SPEECH: Songkran – Thai New Year 13th April 2017

HANSARD CHAMBER GREEN

Songkran – Thai New Year

Mr BURKE (Watson—Manager of Opposition Business) 23-3-2017:

I extend Labor's best wishes to everyone celebrating Songkran, Thai new year. Over three days in April, people visit Buddhist temples to perform the ritual of merit making by making offerings to Buddha and monks, reuniting with family to seek blessings from elders and gathering with community to welcome the new year.

One of the unique traditions of Songkran is the engagement of whole communities, families and even strangers in a water festival, a water play fight. On the streets and in cars, people throw water at each other to symbolise the washing away of misfortunes in the past year.

The beauty of Songkran lies in its power to unit families, friends and communities, regardless of age, in a celebration of hope, prosperity and good fortune for the year to come—values that are interwoven into the fabric of our multicultural society in Australia and embraced by all Australians regardless of faith, culture or background.

Tony Burke