More than a thousand guests attended the spectacular Day of Russia event at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on June 13, commemorating the country's national day as well as the auspicious occasion of the 2018 Russian FIFA World Cup. Presided over by the Russia Embassy and HE Kirill Barsky, ambassadors, bureaucrats, ministry members, academics and other high ranking society figures gathered for the cultural celebration to reinforce the bonds between Russia and Thailand. There are also various religious groups present, including Buddhist, Hindu and the Russian Orthodox Church.
On the food and drink front, superb Russian caviar, vodka and many other symbolic as well as favourite delicacies were served. There was also scintillating cultural entertainment from the Russian Embassy School Ballet Studio and the Katyusha Folk Dance Ensemble, as well as musical performances from pianist Ivan Sharapov, the Royal Thai Army Symphony Orchestra and Boomy Panutsaya, a student of the Russian studies program.
The highlight of the event—truly one of the most engaging national day celebrations in recent times—was the football theme, which presented itself in details like ice carvings representing the World Cup and a football field cake, complete with ball, goals and flags of all the FIFA World Cup national teams. A varied range of World Cup football memorabilia were also on display and sale, including T-shirts, teddy bears, cushions and keychains.
The day after the National Day event, the Russian Embassy continued celebrations with a sit-down dinner at the Plaza Athenee hotel, with 300 guests invited to a 5-course dinner. In his speech upon the ocassion, Russian ambassador HE Kirill Barsky spoke of the great love for football that united the countries of Russia and Thailand. He was sure that the World Cup Football extravaganza would be an “unforgettable” tournament and “an incredible festival of sports and friendship.”
Following the dinner was the collective viewing of the live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup opening ceremony at Moscow and the exciting opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. Guests congratulated all the Russians in the room as the nation took home the first victory.