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Lord Hanuman chosen as official mascot for 2023 Asian athletics championships


Lord Hanuman, a revered figure in Hinduism and beloved by Indians, has been selected as the official mascot for the 2023 Asian Athletics Championships. This grand track and field event, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Asian Athletics Association, will be held in Bangkok from July 12 to 16.

The decision to choose Lord Hanuman as the mascot holds great significance. Known as one of the most venerated deities in India, Lord Hanuman also holds a prominent presence in Thai culture. Depicted in the traditional Thai visual art style, the mascot represents the fusion of Hindu mythology and Thai heritage.

The popularity of Lord Hanuman in Thailand can be traced back to the epic tale of Ramayan, known in Thailand as ‘Ramakien’. This timeless piece of literature and drama has captivated Thai audiences for centuries and has had a profound influence on Thai society, including the royal family. In fact, the Thai royal family draws inspiration from the epic, with their original kingdom named ‘Ayutthaya’ after ‘Ayodhya’ and each Thai king adopting the ceremonial title of King Rama with current monarch Maha Vajiralongkorn being known as ‘King Rama X.’ Indian epic Ramayan written by Valmiki made it to various Southeast Asian countries because of the influence of Hinduism in these cultures, including Thailand.

The Asian Athletics Association wrote about how Lord Hanuman is the epitome of loyalty and courage on its official website. “As Hanuman exhibits extraordinary abilities in (Lord) Rama’s service, including speed, strength, courage, and wisdom … Hanuman’s greatest ability is, in fact, his incredibly staunch loyalty and devotion,” the continental body penned. The mascot signifies various essential traits of the participating athletes. “The 25th Asian Athletics Championships 2023 logo indicates the athletes participating in the games, skills, teamwork of athletes, showcase of athleticism, dedication, and sportsmanship,” the athletes’ body wrote.

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