World's largest Thailand Vigo dealer Soni Motors brings together 100 poor Hindus, Christians and Muslims families to jointly celebrate Easter, Holi and Prophet's Birthday
For Immediate Release
Date: March 24, 2008
Contact: Sam Quraishi
Soni Motors Thailand - World's 4x4 Dealer - brings together Hindus, Christians and Muslims in joint celebration of Holi, Easter and Prophet Muhammad's Birthday to further inter-religious harmony
Summary: World's top 4x4 dealer and 4x4 exporter of diesel pickups and SUVs as Toyota Hilux Vigo, Mitsubishi L200 Triton and Nissan Navara - the Soni Group - brought together Hindus, Christians and Muslims to jointly celebrate their joyous holidays. 100 poor Hindu, Sikh, Christian and Muslim families were taken to a secluded beach for a festive picnic and extravaganza. Team Soni volunteers organized Easter egg hunt for children and eco-colors throwing to celebrate Holi. Snacks and meals were served as families enjoyed themselves. For details, contact Soni Motors Thailand at +66 (86) 677-5701 or browse through their website at http://www.sonirodban.com and http://www.jim4x4.com.
Bangkok, Thailand --Soni Motors Thailand (http://www.sonirodban.com/) - world's largest exporter of diesel 4x2 and 4x4 vehicles as Toyota Hilux Vigo, Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi L200 Triton, Nissan Navara, Isuzu DMax, Chevy Colorado and Ford Ranger among others to 100 countries in the world - organized a picnic for 100 poor families in its neighborhood. The participants were taken to a famous beach a few miles from Bangkok by buses. Food, tea, gourmet coffees, cola and juices were plentiful. A host of Thai and Indian appetizers prepared by an acclaimed Culinary Team were served right away and then when the Soni volunteers started the barbecues food was served non-stop till the end of the event. Vegetarian food was also available. As families played in the water or sat a little distance on mats and chairs brought in for the occasion, 25 waitresses served food and drinks all over the picnic area.
The event, which has been running for the past fifteen years, aims to make the festive season as happy a time as possible for poor families, especially those who would otherwise feel out of touch with the seasonal celebrations. Team Soni attended to every little detail led by Mr. Soni and Mr. Jim Quraishi. These events that celebrate different holidays four times a year have been bringing together Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists in one place for the past 15 years.
The event started with children Easter egg hunt and bunny hop competition followed by Holi color throwing followed by songs of Prophet's birth. Mr. Soni and Jim Quraishi thanked the participants and the proceedings came to an end at 6 pm. Team Soni was joined by volunteers from the neighborhood as they cleaned up the picnic area "to leave it better than we found it" directive from Mr. Soni.
Two hundred plastic eggs filled with imported Swiss chocolates, Japanese candies and goodies and very special prizes were hidden throughout the venue. Children were given Soni Souvenir egg hunting bags. There were two designated areas for egg hunting: one for children ages 2-5 and the other for children ages 6-12. Since there are few places to hide eggs in a beach, the children had great fun finding them quickly. 4 year Som was the winner with 20 eggs. Bunny hopping contest was won by 13 year old Jagjeet Singh. There was a break for people to relax and eat and drink and enjoy the beach and then all hell broke looses when there was a free for all as eco-friendly colors were thrown at each other. By the time revelry was finished an hour later very few appeared unscathed. Every face and cloth was painted with panoply of colors. It was a lot of fun.
Sam Quraishi commented, "Four times a year we bring people of diverse faiths together as one to enjoy the day with their families and share the joys of each others' holidays and increase their understanding. This is a fulfillment of our great grandfather's vision. He practiced multi-multiculturalism long before the word was coined. When he established Asia's first auto dealership outside Japan in 1911, people moved in their own cultural circles and employed only people of their faith in their companies, Quraishi Senior hired the most qualified candidate irrespective of his race, color religion or sect. He employed Hindus, Sikhs, Jain, Christians and Muslims and celebrated their holidays as his own. It was in this spirit Mr. Soni started this annual picnic 15 years ago and now four times a year we celebrate different Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian and Muslim holidays. I can see some deep friendships formed 15 years ago have now blossomed into cross-generational relationships among people of different faiths."
Executives of other divisions of the Soni Group of Companies (http://www.sonimotorsthailand.com/) namely Jim 4x4 Thailand (http://www.jim4x4.com), Bloomstar Thailand (http://www.thailand4x4.com/), Yasir Trading (http://www.jimsoni.com/) and Soni Manufacturing Division (http://www.sonimotors.net/) also expressed their admiration for the smooth running of the picnic and the bridging of cultural and religious gaps it accomplished. A senior executive of Soni Motors Dubai (http://www.soni-dubai.com/) was also in attendance. Our favorite ex-executive Willie Quraishi who has now joined Mark Motors Thailand (http://www.markmotorsthailand.com/) was specially invited by Mr. Soni to attend the event and everyone in the Soni family enjoyed meeting him again.
Soni Quraishi commented, "I'm very grateful to Team Soni for their weeklong preparations to make this a success and their performance today to keep everything going like clockwork. I was so happy to see the children and their parents have so much fun. We have a moral duty to reach out to the have-nots in our community. It is priceless to see the huge smiles on our neighbors' faces when they are having fun enjoying good plentiful food, crafts and games. I salute all Team Soni volunteers for taking time off from their busy schedules to bring festive cheer and a smile to our neighbors. This is the true spirit of Holi, Easter and Meelad."
Jim Quraishi added, "I'm delighted to see people of so many different faiths mingling with each other, chatting, eating together, playing together and just having a good time. Our founder had a vision that one day people of all faiths will come together as beads of a rosary and it brings tears to my eyes to see that realized every year in these joint celebrations. If there were only more tolerance, understanding and appreciation of each others' differences, we will have a different world."
Sunny Quraishi commented, "We have a proud 97 years history of philanthropy and have always shared our good fortune with family, friends, neighbors and the needy in whichever community we have worked in. We have always shared 5% of our profits to charitable causes and have recently committed 2% of our profits to environmental causes in honor of Al Gore. Holi, Easter and Prophet's Birthday have a lot in common, all three are joyous celebrations of peace and renewal. Easter celebrates rebirth of Jesus, Holi celebrates triumph over evil while Prophet's birthday celebrates how an infant and destitute child changed the course of history singlehandedly with power of conviction in his faith. All three events celebrate Love and Sacrifice and I would like to take this opportunity to honor all those who offer sacrifices for the betterment of human condition."
Participants were brought back to Prawet headquarters for evening tea. Adults were given Soni t-shirts, caps and a raffle was held for some gifts. Clothes, toys, and books were distributed among all the children by an Easter bunny who bore an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Soni. Children took photos with the Easter bunny and disbursed playing on the merry go round brought for this occasion. Participants thanked Mr. Soni and Mr. Jim Quraishi and then gradually began leaving in free shuttle service provided by Soni for the occasion but the majority hung out chatting with each other and learning from each other and a few people even exchanged numbers. Many noted how heartening it was to see how these quarterly events manage to bring people of different faiths closer to each other. People hung around well after dark sipping on soft drinks courtesy of Soni Motors.
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