My Life in Thailand: The Perspective of an American Teen
by Shekinah-Glory Simons
Music has become a big part of my life while living in Thailand. On 26 January this year my sisters (Adoration and Shalom) and I sang at the Annual Bed Race for Pattaya charities. What an honour to open the event, which we did by singing one of our original tunes, "Oh, My Life and Home", written by my eldest sister, Adoration Simons, head of our singing group, Jasper III.
Being home-schooled all of our lives, my brothers and sisters and I loved the artistic side of life. It gave us a bright view towards learning. During our second year in Thailand, my parents were English teachers in the Pattaya City public schools. It was difficult for my parents to communicate with the kids. No one could speak English, so they figured the only way the kids would get the meaning of the words and remember them was to write little educational songs and put some dance steps to them. There was a song for every lesson. This took Pattaya City students' English to another level.
My mom instituted this idea in our home school. During our play hours, she would have us write songs to exercise our creative minds. From then on we never stopped. We grew a strong passion for music and have written over 200 original songs to date. Dad put us through music training and yes, he is the teacher; he knows a lot of music. My grandmom was famous in her hometown for being a great singer. She sang with Patty B, a renowned figure in the music industry. My aunt is her mother's "Mini-me". She has been singing in front of crowds since the age of three and my dad's been in the middle of that.
Singing is not as easy as it seems. First you must learn how to sing. Then you must cut most dairy products from your diet because they effect your voice. You must exercise so that you can have the energy you need to perform.
Our group has been around town, singing at Dicey Reilly's Irish Pub, the famous Blue's Factory on Walking Street and other places in Pattaya. But we had never sung in front of so many people at an outdoor event before the Bed Race invitation. I never understood how complicated it would be to sing for thousands of people on live TV. Even though we were called on at an unexpected time, we were able to pull off the big opening, thanks to Mr Neils Colov from Pattaya People.
This year's wishes are coming true for Jasper III. Our group has become popular, not only in Thailand but around the world. The great thing about Thailand is that singing to a crowd could represent 20 different nationalities. Lately, my dad has been putting our singing skills to the test! Not just my sisters and I but my younger siblings as well—all eight of us. We practice our music in front of the crowds around Bali Hai Pier. Although they do not understand the language, they still give us good luck signs and cheer us on. How friendly is Pattaya? A place fit for anyone in the world—all on one basis: just to have fun.
Consequently, most of our songs are about feeling good and always having a spirit of greatfulness. I’m glad we grew up with a piece of Thailand's happiness. Somewhere in life, something or someone will try to bring stress over your life, but it’s up to you whether or not you will keep your mind at peace. But, of course, that’s difficult, so through our music we would like to share a piece of our lives in Thailand and take this message to the world.