On February 14, 2019, the Arts, Culture and Community Relations Department, Khon Kaen University collaborated with KKU Culture Center to initiate the Khao Jee (grilled sticky rice) Valentine’s Merit Making Event. The event was honored by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Niyom Wongpongkham, Acting Vice President for Arts, Culture and Community Relations who presided over the opening remark of the event. Asst. Prof. Dr. Siripong Piasiri, Acting Assistant to the President for Arts, Culture and Community Relations briefed the opening remark. The event was attended by more than 500 people, including Dr. Kittisan Sriruksa, Acting Director of KKU Culture Center, the KKU Culture Center Executives, neighboring communities, KKU students and staff, at the area near Sri Than Pond, Khon Kaen University.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Niyom Wongpongkham, Acting Vice President for Arts, Culture and Community Relations said that the Khao Jee (grilled sticky rice) Valentine’s Merit Making Event was the combination between Thai-Isan (the North-eastern part of Thailand) Culture and Western Culture. The Khao Jee Valentine’s Merit Making Event was initiated to conserve and extend the good tradition of Isan people and to create good cultural awareness among youths on the Valentine’s Day through the contemporary event, under the concept of “Not into old tradition and not into new tradition”. The event matched with the Khon Kaen University’s strategies in terms of promoting arts and culture and community caring for the University’s excellence.
Miss Natrika Porsoongnern, the senior student of Sociology and Anthropology Department, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University, said that “The Khao Jee (grilled sticky rice) Valentine’s Merit Making Event is very creative and interesting for lovers. There are activities which help promoting Isan people’s tradition on Khao Jee making. This event also celebrates love by doing good deeds. I am impressed with the talk and story sharing in this event. I wish that this event is held every year”.
The atmosphere in the event was full of happiness and impression. In the morning, the merit making was started by offering food to 14 monks. More than 100 people, including general people, Khon Kaen University’s students and staff, attended in the morning merit making activity. In the evening, there were performances performed by music bands, neighboring communities (Baslop dance) and also Khao Jee making by lovers, families and friends. More than 500 people attended the evening event.
Open-air movies, crafts made by students from various faculties, sculpturing and portrait drawing, Sinsai Band performance performed by students from Faculty of Fine Arts, a creative talk about “not into old tradition and not into new tradition”, Thai clothes fashion show, and Fancy Khao Jee Contest were highlighted activities created to reflect awareness in traditional conservation, love sharing for newly met people and moral conduct.