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American Community Celebrates the 4th Of July

Beauty and Mind 2003

Best local handicrafts awards presented

American Community Celebrates the 4th Of July

Marion Vogt

On July 4, 1776, America claimed its independence, formalized with the signing of the Declaration of Independence from England and a democracy was born. 227 years later, this day is still celebrated by Americans around the globe.

The Payap Choral Group entertained with gospels and songs from Sister Act.

Practicing the National Anthems - or was it a casting for the Choral Society? From left Thomas Baude, Hon. Consul of France, Richard L. Deming, PhD, Professor Cal. State University, Michael Vogt, MD Chiangmai Mail, Preecha Pongcharoenkul, President Lanna Condo; Eric Rubin, Consul General of the United States of America and Mathew Abraham, Consul of India.

Relaxed, eating hot dogs and cheesecake as it should be done on Independence Day. From left Paul Mahoney, Becky Lomax, Bud Velat and Suchid von Boehm-Bezing.

The Choral Society dressed in the colors of the USA shortly before their patriotic performance which had everyone joining in at the end.

The birth and growth of the United States of America is of fairly recent origin, especially compared to countries in Asia and Europe. However, none have experienced such a huge growth with people coming from so many different places, all integrated today to belong to the United States of America. They came in thousands to the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, so their American dream could begin, making the United States a nation made up of so many dynamic cultures and peoples.

The US Consulate of Chiang Mai, the USA’s sole consular presence outside Bangkok, invited all US passport holders and their friends to an afternoon of fun, music and entertainment. The US community of north Thailand numbers about 2,000, most of whom live in Chiang Mai and as the afternoon proceeded, it looked as if most of them were gathering at the US Consulate.

One of the largest groups of American citizens in northern Thailand is composed of missionaries, many of whom are second or even third generation residents. The US missionaries in the early part of the 20th century founded still prominent institutions, including McCormick Hospital, McKean Rehabilitation Center (formerly a leprosy asylum), Prince Royal’s College, and Dara Academy, as well as, more recently, Payap University.

Consul General Eric Rubin and daughter, together with Professor Richard L. Deming and three exchange students Daphyne, Veronica and Omar who seemed to be quite happy to celebrate Independence Day in Thailand.

Andrew McCrady, vice principal of Payap International School with his family in this ‘tricycle’. They sat relaxed in the back while Daddy did his daily exercise.

Andrew McCrady, vice principal of Payap International School with his family in this ‘tricycle’. They sat relaxed in the back while Daddy did his daily exercise.Which one is Elvis? The tall guy from the audience who joined in or was it the smaller one in red?

Some of the truly elegant ladies during the formal evening, from left Yowvares Shinawatra, Ornadda Tantipat, Nicole Simmons, Somboon Suprasert (Auntie Boon) and Hope Watcharaprecha.

Mrs. Marianne Willemse from ‘Love Animal House’, who told people about her education center and sanctuary. Her book, a true story about an orphaned elephant that is ‘adopted’ by an Indian rhino sold like hotcakes.

That’s how some adults got rid of energy...

The previous evening, July 3rd, Consul General Eric Rubin and Nicole Simmons invited business people, colleagues, friends, and VIPs to a formal reception at the Consulate, where the garden was set up like an American garden movie set. Elegant people, a quintet in tuxedos playing background music, an all American BBQ and a joint speech by Consul General Eric Rubin and Chiang Mai Governor Suwat Tantipat gave it a very warm and special touch. It was especially stirring when all the guests listened to the National Anthems of both countries, Thailand and the United States of America, ending with a champagne toast to ongoing good relationships.

The next afternoon - the 4th of July - the gardens were transformed, full of partygoers, tents in the colors of the USA, children in a party mood, and the air filled with the smell of hamburgers and BBQ ribs. The day was filled with different performances by well known bands, brass bands, choirs, raffle prizes and the US Consulate even made it possible for the audience to believe that Elvis still lives, all ending with spectacular fireworks, which made it a truly unforgettable experience.

They really enjoyed the whole day. From left Karen Kemp from Regent Chiang Mai, Kathy Heinecken with grandson Zachery and Sherry Heinecken.

Most girls tried their designing skills at ‘jewelry making’ - they already know that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’.

Tug of War - helped the kids get rid of some energy.


Beauty and Mind 2003

Marion Vogt

The Gong Dee Studio, on Nimmanhaemin Soi 1, was the host venue for four young, talented Thai artists presenting their first formal exhibition.

Some of Wattanapong’s colorful and most emotive paintings.

Relaxing Body and Mind - the four artists with their patron (from left): Tirawat Sangpheung, Vichit Chaiwong MD Gong Dee Gallery, Eakachai Boontavee, Watchara Hongthong and Wattanapong Yothaitiang.

Beauty of the Mind, concentration and hard work stands behind an artistic Thai dance. In the background Watchara’s work is displayed which fits this type of performance.

Following the opening ceremony a very special Thai Dance was performed fitting the theme of the exhibition ‘Beauty & Mind’. The event was so popular there was standing room only for some of the guests and art lovers.

The four artists are all around 25 years old, but displayed their individual styles in art.

Wattanapong Yothaitiang expressed himself through colors and symbolism. Beautiful colors of different seasons, soft pastel shades, different size canvases, mysterious, spiritual and emotional.

Tirawat Sangpheung has all his paintings done in one size and even the colors he uses stay similar. Even so, every single one of his Black and White abstract series has a totally different character.

Eakachai Boontavee’s paintings have a very modern touch. They impart a ‘deja vu’ impression on one side but looking more deeply at the canvases you feel the genuine originality in every one.

Watchara Hongthong seemed to be the most serious of the four artists. While the paintings of the other three were very modern and trendy, Watchara concentrated completely on Buddha images in mostly brown, dark red and gold tones.

The exhibition is a great mixture of artists, with something for everybody. It will remain open until July 28th at Gong Dee Studio.


Best local handicrafts awards presented

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The Government Public Relations Office, Region 3 Chiang Mai held an award presentation ceremony for the winners of the upper northern local handicrafts competition, a project dedicated to Her Majesty the Queen.

Somsak Sawangcharoen presents an award to Prakaikeaw Kumsarn, winner of the hand-made, cotton weaved, Lanna-Thai style long skirts category.

Somsak Sawangcharoen presents an award to a representative of Noppawong Ratpathai, winner of the best silverware ornaments.

A local model wears the winning products.

The ceremony was held on July 4, at the Radio and Television of Thailand, TV Channel 11, Chiang Mai showroom, and covered the two categories of woven cotton and silverware ornaments.

The winners were announced by the judging committee made up of local handicrafts experts from the Industrial Promotion Center, Region 1 and other universities.

From the 114 pieces of hand-made, cotton weaved, Lanna-Thai style long skirts, the best entry was submitted by Prakaikeaw Kumsarn from Mae Sarn Ban Tong village, Tambon Wiang Yong, Muang District, Lamphun. From the 23 collections of silverware ornaments submitted, the winner was Noppawong Ratpathai from Wua Lai village, Tambon Hai Ya, Muang District, Chiang Mai.

Somsak Sawangcharoen, the Government Public Relations Department deputy director-general was invited to preside over the award ceremony and gave the presentation.