In the Thai epic of Princess Sida and Prince Phra Ram, the evil demon Tosakanth abducts the princess and a kind bird named Sdayu attempts to rescue her, but is struck down. Before he dies, the bird gives the princess’s ring to Prince Phra Ram and explains that she has been abducted. The prince recruits Hanuman, a white monkey who has been granted everlasting life, and his cohorts to battle the evil demon. Together, they prove triumphant over this ten-faced, twenty-armed monster and save Princess Sida. To celebrate, Princess Sida and Prince Phra Ram dance the Khon, a traditional Thai dance.
This tale, which is beautifully depicted with a mural on the interior wall of Pete’s Thai (609 E 22nd St. in Dubuque), is an exciting tale of daring bravery. While our recent trip there did not involve soldier monkeys, enchanted birds, or multi-limbed beasts, we did have a thrilling time and journeying to the north side of town had an element of adventure. We like to think of ourselves as princess and prince and we did have to save one another from eating too much. So perhaps if we stretch a little (or a lot) there are some parallels with this classic story.
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