Saturday , August 16, 2014 - 12:00 AM
LAYTON – Once a year, authentic Thai food and music draws visitors to the Wat Dhammagunaram Buddhist Temple in Layton for the temple’s annual Summer Food Festival to be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23.
This year’s event is set to be a special occasion because the temple has had two teachers visiting from Thailand for the summer. These teachers will present their classical Thai dance and music using traditional instruments at the temple located at 644 East 1000 North.
Doug Faulkner, one of the trustees at the temple, says it has been an invaluable experience having the Thai teachers for the summer.
“The whole reason we have the teachers here is for the children of Thai parents to be exposed to this culture, but they don’t lose culture of their ancestry,” Faulkner said. “You can see the generational differences in the temple families, ones who are first, second, or third generation. We are afraid for the longevity and for the continued increase in the temple itself so we need to keep people aligned with their culture.”
The teachers visited Layton through a program from their government educational system. “It’s an incredible opportunity for the whole community to be exposed to because this is the real thing,” said Director of the Board of Trustees Roberta Chase. “This isn’t Americanized. It’s all classical and authentic Thai cultural music and dance.”
Though one of the main focuses of the Thai dance, language, and musical instrument classes have been for children, folks of all ages have attended the classes. Faulkner expects many of the community will want to come and see their performances.
The church hosts a big Thai New Year Water Festival in April in addition to its Summer Food Festival that the temple has been hosting for the last 10 years.
“It is just an opportunity for people to come and sample authentic Thai foods and a lot of classical Thai music and dance,” Chase said. “It’s a very lively, fun and exciting event where you get to be exposed to some things you normally don’t experience unless you go to Thailand.”
Israt Rittioron, who has been a monk at the temple for the last 27 years, looks forward to the event every year. “It is good for people to come and see us represent our country of Thailand and show them our traditions,” said Rittioron.
Admission to the event is free with international music shows all day and Thai cuisine for purchase. For more information, visit www.watlayton.org.
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