Thousands gather at Wat Ban Den to
celebrate abbot’s birthday
On February 22-23, local people and other Buddhists who
believe in the abbot of Wat Ban Den, celebrated his 39th birthday in Wat Ban
Den, Tambon Inthakin, Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai.
style temple made of teakwood and granite tiles is one of Kru Ba Tuang’s
money trees, each made of 100,000 baht, donated by Buddhists who believe in
Kru Ba Tuang.
Over 10,000 people from all over the country participated
in the celebration that took place over two days. The abbot was presented
with 39 money trees representing the abbot’s age, with each tree carrying
The abbot, whose full name is Kru Ba Chao Tuang Natseeloe,
but people call him Kru Ba Tuang, was invited to act as abbot of the Wat Ban
Den on March 9, 1988. At that time, the temple was neglected and untidy,
with the buildings being very ancient and dilapidated. Kru Ba Tuang made his
work to rebuild the temple to become the outstanding temple in Mae Taeng.
As part of that labor of love, Kru Ba Tuang has built
around 15 items in and around Wat Ban Den. He has established a Lanna style
temple made of teakwood and granite tiles, a sermon hall, the temple’s
wall with lions images, monks’ canteen, toilets, monks’ residences,
temple, meditation hall, great hall, temple road, drum hall, storehouse,
Inthakin pole, and a Buddha image. These cost over 120 million baht, which
was received by donations from the people.
visitors also came to the celebration.
Tuang gave amulets to people who have done charitable works.
pagodas in Wat Ban Den.
10,000 people came to celebrate the abbot’s 39th birthday.
One of his ongoing projects is a 12-pagoda building
following Chinese star signs. The 12 pagodas, or chedis, come from the Lanna
people’s mythology which believes that as they die, their spirits will
stay in the pagoda of their star sign. Consequently, during their life they
should make a pilgrimage to their zodiac sign. For many people, their star
sign pagodas are too far away. Kru Ba Tuang decided that if all 12 pagodas
were in the same place it would be more convenient for those who wanted to
make their pilgrimage rather than having to go to another country.
The 12 pagodas construction will be supported by the money people gave to
the abbot for his 39th anniversary. It is expected to be completed later
Dressing up and partying for Chiang Mai Mardi Gras 2003
Carnival parties were taking place all over the world
this weekend - Carnivale in Brazil, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Fasching in
Germany, Gay & Lesbian parades all over Australia - and to celebrate the
occasion, of course there was a private ‘Mardi Gras’ in Chiang Mai when
Becky & Frank Weicks, both from New Orleans, invited their friends to an
authentic Mardi Gras party.
girls in black - from left Gai, from bake and bite, with a friend, Joy and
Paul, tennis partners in disguise.
Gras is of course a costume affair - Michael and Marion came as themselves.
Frank talking “New Orleans kitchen secrets” with Marion.
for the press - Marion & Howard.
thought of everything - the guests were even treated to a ‘lucky draw’,
and the main prize was sponsored by ‘bake and bite’.
Our wonderful hosts explained how Mardi Gras was brought
to New Orleans by the French in 1699. Throughout the years, Orleanians have
added to the celebration by establishing krewes (organizations) which host
parades and balls, and carnival has become an exciting holiday for both
children and adults.
In Chiang Mai, the adults were definitely looking forward
to Frank and Becky’s ‘almost traditional’ party - and everybody got
dressed up, enjoyed homemade New Orleans Food, and just had a ball.
The house was beautifully decorated and the food just
outstanding. Many people don’t know nowadays that Mardi Gras once was a
catholic holiday, and the official colors of gold, purple and green were
chosen in 1872 by King Rex. Purple represents justice, green stands for
faith and gold for power.
on the couch (from left) Christian, Richard, Renee, and Dieter, while The
Sultan himself just smiles away.
delicious New Orleans food - Suchid and Bud, both long-time residents of
the best female costume — Celeste, Monika and Marion, in their most
showed that everybody felt at home at Becky and Frank’s residence.
the redneck-bride (just married in time), must be due for delivery very
soon. Twins, we wonder?
Wan Kanobee meets Neptune - sorry, Howard talks with Christian.
married soon - Rotarian Rachan and his lovely bride Sailuck (Noi).
wants to talk to the press? David and Noi are eager to take notes.
Becky & Frank thought of everything, even a
traditional King Cake. For those who didn’t know what this is about, they
even had an explanation. Traditional King Cake is similar to brioche, a
sweetened yeast bread with an array of fillings. Up to this day, New
Orleanians place a figure representing the Christ child inside the cake. In
other cultures, the king cake might contain a coin, bean, pecan or pea. In
medieval France, the coin finder was expected to make a contribution to a
worthy cause. In other parts of Europe, those who find the bean are king or
queen of the night and in New Orleans, the person who receives the piece of
cake containing a ‘baby’ must provide the king cake for the next
gathering of the season.
All in all it was a night to remember, and the guests
shared friendship, fun and food.
Thank you very much Frank & Becky. We are all looking
forward to 2004
Graduation Day - a personal perspective
Chiangmai Mail reporter Supatatt Dangkrueng’s fond memories
Spending four years or more in any university is worth
remembering. My four years ran too fast and it is not possible to record all
the good and bad memories in the life on campus. But I have many good
memories from being a student of Chiang Mai University.
Two, Three, Cheese!
the happiest person, graduate or parents?
you for this bouquet of flowers.
The last day of being a university student is the
graduation day. It is regularly held at the end of January each year. This
year was the 37th, which means
all graduates are the 37th alumni of Chiang Mai University and it was held
on January 28, 2003.
I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in March last year and
I started working several months ago with the Chiangmai Mail. Since
all the graduates left the university’s life almost a year ago, some of us
have moved away from Chiang Mai to continue a master’s degree or to seek
employment in other provinces, but I am still living in Chiang Mai with a
new pace of living.
The graduation day is one opportunity for us to see and
meet old friends. I had been waiting for that day while preparing myself for
the ceremony at which HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn would graciously
confer the degrees to the graduates this year.
On graduation day, I was very happy and ready to step
into what was to be a big day for me. I woke up early, dressed in the
academic gown and went to have photographs taken with friends. Like the
previous years, the campus arranged for beautiful flowers and the road from
the university gateway was a sea of colorful blooms and crowds of people
could be found everywhere.
pictures among beautiful flower garden.
is the toilet?
through the beautiful flower garden.
The Department of Mass Communication, where I studied,
has a tradition among its students that first year students get together at
the flagpole in the front of university’s gateway to give traditional
cheers as a way to congratulate the graduates. Then the graduates will place
a donation into a black box as tradition expects. My department is not the
only one having the traditional cheer for the graduates, but I have no idea
as to whether they have to give a donation as I did, or not. But it is a way
for the younger class students to show spirit and congratulations to the
Relatives and friends show up to take pictures with the
beautiful flowers as the background. The flower gardens in front of the
campus become crowded with thousands of people, as well as the road heading
up to the campus and the convention hall, where the ceremony takes place.
All the graduates have as many pictures taken as they can, because you
don’t know when you will meet again. After this big day, everyone has to
step back into his or her own direction. Only pictures and memories will