HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Wat Suan Dok seminar to preserve Thai culture

Lots of fun during Parents’ Day at the British Council

Symphony of Glass concert comes to Chiang Mai this month

Recycle to make merit brings in B.500,000

My! My! Pie Sabai

Aunty Yon’s pork sausage

Wat Suan Dok seminar to preserve Thai culture

Metinee Chaikuna

The cultural conservation group from Kamphaeng Phet lectured on Thai lifestyle.

Cultural performances were performed around Wat Suandok.

The House Committee on Religion and Culture hosted a seminar on the conservation of Thai culture at Wat Suan Dok, Chiang Mai. The seminar was attended by over 600 monks, religious organizations, and culture councils from all over the country.

Deputy House Speaker Suchart Tancharoen said that Thai culture is the end result of its freedom for nearly 2,000 years, and is conveyed through the form of language, speaking, action, and customs. The results of the seminar will be sent to the Speaker of the House to find the best ways of preserving Thai culture as a government policy.

Outside the seminar, there were cultural performances, exhibitions, and demonstrations of Northern lifestyles.

Attendees at the seminar prayed at Wat Suandok.

Northern style market attracted the monks in Wat Suandok.

Lots of fun during Parents’ Day at the British Council

Marion Vogt

Getting an award is always a big thing. But getting an award for pupils as young as 6 or 7 is even a bigger occasion.

Learning in a fun environment at a young age ... and getting rid of some energy. The British Council even organized a huge Rubber Elephant for the children to jump in.

‘Fishing’ small gold fishes out of a pond was part of the pure fun. No doubt some of the mothers were not so amused with all the plastic bags of goldfish being brought home.

On Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February the British Council Chiang Mai held its annual Parents’ Day and Certificate Awards ceremony.

Parents had the opportunity to meet the teachers after some of the students gave short performances, which they had been rehearsing in the lead-up to the event. During these performances, the children were given the opportunity to show what they achieved in their obviously quality education in English.

To take the seriousness out of it, the event was held as a big garden party. This year the event was based on an English fete with a variety of games for the children to play, as well as entertainment provided by a magician, a clown and Kodi, the British Council Young Learner mascot.

There was also catering provided by La Gondola Restaurant. The happening was well attended on both days with children, parents and British Council staff all having fun together.

Kodi, the British Council Young Learner mascot is surrounded by some of the highly motivated young teachers from the British Council (front from left) Laura and Vicky, (back row from left) Jan, Johnny, Andy, Kodi the Mascot, David Hopkinson, and Russell.

Chatuchai Monirat, one of the proud fathers shows off his 3 beautiful daughters and receives balloons from the clown. All 3 daughters, Prapawarie (6), Panisoda (7) and Papawee (9), attend classes at the British Council.

Kodi’ the mascot takes a water break ... it sure was a hot day!

Teachers, parents and children head for the shade...

It was also an opportunity for parents to re-register their children for the new Young Learner semester starting on 17th May. In May there will be a new young learner course on offer, in the evenings during the week.

The KET and PET Preparation courses will prepare students aged 14 - 16+ to sit for international English Language examinations offered by the University of Cambridge.

Registration for new students for the next semester will take place between 5th and 9th May. The British Council offers courses at weekends for children between the ages of 5 and 15, and holiday intensive courses in March and May. For further information visit the Chiang Mai pages at www.britishcouncil.or.th

Symphony of Glass concert comes to Chiang Mai this month

Metinee Chaikuna

Zonta International Chiang Mai, in recognition of International Women’s Day and Zonta International Rose Day is presenting a Symphony of Glass concert to raise funds for Zonta International Chiangmai projects - Grandma Cares, Student Fund and the Thursday Club support group.

Last year, Weeraphong Thaweesak played glass harp in front of Bangkok Governor Samak Sundaravej.

The Symphony of Glass consists of Weeraphong Thaweesak’s glass harp show with a special performance from the Montfort College Symphony Band. Weeraphong is the only Thai glass harpist and one of 10 glass harpists in the world.

