Was in my third parade last night since arriving in Thailand ... the first was the day we arrived in our Tambon (also known as a cluster of five villages under one local governement)... We were taken in pick up trucks decorated with copious amounts of flowers and paraded through the village to the local wat. The second was on the King's birthday. Dressed in our uniforms, we marched through the streets of Rong Kwang (the district capital). And then stood at a fairground while speeches were read, gifts were given to the King's portrait, and then a candle was lightened and passed flame for flame from candle to candle throughout the whole crowd. Shiver.
This parade was to celebrate a sports day for local health workers. It was the most like a Canadian parade, marching bands, groups of various people decked out in their team colours, we were wearing local costumnes and carrying banners and flags, and there were clowns and dancers and costumes.
The creepy part was the two different renditions of the WTC, one cardboard and in flames, the second polystyrene and with plane attached. I am not exactly sure (and could not get from anyone) why they had them in the parade. If it was meant to be humourous, I didn't get the joke. The best I could figure was that being the whole parade was health care workers, it was meant as a representation of disaster. But it was surreal in a way to see the big condoms, nurses in mini skirts, and clowns all dancing next to the WTC.