Today was the Chula University vs. Thammasat University football game. These two schools are big rivals (think OSU vs. Michigan), and it’s one of the most popular sporting events in all of Thailand. Chula hosted at Thailand’s national stadium. It was somewhat analogous to a homecoming game for a school in the States, but that understates the huge, several hours long parade before the game. In all, the event lasted from 2:30pm to around 7:00pm. The school colors are pink for Chula and red and yellow for Thammasat. We had to wear pink polo t-shirts to the game.
The parade was very impressive; there were tons floats making political and social commentary, costumes from both traditional and contemporary Thai culture, and massive platforms carrying the University emblems for both schools.
The coolest part of the whole event were the message and images made by students in the stands on either side. They used notecards on metal frames as pixels to generate some awesome images and colored paper to spell out words. In fact, most of the time the audience focused attention on the back and forth between the messages in the stands instead of on the football game. The loudest cheers at the game came from applauding particularly witty insults directed at the other side.
Despite the constant back-and-forth between the sign messages, it was a very friendly rivalry. At the start of the game, each school song was sung (like an anthem), and most Chula students sung along with the Thammasat school song. There was an integrated half-time show mixing the colors and school songs from both schools, and you really couldn’t tell which side the cheerleaders were on. It was one of the friendliest sport matches I’d ever seen. The game ended in a tie O-O.
If you have any questions about Thailand or requests for what you’d like me to blog about, please comment on the blog or email me. There will be upcoming posts on Transport, Food and Language.