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(Left)L-R-: Ambassador Leslie J. Baja, Thailand Ambassador Arbhorn Manasvanich, Malysian Ambassador Dato Ho May Yong, Indonesia Ambassador Djoko Susilo, Vietnam Ambassador Hoang Van Nha, Laos Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Khonepheng Thammavong, and Mme. Pham Thi Hoa, wife of Vietnam Amb. Hoang Van Nha.

(Right)L-R: Consul General Margarita Ibayan, Edessa Ramos of Bridges, a Filipino Cultural Group, Amb. Leslie Baja, Mrs. Noralyn Baja, Kimberly Zanetti of Bridges, and Cultural Attaché Flora Bacosa.


The ASEAN Embassies in Switzerland (Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), celebrated the 44th Anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN with a Family Day in Berne on 30 July 2011.

The Family Day, held at the Indonesian Ambassador’s residence, featured a cultural presentation depicting traditional dances/music from member countries, a selection of culinary specialties as well as games/light sports competition among ASEAN Embassies staff, their families and other participants. Invited guests include officials from the Swiss Government and other diplomatic representatives in Berne.

The day’s activities began with the games followed by the “Nasi Tumpang” a ceremony of thanksgiving and welcome, cultural presentation and luncheon.

In his remarks, the Indonesian Ambassador also took the opportunity to welcome Ambassador Leslie J. Baja and family who recently arrived in Berne. In turn, Ambassador Baja conveyed his appreciation for the warm welcome and expressed his desire to work together with the ASEAN Ambassadors to promote common interests in Switzerland.

Philippine Embassy contribution to the program included a dance number depicting a Mindanao harvest interpreted by local Filipino artists as well as Filipino dishes and dessert.

The ASEAN Embassies are undertaking activities geared towards building an ASEAN Community by 2015, and this anniversary celebration is consistent with ASEAN’s goal to foster greater appreciation and understanding of ASEAN’s diverse culture and heritage, and manifests ASEAN solidarity and shared cultural identity.

The ASEAN Embassies expressed the hope for more ASEAN theme events in the future.

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