On 27 February 2017, GTCC relocated its office from the Empire Tower to AIA Sathorn Tower. The new office is part of GTCC’s strategy in 2017: Communication, Cooperation, Competence and Change.
Therefore, the GTCC team planned to organize an open house day for its members, partners and friends to give them an opportunity to visit the new office and learn more about the enhanced facilities, functions and services.
The Open House Day finally took place on the 18th of April. The day started with a monk ceremony, which is strongly believed among Thai people that this will bring good luck, and prevent all staff from any kind of problems. Additionally, it is a way of showing respect to the good spirits (especially the house/office/building spirit).
The major preparations had been made the day before, and when we entered the big meeting room (“Berlin”), it didn’t resemble an office, but a temple.There were 9 seats built on a little stage, and a small altar table with candles on the left end (which would be the right side of the monks). Members of the honorary board and staff members took part in the ceremony, starting when 9 monks in orange robes entered the room. This number “9” is important in two ways: On the one hand, during festivities an uneven number is usually used, and on the other hand, the 9 sounds like “progress” in Thai. It also subtly refers to the late King Rama IX and is believed to be a lucky number.
After the monks had been seated, GTCC president Markus Lorenzini officially started the ceremony by lighting the candles on the altar table. After a few minutes, the head monk spoke a prayer, while the monks passed a white thread from one to another. This thread is supposed to keep bad spirits away. The prayers continued for a while, during which the head monk burnt another candle over a golden bowl. Afterwards, the thread was ceremoniously rolled up.
Next, the board members and staff handed over lunch to the monks, as part of the merit making. For Buddhist monks, it is important to consume food before noon, since they do not eat major warm meals during the afternoon and night. For everyone else, a buffet had been set up in the office rooms, but we waited until the monks had finished their meal and left.
During the afternoon, more and more guests joined and visited the office, as there would be a reception in the evening, where H.E. German Ambassador Mr. Peter Prügel kindly delivered special remarks to over 70 members, partners and friends, following a welcome speech by Mr. Markus Lorenzini.
It turned out to be an interesting day which gave the interns a little understanding of Buddhist beliefs and brought us an opportunity to connect more with GTCC members.