As published in The Naracoorte Herald
Written by Jenny Stirling.
Photo: A Colourful Celebration: Members of the Lao and Thai community, with other invited guests at the New Year’s get together.
On April 20 the Naracoorte Lao community hosted approximately 80 Thai and Cambodian friends, some of whom travelled from Adelaide and Sydney, to celebrate their customary New Year celebrations.
The function was held at the home of Yong and Pat Songvilay, longtime residents of Naracoorte. In addition, 30 members of the wider Naracoorte community shared the generosity of this festival.
Special guests included Tony Pasin MP and family; Nick McBride and wife Kathryn; and Naracoorte High School principal John Harris and family.
A sumptuous banquet was provided, which included many different traditional foods, as well as favourites such as spring rolls, noodle soups and rice dishes, including sticky rice and sweets.
The very generous host community provided guests with excellent entertainment including Lao male and female singers, which encouraged community dancing.
Vandy Sidara, a sprightly 80 year old former Buddhist monk, conducted a traditional ceremony wishing peace and goodwill to all participants.
The Lao community was delighted with the turnout and look forward to next year’s celebrations.