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By Pradichaya | Thai food | photography | voice teaching | opera artist
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By Pradichaya | Thai food | photography | voice teaching | opera artist

2015-09-22

By Pradichaya Poonyarit

Welcome to byPradichaya.com. Thank you for your visit. This Web site is my online journal and a little more.

I was born Thai and raised to the standard of my modern parents. Yet, I was also influenced by my maternal grandparents who maintained and passed on to their granddaughter the old Thai traditions.

My parents sent me to America when I was fourteen years old, and so I also accepted the “American way” as being a big part of me. I am married to an American husband, and together we have raised a Thai-American family of four children. We lived in Bangkok for thirteen years and have now lived in a town in Pennsylvania for ten years. It is quite an intriguing experience to have this opportunity to have the best of both worlds –and, perhaps, the worst.

When angry fingers are pointed at me, it is usually because –at least according to the fingers’ owners- I wasn’t Thai enough for the Thais; yet, at the same time, I am also not American enough for the Americans.

My husband adjusted beautifully while we were living in Thailand. It certainly also helped that the Thai people have a lot of respect for their “farang -“foreign”- guests. It’s interesting, though, that when we first returned to America he was the one with the most difficulty of feeling as if he “belonged.”

As for our children, they were raised to be more Thai than American “farang,” if only because they were surrounded by Thai relatives. They attended International schools, yet most of their friends were Thais. It was not a surprise that when we moved to America, the children –especially the older ones- encountered some difficulties.

I sing opera and teach voice, although while living in Thailand I took over the business my parents had started (almost fifty years ago). Long ago, I learned my way around sales, management, leadership, and I knew all about the bureaucratic red tape that comes with exporting/importing products. With this job, I got to know people –but I don’t mean knowing who’s who (that, too, I got to know), but rather knowing types of people: knowing their thoughts, and knowing how they operate.

This is not a bad thing. It helped in decision making, among other things.

During the time I ran the company, my husband (who is also an opera artist) and I also opened a voice studio. There, we taught and also produced both student-level and professional-level productions. We also performed with an opera company –where, besides singing in traditional operas, roles were created for us in several premieres of new operas- as well as with other music organizations in the country, many of which were royal command performances.

I was invited to take adjunct teaching positions at two music colleges, and for two years I took two days a week away from my company to go and teach at these places. While I loved it, this stopped when it began interfering with my family life. By this time, I had a day job (my company), a night and a weekend job (performing and teaching), and an adjunct teaching job -not to mention all the social functions that I attended for business-mingling and networking.

There were many reasons why we moved to America -many of which I’m sure will come out through the course of my storytelling. I’m telling about my experiences in the hope that: a) it will be a fun read; b) my readers will learn about Thailand -its traditions, culture, and food (emphasize FOOD)- through a unique and new perspective; and c) my experience in bridging these two cultures may help –either by sparking up a new way, or bringing hope to- some readers.

I also share my passions in performing, teaching, (Thai) cooking, photography, and -naturally- raising children.

I have been around the Internet since 2007 under the name la-coffee-melodie-suite.com, back when the children were young enough that they enjoyed taking part in building the family Web site. Now that they are all grown (my youngest will turn 15 in two days), they have asked to withdraw from the activity. I agreed with them completely. Since they are no longer small children, they should be able to choose on their own how –and if- they want to present themselves, and how create their own brands if they like.

ByPradichaya.com is my side of the story, branching out from la-coffee-melodie-suite.com.

ByPradichaya.com is my representation of a Thai living the American way; an American modern mix with a touch of the delicateness of the old Thai.

Please enjoy. Your feedback is welcome.