Events and sports: Bangkok celebrates National Youth Day
by Weena Kowitwanij

A regular event since 1985, the anniversary is celebrated on the birthday of two past kings. Catholic schools organize activities and sports competitions. Bishop in charge of youth ministry: "Youth are sowers of hope in the world. God needs their hands".

Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Celebrations, events and sports competitions: Thailand today celebrated Youth Day, which is held every year since 1985 on the anniversary of the birth of King Chulalongkorn (1853-1910) and King Ananda Mahidol (1925-1946 ), older brother of the present ruling monarch. The anniversary is celebrated at all levels of the state, and even the prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha addressed a speech to the nation by recalling the motto of the Day: "Participation, Development and Peace."

"Young people - the general said - should be proud of their being Thai, preserve Thai culture and be resolute in democracy. Since peace is the fundamental and universal value of life and of the people, we are all responsible for building it, with respect for human dignity, human rights, democracy and fundamental freedom ". Prayut Chan-o-cha is the head of the military junta that controls Thailand since May 2014, when he took power in a "white coup".

The Youth Day is also celebrated by many Catholic educational institutions, which operate in many provinces and are considered among the best in the country. In schools run by the Brothers of St. Gabriel, by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart and the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres, students are involved in different activities, sporting competitions and alternative programs. In addition, the government awards a coveted prize to the nation's best students.

Msgr. Silvio Siripong Charisri, chairman of the Department for Youth of the Catholic Commission for the Laity (Ccl), has sent a message to all the young Catholics: "I see - writes the bishop - the hope of the Church, the strength, the courage and readiness in young people who want to be the abode of mercy. I recall Pope Francis, who enthusiastically encourages young people to live centered in Jesus Christ [...] ". All of you, he adds, "you are sowers of hope in the world. God needs your hands to bring reconciliation and to create unity in humanity".

Sister Supawadee Kaengkit is a Salesian sister, chaplain to the youth of the Diocese of Suratthani (south of the country), "Working with young people is hard - she says - and it is a challenge to my responsibility because society is becoming more and more complicated. We need patience, diligence and enthusiasm. Like farmers who nourish and water his crop, waiting for it to grow to its fullest. We work with hope. "