Thai Princess Boosts Sino-Thai Friendship with Fluent Mandarin

Deeply devoted to Chinese language and culture, Princess Sirindhorn of  Thailand has become a bridge of friendship between her country and China. Her passion for learning and sharing the beauty of Mandarin has inspired countless hearts. Let’s walk through the story of Princess Sirindhorn and the Chinese language!

In 1973, during a European visit representing the King of Thailand, Princess Sirindhorn developed a fascination with Chinese culture upon seeing ancient Chinese porcelains at the Museum of Antiquities.With the support of the Thai royal family, she began learning Mandarin in 1980, starting a long journey of learning Mandarin. Princess Sirindhorn has maintained her love and dedication to Mandarin from her initial learning of Chinese characters to her later reading, writing and oral communication. Despite facing difficulties, she persevered through continuous effort and gradually mastered this complex language.

Princess Sirindhorn’s first visit to China was in 1981, and in the 40 years since then, she has visited China 50 times, covering every province in the country. Additionally, she has translated around 200 classical Tang and Song poems into Thai and later translated works of renowned Chinese writers such as Wang Meng’s “Butterfly,” and Yan Geling’s novel “The Lost Daughter of Happiness.” Her translations, vivid and appealing, are beloved by Thai readers. In recognition of her love for Mandarin and contributions to Chinese culture, the Ministry of Education of China awarded her the “Chinese Language and Culture Friendship Award,” and the China Writers Association honored her with the “Understanding and Friendship International Literature Award.” Princess Sirindhorn not only earns the respect and affection of the Chinese people but also becomes a precious treasure in her life journey.

With a profound affection for Mandarin, Princess Sirindhorn harbors a deep fascination with Chinese culture. She delights in traditional Chinese poetry, calligraphy, painting, and various art forms, savoring Chinese cuisine and partaking in traditional festivals. In 2001, she studied Chinese language and culture at Peking University for a month, where she also learned calligraphy, erhu, and tai chi. Under the guidance of Zhang Zhenguo, President of the Peking University Calligraphy and Painting Research Association, she studied calligraphy during her time at Peking University. Afterwards, she was invited several times to visit the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, where she showcased her brush calligraphy. Princess Sirindhorn integrates these cultural elements into her life, making Chinese culture an emotional anchor for her.

Princess Sirindhorn fully understands the importance of Sino-Thai friendship and has made irreplaceable contributions to the development of Sino-Thai relations. Notably, after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, she immediately extended a helping hand by donating 11 million RMB to rebuild the Sirindhorn Princess Primary School in Mianyang. She visited the school multiple times, fostering a deep friendship with the Chinese people. By immersing herself in Chinese culture and bridging the cultural gap, Princess Sirindhorn has enabled Thais to better understand China and vice versa. Her efforts have significantly contributed to cultural exchanges between the two nations. As a testament to her dedication, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2019, China awarded her the “Friendship Medal.

The tale of Princess Sirindhorn’s journey with Mandarin is legendary, showcasing the significance and worth of mastering the language through her exemplary deeds. Her story has not only inspired the Thai people to learn Mandarin, but has also galvanized the interest of children from non-Chinese children around the world to learn Mandarin. If you don’t have a clue about how to get your child to learn Mandarin, a great way to start is through eChineseLearning, an online Mandarin school with 18 years of history that offers 1-to-1 Chinese classes to students from around the world.


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