HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Heinrich Boell’s German Christmas

22nd International Conference of Partnership for Service-Learning

Wat Pa Paeng celebrates its century

Impressive performances in China-Tibetan Culture Week

New Computer City in Chiang Mai

Heinrich Boell’s German Christmas

Marion Vogt

The Heinrich Boell Foundation (HBF) invited German residents of the north to a ‘Get together’ with Dr. Heike Loeschmann, the Director of the Thailand and South East Asia Regional Office. The functions and tasks for the HBF in the region can tend to be intimately related to political issues, but the evening at the Loeschmann’s garden was not political at all. It was an exchange of ideas, a sharing of Christmas spirit, with a candle-lit garden and great German food from the catering department of the To Nobody restaurant Chiang Mai.

Dr. Joerg Loeschmann, lecturer of the Goethe Institute and Dr. Heike Loeschmann, the Director of the Thailand and South East Asia Regional Office, chatting with friends.

The evening saw people from different NGO’s, from the universities, retired people as well as teachers, representatives from the Chiang Mai College of Technology, people from the travel industry, and friends.

Uwe Konrad (rear) together with Prof. Hans-Georg Bremer amd his wife, one of the 30 SES (Senior Experts Service) specialists sent by the University of Applied Science in Wiesbaden.

Dr. Heike and Dr. Joerg made it clear that there is a transformation in German residents during the last couple of years. They both agreed that there are many more specialists in different fields living in the north than only three years ago, and the networking between the different groups is getting better. But this is also thanks to people like the Loeschmann’s who organize these kinds of events to allow German people to meet and mingle in a non-working environment.

22nd International Conference of Partnership for Service-Learning

To be held at Payap University January 3-10, 2004

Martha Butt
Vice President for International Affairs, Payap University

Service-learning, leadership, participatory governance, sustainable development, justice and peace. The line of connection between these concepts and practices is clear and demonstrable. Institutions of higher education around the world are discovering that uniting academic study and volunteer service is producing a new kind of leader, aware of the problems facing communities, nations and the world, and committed to addressing them in a cooperative, inclusive way.

The 22nd International Conference of The International Partnership for Service-Learning will bring together educators and service providers from around the world to discuss how service-learning lays the foundation for leadership, that in turn builds stronger, healthier and more peaceful societies.

The Thailand Service-Learning Conference will begin each morning with opportunities for participants to meet with colleagues, learning a variety of programs combining academic study and volunteer service, discuss issues related to service-learning, and hear about research into the impact of service-learning on institutions, students, agencies, and communities.

These discussions and presentations will be held in the format of “poster sessions,” in which presenters talk informally with participants who come to their table. It is a great opportunity for College and University Heads, Faculty and Administrators, Study Abroad Advisors, Service-Learning Coordinators and Faculty, Service Agency Professionals to receive the latest knowledge to stay on top of the changing world situations.

The International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPS-L), founded in 1982, is an incorporated not-for-profit organization of colleges, universities, service agencies, and related organizations, united to foster and develop programs linking volunteer service and academic study.

The International Partnership also advises on the development of local service-learning throughout the world, makes known the opportunities and experience of service-learning through research and publications, and holds international conferences open to College and University personnel, service agency supervisors, and students, and which are attended by International Partnership directors from the various program locations.

Since 1982 more than 4,000 students from over 400 colleges and universities in the U.S. and 25 other nations have participated in IPS-L programs for academic credit recognized by the students’ home institutions. These colleges and universities include public and private, two and four year, highly selective, and open admissions institutions.

This year, Payap University has attracted some well known and distinguished speakers including Dr. Saisuree Chutikul Chair, Board of Trustees, Payap University and Member, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Another confirmed speaker is Dr. Adel Safty, Dean of the International Institute of Leadership and Public Affairs at the University of Bahcesehir, Turkey, and Permanent UNESCO Chair in International Leadership. Author, Leadership and Democracy.