The performance in Kad Theater, Kad Suan Kaew, will be given on Saturday March 8, at 2 p.m. for students and again at 7 p.m. for the public. Tickets are on sale at the ground floor of Kad shopping park, DK Bookstore, Parker’s, Suriwongse Book Center, and Bookazine Chiang Inn Plaza, for 1,000, 500, 300 and 100 baht.

The glass harp was introduced as a musical instrument in China and Persia as early as the 14th century. Initially, the musician tapped a glass bowl with sticks to produce music. Later on, Christoph Willibald Gluck in 1746, helped popularize the glass harp making music by using 26 glasses and giving a performance at London’s Haymarket Theatre.

Weeraphong Thaweesak - one of 10 glass harpists in the world.

Weeraphong Thaweesak performed his glass harp show on the popular TV program, Twilight Light Show.

In Thailand, the starting point was 1997, after Weeraphong had watched a TV documentary on glass harp music played by an American musician, Jamey Turner. Weeraphong Thaweesak graduated in Music Education, majoring in classical guitar, but took up the glass harp and is totally self-taught. Now he has traveled the world with his instruments.

The Zonta International movement was established in the 1930s and now has 1,254 clubs in 69 countries. Each Zonta Club in the world creates service projects that best fit the needs of their home community. The local Zonta Club set up three projects, the Grandma Cares, Student Fund and the Thursday Club support group. These projects are to help grandmothers and students who are adversely affected from losing family members through AIDS. To find funds for supporting these projects, Jiamjit Boonsom the president of Zonta International Chiang Mai Club suggested the concert fundraiser.

Recycle to make merit brings in B.500,000

First day of project considered a success

Supatatt Dangkrueng

“Oh lord, please accept this garbage as a token of my desire to save the environment...”

Chiang Mai Municipality this past week launched the Tod Pha Pa Recycle project (recycle to make merit) at Wat Chedi Luang and gained cooperation from students and people in the 4 municipal districts of Nakorn Ping, Sri Wichai, Meng Rai and Kawila.

From garbage to “art”.

People and students gathered with their recyclable garbage to make merit.

People from these districts gathered at Thapae Gate, bringing with them their separated recyclable garbage to make merit. The procession then started at Thapae Road, and moved along Ratchadamnoen Road, to Phra Pokklao Road and headed to Wat Chedi Luang.

Chiang Mai Mayor Boonlert Buranupakorn said that this was the first day of the Tod Pha Pa Recycle project, and that the aim of the project is to make Chiang Mai a clean and attractive city. This first day was a successful event, with people bringing 275,000 kilograms of recyclable waste, valued at approximately 500,000 baht.

68 communities and 52 organizations from the 4 municipal districts joined in this program and Mayor Boonlert said he hopes this would bring Chiang Mai people to continue to separate and recycle their garbage and to protect our environment. He said a Tod Pha Pa Recycle day might be held again in the near future, and he invites people to join in and cooperate with the municipality for the next one.

People bring garbage to make merit at Wat Chedi Luang.

Children are being taught early the importance of saving the environment.

My! My! Pie Sabai

But never on Sundays

Miss Terry Diner

Next time you sit down at a local restaurant and enjoy a slice of quiche, spare a thought for Mrs. Beaton and Audrey Dootson. Before you say “Who?” or “Why?” Mrs. Beaton was the author of one of the most famous cookery books in the world, a woman who enthused countless generations of women to enjoy their kitchens. Audrey Dootson, on the other hand, is one of those women who still has a copy of Mrs. Beaton in her kitchen, and though Audrey’s recipes are, these days, her own - she will still acknowledge Britain’s great cook, the formidable Mrs. Beaton. While Mrs. B. never made it to Chiang Mai, however, Audrey has, and by a very circuitous route too, through Malawi and Tanzania, southern Thailand and finally here in the north eight years ago.

