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Buffalo blessing ritual in Hang Dong

Wing 41 is ready for combat

School For Life

Many feel The Power of To Be Number One

Buffalo blessing ritual in Hang Dong

Surachai T. Bunditkul and Nuttanee Thaveephol

Thailand has an agricultural economy, and relies on the hard working farmers to keep that side flourishing. The farmers, in turn, rely on their animals, with one principal animal being the poor buffalo, whose name is used to denote stupidity, but for the farmers, they are anything but stupid.

Baai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony starts when the master prays for the blessing of the buffaloes.

Hey you, take my photo!

Buffaloes can also be used to turn the mill that squeezes sugar cane for molasses!

Although buffaloes for a large part have been replaced by machines, buffaloes are still a national symbol of fertility and hard work. The buffaloes, in fact, provide the main power for plowing peasant’s paddy fields. Farmers and Lanna people realize this and honor them.

After the farming season finishes, the Baai-Sri-Su-Kwan ceremony is held to bless these buffaloes. The event, which a beautiful Lanna tradition, is an occasion for humans to humbly apologize and thank their buffaloes for their hard work over the past last year.

How are our bottoms? As lovely as our horns?

Women farmers pound brown rice in a large mortar.

A villager demonstrates the ancient art of wood working by hand.

Ban Mae Ka Nin Neua, Moo 6 in Tambon Ban Pong, Hang Dong District is where the many people perform the annual ritual. The ceremony takes place at km marker 25 from the Hang Dong - Samoeng intersection.

This year the event was held June 20-21. It included a show of farmers and buffaloes plowing the fields, women pounding brown rice in a mortar, wood working, Lanna music performances, buffalo riding demonstrations, and a Lanna market.

If you did not catch it this year, make a date in your calendar for June 2004!


Wing 41 is ready for combat

Ready to take to the skies and defend our Kingdom

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut and Nuttanee Thaveephol

Flight Operations at Squadron 411 of Wing 41 in Chiang Mai held an OV-10 jet aircraft pilot training graduation ceremony on June 27 at the flight grounds in front of the Squadron 411 hangars.

Fighting ready OV-10 jet aircraft fly over the Squadron 411 hangars during the pilot graduation ceremonies.

Looking lean and mean, OV-10 aircraft land safely after the combat ready pilots performed 4 sets of flight maneuvers.

Four ready to fight pilot trainees finished the course, and can now remove the “trainee” moniker from their titles.

The first was Squadron Leader Artirawich Paichit, a combat ready pilot who completed 2,000 flying hours in the OV-10. The second was Flight Lieutenant Uthai Neaung-rit who completed 1,000 flying hours. Flying Officer Wasin Thamrongrajniti and Flying Officer Matin Piya-amornmata, both combat ready training pilots with OV-10, also graduated.

During the event, the pilots performed 4 sets of flight maneuvers, taking them over the ceremony grounds. Once they were safely back on the ground and the four OV-10 jet aircraft were parked in front of the Squadron 411 hangars, the newly graduated pilots received their certificates from the commander. Also at that time, a Buddhist ceremony was held inside the Squadron 411 hangars.

Ten-HUT! Four combat ready pilots on the deck. In the background is an OV-10 jet aircraft.

An OV-10 jet aircraft comes to a halt in front of the Squadron 411 hangars.

These pilots have also graduated from preparatory school, the Royal Military Academy and Royal Thai Air Force Academy majoring in Electrical Engineering, Aircraft Engineering, and Public Administration.


School For Life

Marion Vogt

Jens Kronberg moved to Chiang Mai 2 months ago and will stay here for at least the next four years, being the coordinator for Prof. Dr. Juergen Zimmer’s School for Life. The idea for this initiative of helping children in especially difficult situations originated with Gisela Zimmer, who lived in Lindau on Lake Constance in Germany.

We call this picture ‘Hope’, since the hope to have the opportunity of a better life is reflected in this little boy’s eyes. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

Prof. Dr. Juergen Zimmer

My noodles - no my noodles - let me try MY noodles - its show-off time. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

Gisela became ill with leukemia in 1998 at the age of 85 and prepared a solidarity concert for children in Kosovo with the help of other residents of Lindau. The concert was held on the day of her burial in June 1999 and the concert goers contributed a total of 10,000 euro, initially to put the funds to meaningful use in Kosovo, but this was changed to fund a project for children orphaned by AIDS in northern Thailand.

