HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Food, fun and friendship

Funds for Forests

Tarzan, the musical continues through August

ICT to spend millions of baht to produce programmers

Canada, a choice to study abroad

Food, fun and friendship

Marion Vogt

Socializing, fun and good food - that’s the theme of the Lunch Bunch Group’ - a bunch of ladies from Chiang Mai who meet each other once a month to catch up on news or on gossip, to renew friendships, and to discuss shopping possibilities, of course.

The venue of the month of July was set at ‘The House’, a new restaurant which became very popular during the last couple of weeks, just after its soft opening. A delicious set lunch, served at the spacious, yet comfortable, almost feminine, dining area was very well received by all. What an ambience - everybody just loved it.

The meal started off with a gazpacho tomato soup, followed by a salad with feta cheese, and a main course where we could choose between chicken breast and roast beef. When the dessert, a lovely vanilla cream, home made cookies and beautiful carved pieces of pineapple, arrived, most of us were already stuffed like turkeys before Christmas. What a wonderful meal.

Before everybody headed back to work (yes, the Lunch Bunch group also consists of many working woman who love to treat themselves to a good lunch and stay in touch with friends), the obligatory picture was taken, which also shows owner Hans from Denmark and his very talented and hard working chef sitting down in front.

The next date and venue for the Lunch Bunch will be announced in Chiangmai Mail Community Happenings. See you there!

Funds for Forests

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

Chiang Mai Tourist Business Association in cooperation with Beer Thai (1991) Co. Ltd. and other government and private sectors arranged a charity concert by Carabao, Thailand’s most popular band, in order to raise funds for the Planting Trees for Tourism Project.

The concert was held on July 27 at Central Airport Plaza.

The Planting for Tourism Project intends to restore 200 rai of forestland to promote tourism, especially eco-tourism and trekking tours (jungle treks) in Chiang Mai. The project also encourages tourism operators and the general public to be more fully aware of the forest as one of the nation’s most important natural resources.

The areas where the planting project is being held were expanded around Chiang Mai to include the eastern area of Huay Nam Dung National Park, Pong Dued National Park, and many villages such as Pong Noi, Mae Ma Nai, Pang Pa Ka, Pong Ngan, Thung Yua, and Sob Kai.

The project committee plans to start planting on August 12, 2003, which is the birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen. They expect that the project will increase forest areas by 10%, the numbers of tourists will increase by about 10%, and as a result, tourism and service sector incomes will be increased by about 5-10%.

In addition, the Planting for Tourism Project aims to expand the idea of sustainable development for both tourist business sectors and people in the communities who gain advantages from the forest.

Tarzan, the musical continues through August

Metinee Chaikuna
Photos by Nuttanee Thaveephol

The latest play showing at Kad Suan Kaew, “Tarzan, the musical”, recently opened to a packed house. The play runs every weekend from August 9-31 at the Kad Theatre.

All the actors receive applause from the audience after their great performance.

Tarzan, the musical, is the latest work by the Kad Performing Arts Academy. Over 60 actors and actresses, all students at the Kad Performing Arts Academy, perform the play and are joined by one professional actor, Suppakorn Kitsuwan, a famous TV & film actor.

Hilltribe students, the media, parents of actors and actresses, plus close friends were invited to the successful premier. In all, over 1,500 people attended the opening night performance.

Let’s enjoy these humans’ things!

Opening night also enjoyed critical acclaim, with the songs and scenery receiving many accolades.

Director and playwright Butsaba Waesohhoh said that her inspiration for the theatrical production came from her desire to create an easy, funny play for children. “The most enjoyable aspect of the play is the characters, like the animals which can talk, sing, and dance. Many emotions are stirred in the play, as there is happiness, fighting, losing, and even tears. These feelings are being conveyed to the audience through the little actors and actress.”

Little Tarzan sings with a herd of elephants.

The executive producer of the play, Pol Lt Suchai Kengkarnka said that he set up the theatre because he saw that most civilized cities have their own performing arts centers to support and express their uniqueness and culture. He said he is also aware of the significance and benefits of the cultural arts, and he wants to arrange activities to support cultural expression.

Girls always surround Klayton, the mad hunter.

All of the actors and actresses are Chiang Mai children, except for TV actor Suppakorn. The actors and actresses in the play are only amateurs, but they are growing up to be professional.

“Could you be here with me, I will protect you forever,” said Tarzan.

A new member of a gorilla family, Tarzan finally kills Zabor the fiercest tiger of the forest.

Love at first sight between Tarzan and Jane.

ICT to spend millions of baht to produce programmers

Supatatt Dangkrueng

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) says the country is in such desperate need of programmers, the ICT is willing to loan 40,000 baht each to 3,000 student programmers. Anukul Tamprasert, president of the Software Industry Association, said that IT officers specialized in programming are in heavy demand in the IT market. At present, there are only 25,000 programmers working in the IT industry in Thailand. More than 50,000 are needed. The ICT Ministry has, therefore, come up with a project to train professional programmers. The project needs 3,000 participants to take part in training courses over a period of 5 months, which will be subsidized through a loan supporting participants with 40,000 baht each. Recipients will be required to repay the loan on a monthly basis over a period of 2 years. The ICT guarantees that all trainees will receive a minimum salary of 10,000 baht. When these 3,000 IT officers enter the business world, the ICT expects that funds will circulate within the labor market amounting to 360 million baht. This would be helpful for the money exchange of the businesses involved, and it is hoped that these programmers would spread their techniques and knowledge to others. Anukul added that currently 100,000 IT students graduate annually, but they cannot start working immediately afterwards, as they have to undergo a training period of approximately one year. Therefore, Anukul expects that this project will help solve the problem of the great demand for IT staff in the IT market.

Canada, a choice to study abroad

Nantanee Jedsadachaiyut

The Canadian Education Center (CEC) Network, Thailand office organized a seminar aimed at giving educational guidance to the general public, especially Thai students, on July 19 at the Chiang Mai University International Center. The CEC Network operates with the support of Canadian education institutions and the government of Canada to promote Canada as a destination for international students and as a source of contract training. At the moment, there are more than 175,000 international students, including Thai students, studying in Canada. Many of these students study computer and information technologies, and Canada has a reputation for excellence in such sectors as telecommunications, transportation, and engineering. Also, because Canada is a bilingual country with 2 official languages, English and French, it offers superior English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) training for students wishing to learn either or both languages, said Sucheela Pruetrujira, the officer of CEC. Sucheela also mentioned that Canada is the best place in the world to live according to a United Nations’ survey. Canada earned particularly high marks for its access to education, high life expectancy (due to universal health care system), and low crime and violence rates. Moreover, Canada’s largest cities, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have been recognized as world-class cities in which to live and work, for their cleanliness and safety. Importantly, the government’ policy also encourages multicultural diversity.