For further information on this International Conference contact Yuthachai Damrongmanee at 09-6351552. IPS-L information may be found on the web at www.ipsl.org

Wat Pa Paeng celebrates its century

New Buddha image commissioned

Phitsanu Thepthong

Hundreds of people attended the two day merit-making ceremonies to mark the 100 year anniversary of Wat Pa Phaeng, near the Chiangmai Mail offices on Muang Samut road, Chiang Mai.

To mark this auspicious occasion, Phra Kru Uppatham Sassanakhun, the abbot of Wat Pa Paeng temple, arranged the construction of a big Buddha image, (100 centimeter width measure from the right knee to the left knee of a sitting Buddha). The image was named “Phra Buddha Mongkol, Sattawatnusorn Boworn Sassanakhun,” or “Phra Chao Roipee” of Wat Pa Phaeng.

The temple organizing committees also agreed to renovate the old sala halls, and to build a new one to house the Phra Buddha Mongkol image.

On the Saturday, 30 Buddhist monks prayed and recited the Lord Buddha’s teachings to show respect to the ancestors, and 56 monks prayed to celebrate the temple’s anniversary through the night of Saturday to Sunday morning.

On Sunday, Buddhist monks gave sermons, followed by prayers of all 75 monks who were later presented with offerings. Finally food and offerings were presented to 100 monks and novices as a part of making merits by Chiang Mai people on that day.

Impressive performances in China-Tibetan Culture Week

Pity the Dalai Lama could not attend

Natchawi Srirat
Photos by Phitsanu Thepthong

The China-Tibetan cultural shows are not so well known over the world, including Thailand. However, Chiang Mai is now more aware, following the China-Tibetan Cultural week.

The Sia Er Pah Village Dance, performed by beautiful Tibetans.

Tibet, the so-called “Rooftop of the World”, was a paradise for its people who loved to live their lives in peace in beautiful surroundings, with a marvelous and unique culture, including the amazing history of the Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has had unfortunately to live in exile, with his Tibetan government.

National Artist from Tibet Tan Jeung presenting the song “Delighted Heart”.

The performances in Thailand were also aimed to celebrate His Majesty the King’s birthday, and to enhance relations between Thailand and China, including propagating cultural art and tourism in Tibet, these days considered part of People’s Republic of China.

The troupe performed such beautiful acts such as “Knife of Loba People”, showing the dignity and unity of the Loba, who are mostly farmers and hunters. The performance showed a number of actors dancing with long knife, moving graciously and carried by soft music rhythms which charmed the audience.

There were other interesting performances such as “Drum Dance of Gonnar”, normally performed only on special occasions, with 11 special types of musical instruments, again rarely seen, such as the long horn and other wind instruments which created such a powerful sound it was causing goose bumps in the audience.

The Fine Arts troupe was set up in 1971 with only 10 actors, however there are now more than 100, comprising mostly of Tibetan actors from the Yeu Kar Jeur Region. Most of their performances are regional, and the Yeu Kar Jeur Troupe has displayed their unique art all over the world. A commercial, but impressive feast for the eyes.

New Computer City in Chiang Mai

Another spoke in the IT hub

Phornphimon Thimsat

Computer City is another IT outlet under construction and should be completed by January 15, 2004. This will be on Maneenopparat Road in Chiang Mai.

There will be more than 60 retail shops including one special seminar area and an activity area of more than 384 square meters. Parking space for 250 cars will also be ready for the opening, close to the main building.

Computer City is scheduled to open on January 15.

Major companies will be represented, icluding Hewlett Packard (HP), Canon, Epson, BenQ, Synnex, and Top. The products will be those involves with computers such as computer accessories and IT (Information and Technology) equipment and peripherals.

Chiang Mai as the principal city in the Northern Region has become the hub in almost every sector such as business enterprise, aviation, the International Trade Center plus Computers and IT centers.