The local project is mentored by the International Academy (INAgGmbH) at the Free University of Berlin, in conjunction with Joy’s House International. Financial administration occurs through INA, and researchers from Thammasat University in Bangkok have taken on an advisory role. The pilot study “The Development of Entrepreneurial Schools in Thailand” (Zimmer/Puntasen/Suksirikul/Wawsri 2001) shapes the project here.

Let’s make some noise. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

A young boy is taught meditation - one of the ways to find inner peace. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

Yeah! It’s weekend! (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

The goal is to educate pupils to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. An innovative entrepreneur is a person without particular resources who plays with an idea and carries it out in the marketplace. His best capital is a good idea that contributes to an improvement in the quality of living. This unique entrepreneur acts socially and ecologically responsibly and is successful without plundering resources. The people who have taken the plunge into running their own businesses have some characteristics in common: they were already developing entrepreneurial initiatives during their childhood, and they usually had difficulties with conventional schools.

The School for Life creates a setting that encourages children and youths to develop and attempt entrepreneurial ideas in a playful setting and without the pressure of starting a business. In this manner, they prepare themselves for situations later, in which it will be important to create employment positions for themselves and enable them to break through the cycle of poverty.

Jens Kronberg, School For Life coordinator, Marc Dumur, past president of Rotary and GM Amari Rincome Hotel, and Marion Vogt, PR & Marketing Chiangmai Mail. (Photo by Michael Vogt)

Miss Joy Worrawittayakhunh - project organizer of the ‘home stay business’ Joy’s House and Joy’s Farm, finds the time to go photographing with the children. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

To know where you live, to explore nature or just going for a walk - the School of Life is not just school. (Photo: Jens Kronberg)

Entrepreneurship education does not mean encouraging children and youths to jump head first into a rapidly spinning consumer spiral, it means educating children and youths intelligently, with the goal of attaining a higher quality of life while using fewer resources.

As we reported in Chiangmai Mail No. 24, the first 15 children have moved to the farm. These are children who lived in unbearable circumstances before they came to the farm - some of them had been left alone in the jungle. 23 other children are cared for in the village. Boarding rooms and a large hut for group meetings have already been built on the farm, and two teachers and three farmers work with the 38 children. 12 of the children attend elementary school in Pongkum Village, and three of the children will go to junior high school in Doi Saket. Access to post-secondary educational institutions should be made possible for them.

Jens Kronberg, the coordinator here in Chiang Mai, has a big task for the next couple of years, but with the help of the communities, dedicated people, the Thai government, the German government and his vision to achieve, we are sure to hear a lot more of this project: School For Life


Many feel The Power of To Be Number One

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut and Supatatt Dangkrueng

Chiang Mai Deputy Governor Parinya Panthong presided over an event celebrating the promotional campaign against drugs called “The Power of To Be Number One,” under the patronage of HRH Princess Ubolratana, on June 26 at Central Airport Plaza, Chiang Mai.

Wattanothai Payap School won the fancy parade.

The fancy parade against drugs showed the dangers of drug abuse.

This activity was also organized at the same time in Bangkok, at Rajamangkhla Sports Stadium, over which HRH Princess Ubolratana graciously presided.

In Chiang Mai, many activities were organized to encourage people to not only be more concerned with the danger of drugs, but also to pay more attention to and use more understanding when taking care of drug addicts. In the afternoon, many students participated in the “To Be Number One” parade, which started from the Buddha Satan religious site and finished at Central Airport Plaza.

Many educational institutes from in and around Chiang Mai participated in the fancy anti-drug parade competition. The winner of this competition for secondary schools was Wattanothai Payap School, and Chiang Mai Technical College won first prize at the college and university level.

The “To Be Number One” exhibition was held at Central Airport Plaza, and included a registration booth for the general public that wanted to apply for being a member of the To Be Number One project.

The “To be Number One” parade started from Thapae Gate and finished at Central Airport Plaza.

Crowds of people enjoyed performances like ‘The Power of To Be Number One’ performance, ballet dance from Chiang Mai Ballet Academy and ‘To Be Number One Teen Aerobics’ - basic dancing step from Jitra School Girls’ Group.

Deputy Governor Parinya also gave badges of honor to the first 200 people who applied for being members of the To Be Number One project. The participants made a promise to stay away from drugs and sang the To Be Number One song together with participants in other provinces all over country.