Namaste Thailand 2016 – Discovery of “Modern Thailand” via Social Media

On 29 October 2016, Apirat Sugondhabhirom, Deputy Chief of Mission, presided over the Award Presentation Ceremony of the 2nd edition of “Namaste Thailand,” an online quiz campaign about Thailand, at the Royal Thai Embassy, Vasant Vihar. Also presence are Isara Stapanaseth, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (New Delhi Office), Kitti Chinprahasta, Station Manager, Thai Airways International, and the top 3 winners of Namaste Thailand 2016.

Thailand is a land as dynamic in its progress asancient in its wisdom, a culture as cutting-edge as it is serene. To acquaint the Indian youth with the lesser-known yet vital aspects of Thailand, the Royal Thai Embassy, in collaboration with the New Delhi offices of Tourism Authority of Thailand and Thai Airways International, has executed a knowledge-based social media campaign titled NAMASTE THAILAND 2016. The campaign, designed especially for Indian youths, was aimed tostimulate interest in knowing more about Thailand in order to promote close ties between Thailand and India especially at the people to people level.

Using Facebook as its platform, the recently concluded 2nd edition of engaging and competitive online daily quiz contest witnessed digital participation by 70,000 Indians across as many as 50 cities, from metropolises namely New Delhi and Mumbai to smaller towns such as Siliguri in the east and Coimbatore in the south and Surat in the west. Over a period of two months from August to September 2016, Namaste Thailand 2016 interacted with thousands of fans who consistently awaited and answered questions every evening (3 questions on weekdays and 5 questions on Sundays). The well-crafted and visually appealing questions, facts, visuals, trivia, videos, etc., provided in the campaign featured a blend of themes including technological innovation, cultural diversity, traditional and modern architecture, culinary, sports, natural beauty of Thailand. It also highlighted the wide-ranged linkages between Thailand and India.

The uniqueness of the Namaste Thailand campaign lies in its intelligent blend of knowledge and curiosity with a sense of achievement as well as gratification for the contestants. Every week, participants from across India would be lauded as “Weekly Prize Winner”, “Lucky Liker” and “Amazing Answer” and would receive a set of special Thai-themed prizes such as laptop bags, office bags, notepads, caps, and luggage tags for their efforts and dedication through the week. The scoreboard topper would win an all-expenses paid trip to Thailand. The package includes Thai Airways round-trip tickets, hotels and 5 days package tour for 2 persons.

Harshit Gupta, a fresh graduate from Mount Abu Public School, Rohini Sec-5, Delhi, dedicated participant and this year Grand Prize Winner says “My journey with Namaste Thailand was filled with thrills and spills. Every day, from 7 pm to 7.30 pm, we saw an amazing range of questions on Thailand. They deepened my knowledge about the land of smiles. The “My Thai” section made us introspect about the greatness of Thailand. I feel honoured to have been part of this campaign. And… I can’t wait for NT 2017!”

Chirag Madan, Class 10 student from Bal Bharti Public School, the First Runner-up, says “Namaste Thailand is the best platform for new quizzers: awesome questions, great events, unexpected results that engage you completely, There is always an excitement, which compels you to log in everyday at 7 pm sharp. This was my first time as an online quizzer and Namaste Thailand made it really special. I really look forward to the next edition.”

Chaitanya Khurana, 1st year student at College of Vocational Studies, Delhi University, the Second Runner-Up, says “Namaste Thailand 2016 was more competitive than Namaste Thailand 2015! Questions covers all aspects of Thailand from politics to business to history. From teenagers to postgraduate students, everybody was crazy about Namaste Thailand. The 2 months of quizzing were like a rollercoaster but, finally, gaining knowledge matters the most. Having participated in both years, I’m now an Indian fan of the “Land of smiles.”

Namaste Thailand also laid groundwork for the celebration of the 70thAnniversary of the Establishment of the Diplomatic Relations between Thailand and India next year.The Royal Thai Embassy, New Delhi is planning to launch Namaste Thailand 2017 to celebrate the auspicious occasion.

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