Geelaa See (Thai Sports Day) Posted by palmisano on Sep 27, 2012 in Culture
Not too long ago I got to participate in gee1laa1 see5 กีฬาสี. What is กีฬาสี? It’s the sports day for school, or for some other group. People are divided up evenly into two teams of opposing colors, and then compete. In the west, we’d call it ‘field day’, but in the west we wouldn’t have teams.
Geelaa See competitions can involve pretty much anything, such as a relay race, musical chairs, modified versions of typical sports such as basketball, tug of war, balancing an egg on a spoon with your mouth race, etc. They are designed to be fun and silly, putting the competition aspect as second. Someone big and strong wouldn’t have any advantage for the majority of the competitions.
Sports day usually starts off with some quick ceremonies, such as parade, the lighting of a torch, a few speeches, cheering and team dances, etc. Then a speaker says something so no one takes the competition too seriously. For example,
‘Although we are divided into colors, we should not fight. Consider it like a friendly competition, like between husband and wife.’
. . . I had to laugh when I heard that one lol . . .
At the end of the day, all the little kids got awards. It was more of an ‘everyone gets an award day’, as people seemed entirely uninterested in who actually ‘won’. It was just a time to have fun and be a little crazy.
The teams had their amusing own cheers and dances.
There were carry your child baton races . . .
There were put on ‘muay Thai’ shorts and run real fast races . . . some kids had difficulties with it . . .
There was a ‘make an old man look beautiful’ contest . . . complete with makeup . . .
Good thing there was a farang older than me lol . . .
The one competition people did seem to take seriously was the tug of war. It was 7 guys vs 10 women. The guys won of course, so the ladies demanded a rematch. It was then ~20+ women vs 7 guys. Yea . . . we lost that one lol . . .
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