Thai Ambassador to Bangladesh Makawadee Sumitmor has said Bangladesh and Thailand should promote deeper mutual understanding at the people-to-people level to cultivate closer contact in all dimensions.
“People-to-people exchange is the foundation of bilateral relations. After a 50-year-long journey our peoples still have some unclear picture about each other,” she told UNB in an interview.
Ambassador Sumitmor said cultural interactivity could enable Thais and Bangladeshis to feel more acquainted with each other.
This kind of interaction takes time to develop but it will be a long-lasting foundation of our friendship, she said.
The Ambassador said Bangladesh and Thailand share ancient linkages. For example, she said, it is a surprising knowledge for her to learn that Thai and Bangla languages have many similarities through Sanskrit and Pali.
Some Bengali words have the same meaning in Thai, such as ‘sikkha’ which means ‘education’ and ‘banijya’ which means ‘commerce.’
In this respect, Ambassador Sumitmor said, it could be said that Thailand and Bangladesh are not just ‘friends’ but are ‘relatives’ with shared cultural root and diverse common interests.
Another cultural link is the traditional New Year celebration, said Ambassador Sumitmor. While 14 April marks the date for Bengali traditional New Year or ‘Pahela Boishakh’ Thai people also celebrate Songkran festival, their traditional new year in the same period.
A series of events will be organized throughout the year with focus on enhancing understanding between the peoples marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries that falls on October 5.
The commemorative logo for this occasion was launched on 1 March 2022 at the 2nd Bangladesh-Thailand bilateral consultations in Bangkok.
It features number 50 in Thai and Bengali with gold borderline, signifying the golden jubilee of relations.
Number five in Thai and Bengali script has some similar line and curve so it is designed in a way that it could be looked either way.
“Our national flags are also part of the logo. It is jointly designed by the Royal Thai Embassy in Dhaka and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh,” said the Thai Ambassador.