
Thai dishes that have gained popularity in Japan were also sold to allow Japanese people to have a whole Thai culinary experience. Thai ingredients, seasonings, Thai fruits, and ready-to-eat Thai food were also sold at a Thai supermarket booth.
The event also offered other Thai drama-related activities for the Thai drama fans, including the live-sized special posters of 8 GMMTV actors from the GMMTV EXHIBITION in Japan under the cooperation with TV Asahi Co., Ltd., photo corners with Thai actors, a demonstration of Thai floral garland or Phuang Malai, a live music performance and Thai fruit and vegetable mascots from the Office of Commercial Affairs. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Tokyo Office, also opened a booth to promote tourist destinations in Thailand.
On 4 April, live online event was held throughout the day and also live broadcast on the Embassy's Facebook and YouTube channels. Thai drama fans who joined at the Embassy in Japan had a special opportunity to interact with famous Thai actors directly, while traveling between Thailand and Japan is still restricted under the COVID-19 pandemic. The three participating entertainment companies in the event include Channel 3 Thailand, Nadao Bangkok, and GMMTV, all are leading entertainment companies in Thailand.
The Embassy also held a talk session under the topic "Thai Drama Phenomenon in Japan". The talk was participated by speakers from leading organisations in Thailand and Japan who are actively working to promote Thai drama industries, namely TV Asahi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and Channel 3 Thailand. The talk was moderated by Asst. Prof. Dr. Rujirat Ishikawa, the owner of Facebook Page “Gift-chan Nang Lao.”
The Thai Drama Festival 2021 was well received by Thai drama fans from Japan, Thailand and abroad, as well as Japanese media. The live event was joined by approximately 15,000 viewers, on top of 750 visitors at the Embassy. In fact, a larger number of people expressed their interest to attend the physical event at the Embassy far exceeded the Embassy’s capacity. Due to the COVID-19 preventions, the Embassy unfortunately had to restrict the number of visitors in accordance with the measures stipulated by the Japanese Government.
Those who are interested in online events can watch the event’s archives at the Embassy’s Facebook: @ thaifestival.jp and YouTube: RTETOKYO.