A word from the Director
"The first Goethe-Institut in Southeast Asia not only looks back on an eventful past, but also on a phenomenal evolution. Starting out as a one-man-business, it now is one of the largest Goethe-Instituts in the world."
When I set foot on the grounds of the Goethe-Institut Thailand in Soi Goethe for the very first time back in 2016, I could hardly believe how lucky I was: It was an idyllic green German-Thai oasis in the middle of the vibrating 10-million megacity of Bangkok.
Since then I have been rightly saying that I have one of the most beautiful work places on planet Goethe. It is hard to believe that this lively institution, which has moved twice within Bangkok, will be celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020.
The first Goethe-Institut in Southeast Asia not only looks back on an eventful past, but also on a phenomenal evolution. Starting out as a one-man-business, it now is one of the largest Goethe-Instituts in the world.
Since 1960 half a million people have attended over 8,000 cultural events, and close to 227,000 participants have been studying German at the Goethe-Institut Bangkok.
Behind these figures lies an inexhaustible treasure of stories about the ever since close ties between Thailand, the former Siam, and Germany. Stories about pioneering and upheaval, about fantasy and enthusiasm, about passion and the art of improvising, about big successes but also failures, cultural misunderstandings and about the obstacles in the German-Thai love story.
In these past six decades, the world as well as the German and Thai societies went through fundamental changes, through globalisation and modernisation. But what has remained unchanged is the great curiosity that both countries feel about the other. I am always amazed at the many surprises the German-Thai cultural ties hold in store.
Did you know, for example, that Thomas Mann’s brother-in-law used to live in Bangkok and that Nakadia, one of the most successful celebrity DJs of the famous Berlin club Berghain has Thai roots? That Thailand’s national anthem was composed by a German and that the Berlin-based young Thai artist collective UnThaiTled was among 2019’s most exciting newcomers of the German cultural scene?
If you started getting curious now, join us at our many anniversary events and check out our website regularly.
We will be celebrating our anniversary with you throughout the entire year and hopefully continue to learn and tell even more undiscovered stories about the Goethe-Institut Thailand. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to the institute’s extraordinary success story over the past six decades:
Sincere thanks to our partners in the realms of culture, language, education and economy, to our committed staff and to the many participants of our German courses, and the visitors of our library and cultural events. Of course, I would also like to thank the 11 colleagues who have headed this institute with great enthusiasm over the course of the past six decades.
Kop Khun Ka!