The quiche you are eating was probably baked right here in Audrey Dootson’s tiny kitchen, as she supplies more than 20 restaurants and guest houses, as well as supermarkets in Chiang Mai.

And as to the “why?” - well, the quiche you are eating was probably baked right here in Audrey’s tiny kitchen, as she supplies more than 20 restaurants and guest houses, as well as supermarkets in Chiang Mai.

Audrey has been a baker for 40 years, and there is no doubting that she loves what she is doing. In her garden she is growing tomatoes, for a new item in the bakery, one so secret she would not even tell me! While she looks to use local products wherever possible, she does have to import certain grains for some of the specialized breads. Other fresh garden items are carefully tended, to probably end up in one of her special quiches. In fact, after baguettes, quiches are one of her most popular lines.

Her range is amazing, with more than a (baker’s) dozen styles of breads, meat pies (including an Indian Chicken Curry pie made with Audrey’s home made curry too), eight quiches, ten desserts and even a meat or vegetarian lasagne and Scotch eggs and sausage rolls.

Audrey has a little coffee corner in front of her bakery, next to Wat Umong, if you just want a cuppa and shortbread, and the bakery is open from 8 each morning till 5 p.m. But never on Sundays, when she closes for one day of rest.

Audrey, it was a pleasure being with you - and the shortbread was lovely!

Aunty Yon’s pork sausage

Now accepted as Chiang Mai’s souvenir sausage

Metinee Chaikuna

What is on the “must see and do” list when visiting Chiang Mai, apart from going up Doi Suthep Mountain, the Wororos Market, Huay Kaew Waterfall, and climbing Doi Inthanon, the highest mountain in Thailand? Well, tourists should also buy Naem Pa Yon, one of Chiang Mai’s famous northern sausages, to take back home as a souvenir.

Aunty Yon sausages are made in a sterile environment.

Ummm, almost finished.

Ban Pa Yon (Aunty Yon) is considered the original producer of Naem-style sausages, and the reputation and popularity of her sausages in the north have increased for over 30 years. Because of the taste and unique nature, Naem Pa Yon has become a symbol of Chiang Mai. People from other parts of Thailand are reminded not to forget to bring Naem Pa Yon back home after visiting the north.

Aunty Yon was a Thai-Mon who lived with her family around the Thapae Gate area. Naem is a type of Thai-Mon local food, and Aunty Yon had the recipe handed down to her from her family. In the early days of her blossoming business, Aunty Yon would make local food to sell at San Pa Koi Market every morning, and her business flourished until the advent of World War II. During this time the economy was slow and Aunty Yon decided to sell pork, for it was the most popular meat at the markets. These products from pork meat sold so well that Aunty Yon’s family expanded the business and moved to San Kamphaeng District.

“We won’t put any chemical substance in our products at all. People can trust us,” said Sushin Niratsayawanich.

Aunty Yon uses only the best ingredients.

They moved back to Thapae Gate after the end of the war, but Field Marshal Piboolsongkram’s government confined Thai-Chinese people, for he suspected that they might be communist. Aunty Yon’s husband was arrested and she had to keep the family going by selling her Naem sausage.

The popularity of her Naem grew, and the business expanded again. After 1957, Aunty Yon changed her Naem’s covering from banana leaf to wax paper and then eventually plastic wrappers. People knew of its reputation and Aunty Yon’s children asked her to use her name and to make the brand copyright.

As she got older, Aunty Yon transferred the business to her two sons, so nowadays there are two Naem Pa Yon producers. The only difference between them are their logos; one has the image of Aunty Yon and two children while the other has the image of Aunty Yon only. However, the recipe and the quality are the same.

Sushin Niratsayawanich, one of the Naem Pa Yon’s owners, said that the Naem Pa Yon brand guarantees its original quality. He also said that another difference between Naem Pa Yon and other Naem sausages is the natural ingredients. “We won’t put any chemical substance in our products at all. People can trust us,” he said.

The company also still produces some sausages using the banana leaf recipe, which they sell in the Walking Street every weekend.