HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Central Airport Plaza hosts First Chiang Mai Wedding Fair

Matrix drug treatment being promoted by Suan Prung Hospital

Chiang Mai receives English language tourism radio program

MOI push for family development centers

“Chatting with Monks” deemed a success

Central Airport Plaza hosts First Chiang Mai Wedding Fair

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Chiang Mai Wedding Fair 2002 was held October 11-17 at Grand Hall, Central Airport Plaza and the opening ceremony was presided over by Chao Duangduen Na Chiang Mai.

Lanna style wedding outfits were on display at the Chiang Mai Wedding Fair 2002, October 11-17 at Grand Hall, Central Airport Plaza.

The fair included many contests with the bride’s bouquet, bride’s European hat, make-up, wedding dress, and bridal couple model contest being amongst them. The winners were awarded a shield presented by the Deputy Chiang Mai Governor and Chao Daungduen Na Chiang Mai.

The fair was an opportunity to show wedding products and services, photography, make-up, wedding cards and wedding dress fashion in both European and Lanna style.

The highlights of the fair were the 7-story wedding cake and the exotic fashion.

Matrix drug treatment being promoted by Suan Prung Hospital

Supatatt Dangkrueng

Due to the extensive use of ya ba (speed pills), the numbers of patients to local hospitals and treatments centers are increasing, and are spreading to all age groups, even among school students.

Statistics from Suan Prung Hospital show that their outpatient department handled 2,045 cases in 1998, 2,563 in 1999 and 3,119 in 2000.

The solution for this problem requires help from everyone. An addict needs both physical and mental treatment. There are several ways to help the addict, with the latest method called Matrix.

According to Suan Prung Hospital, Matrix is suitable for OPD (out patient department) patients, who will be advised that addiction is not guilt but a mental illness. The idea is that this will make them feel more comfortable and give them the inspiration to quit.

The Matrix process covers consultations, family understanding, primary drug-quitting, prevention of relapsing, and mutual assistance. Patients and their family will receive a handbook containing all the important information.

Rehabilitation takes two hours a day, three times a week over four months, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 1.30-3.30 p.m.

To undergo this therapy, the patient should not be psychotic and be completely willing to have a full course of treatment over the four months. The hospital staff trained in this rehabilitation includes doctors, nurses, psychologists, and technical officers.

For more information, contact the Suan Prung Hospital on 053 280228-47, ext. 222.

Chiang Mai receives English language tourism radio program

A first for Chiang Mai Province, Thai nationals and foreign residents have joined forces to produce an English Language Tourism Radio Program to specially serve long-stay tourists and expatriate residents of Chiang Mai and its vicinity. This has been made possible through the Public Relations Agency Radio Thailand Chiang Mai Region 3’s Public Relations Department.

Mrs. Chintana Bhandfalk, executive director of Public Relations Office Region 3 announced that the program, titled “Helping Hand”, will be hosted by Christopher John, a former dentist from the US and his team of more than 10 volunteers from Europe, Asia and South American, led by Sakda Silaprasit, the Thai coordinator.

The focus of the program’s content is aimed at promoting tourist destinations, local culture and customs as well as providing useful information for long stay tourists and residents. A phone line will be available for foreign visitors to call in and ask questions or chat with the host during the program. If a listener phones in and speaks English, the call will be broadcast on the air immediately. In the case of another language such as Mandarin, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Spanish, French or German, there will be someone available to speak to them off the air.

The Helping Hand program was scheduled to begin broadcasting on October 1 from Radio Thailand Chiang Mai, frequency 93.25 MHz between 7.30 and 9.00 a.m. daily.

MOI push for family development centers

UNICEF and the Department of Community Development in first local project

The Ministry of Interior is launching a program to set up Family Development Centers. This is being done by assigning Chiang Mai Community Development Office to promote family values, leading to setting up Family Development Centers in the communities in each province.

In Chiang Mai, the Department of Community Development will be starting this project in Nam Boa Luang Community, Sanpatong, sponsored by UNICEF, with the objectives of promoting the strength of the families in the communities, supporting the family development center in community, and creating new opportunities for the community in education and participating in family development.

The chief of Chiang Mai Community Development Office, Udom Maneekhat emphasized that the activities in the center would rely on the participation of the members of communities in the districts and would support and develop the role of leaders in the communities and share the responsibilities with the government in family development.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Governor’s Office arranged workshop meetings for the chiefs of provincial and district government sections and the teams responsible for the setting up and continuation of the Family Development Center between October 8-10 at the Chiang Mai Phucome Hotel.

It is hoped that staff that participated in the meeting obtained a better knowledge and understanding of Family Development Centers in community and are now ready to support the steps of the program.

“Chatting with Monks” deemed a success

The future’s bright - the future’s orange?

Monk Chat at Wat Suan Dok, on Suthep Road, has given foreigners a chance to sit down and talk with Thai monks 3 days a week. The program is involved in conversation and cultural exchange between Thai monks and foreigners who are interested in learning about monk’s lives and discussing Buddhism. “We are glad to have a chance to practice our English,” said Doctor Phra Saneh Dhammawaro, the monk responsible for this program.

Lisa, left, and Jennifer are seen chatting with a monk at the famous Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai.

For over 2 years, they have welcomed foreign guests, on average 10-20 people per day. The conversations are, in general, regarding the monk’s lives, Buddhism or even the weather. The topic is dependent on the interests of the participants.

The objectives of this program are to provide the teachings of the Buddha to foreigners, to support an eco-cultural tourism, and to practice English skills for the monk students. Chat days are every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 5 p.m. and 7p.m.

Lisa Mansty and Jennifer Kefer, tourists from Washington DC, USA, said it was their first time to chat with monks, and they thought the program was very interesting. They could share an idea with the monks and in return, the monks could also share ideas with them.

It should be pointed out that foreigners who want to join this program have to be aware that it is necessary to dress politely and conservatively, shoulders must be covered, no short pants or short skirts. They must also realize that a monk is not permitted to touch or be touched by a woman.

There is another program for foreigners that has proved to be very popular, called the Experiencing Thai Buddhist Culture Program that allows them to spend a night like a monk and experience Buddhist ways. Tourists can learn some of the teachings of the Buddha and Insight Meditation techniques.

Both programs have been arranged by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. For more information please contact at 053 278 967, 053 275 149 or website www.cmbu.net