Thailand’s answer to Live Aid
Thai youth volunteer cultural artists promote tourism
Southern Breeze, a group of Thai volunteer artists, will
represent the northern region to spread Thai culture and tourism in Europe
and will donate revenue for tsunami affected residents in southern Thailand.
Northern Dance Medley with the Fon To.
To introduce Thailand’s answer to the Live Aid
concerts, a press conference took place on July 12 at the Three Kings
Monument, Chiang Mai Cultural Center.
The show featured several Lanna style dances, with one, a
Northern Dance Medley, featuring dancers with elaborate costumes, and a Fon
To, a mystical creature from old Lanna folktales, which roamed around in the
audience “sniffing” people and playing with the little children. An
elegant fashion show featured the many different types of traditional hill
tribe clothing next to modern Thai-style designs.
Southern Breeze consists of the new generation of Thai
volunteer artists who all have experience in performing for Thai
organizations abroad and call themselves ‘Southern Breeze’ as a
reference to the air freshening wind that blows in southern Thailand.
Panthong, vice governor of Chiang Mai, shows the artists encouragement and
gives some words of advice.
The volunteers have prepared a road show program to
perform in the West, including Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands and USA,
while other countries are will be added soon. The first tour will be from
July to October 2005, accompanying an OTOP fair.
The project needs a budget of seven million baht. Government and private
sectors have already donated four million baht but three million baht is
still required. Interested groups who would like to know more in order to
support Southern Breeze, call +661-8847270, +6618839797 or by e-mail
Center for HIV information
and opinion exchange opens
The Office of Health and Development Networks opened its
HIV activity center office on July 12 as a venue to gather information and
facilitate the study of HIV.
France (center), director of Health and Development Networks, and his HDN
The Health and Development Networks (HDN) is a non-profit
organization and is registered under HIV Danger Reduction Foundation to
spread information on HIV and other issues concerning health, by using the
The center provides a library, meeting room, HIV
information and advice and health checks, plus information on both Thai and
overseas HIV organizations. It is available for researchers and those
interested to exchange opinions about AIDS.
The center is located at 22-22/1 Rajapakinai Road, T. Sripum, Chiang Mai,
and opens daily from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2-4 p.m. Interested people can
call for more information at 0 5341 8438 on weekdays.
Club Tuktuk for Brit hits
(left) and DJ David (middle) of the Futon band from England and DJ Wan from
Mix Record Chiang Mai mixing music at Arctica Bar.
The British Council in conjunction with Arctica and
T.I.T.S. Radio FM 106.5 MHz organized the Club Tuk Tuk Launch Party on July
15 at Arctica Bar on Huay Kaew Road, to debut www.clubtuktuk.com, a website
for music lovers updating hit music from England.
Club Tuk Tuk is an online music community website, powered by the British
Council to show the best of the UK music scene, with relevant connections to
Thailand. The website picks up on the UK musicians performing in Thailand in
their ‘What’s On’ section, and some of the best landmarks on the UK
music scene are in their Interview section.
Thai students win two gold medals in European band competition
Students of Suanboonyopathum Lamphun School won two gold
medals at the world band competition in Amsterdam, Netherlands. On July 14,
they returned to Chiang Mai to be met by a jubilant crowd and the
congratulations of waiting relatives and friends.
Suanboonyopathum Lamphun School after wining two gold medals in the
Niwatchai Ratchalert, president of Suanboonyopathum
Lamphun School, said that the team had been Thailand band champions for 2003
and 2004, so the school was chosen to join the international competition
against 26 other countries. There were five divisions in the competition,
including show band star division, show band championship, marching star
division, and marching star parade.
He added that the team won show band star division and
marching star division to receive the two gold medals. The audience in the
Netherlands gave them a standing ovation.
All costs of the trip were paid by the school, students and parents and
some from donations and money raised be performances in town. Five million
baht had been collected altogether, with no support from the generous
government, despite its electoral successes in the North.
New Harry Potter release in Chiang Mai not as frenzied as in Bangkok
Vincent Leutwiler (student trainee)
After great anticipation during the two year wait, the
latest installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince, was launched worldwide last week. However, the release
was not a very big deal in Chiang Mai, compared to Bangkok where avid
readers were queuing at 5 a.m. On the afternoon of the release day, most
local book shops were still fully stocked with the sixth Potter book, and on
Monday afternoon the bookstore shelves were still stocked.
empty Harry Potter shelf at Bookazine, Central Airport Plaza
Perhaps through better marketing or pre-event publicity,
the Bookazine Book Shop at Central Airport Plaza was the only shop in town
where a real difference could be seen, 30 of their 40 copies had been sold
as soon as their doors opened on Saturday morning. Surprisingly too, 70
percent of the buyers were Thai nationals who purchased the English release.
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, several new
and important things happen, including the dramatic death of a main
character, (who you have to find out reading by yourself), romance for Harry
and his friends, and the answers to many questions the readers have been
The book’s main characters have matured much since the first book.
Although teenage and adult fans of the book won’t have a problem with it,
the younger readers might think it has grown a little out of their league.
The new release is even more dark and scary than the first five. 607 pages
long, it is priced between 650-680 baht.
Bastille Day remembered
A dinner reception at the L’Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient
To anticipate Bastille Day (July 14), the National Day of
France, Dr. Louis Gabaude, director of the L’Ecole Francaise
d’Extreme-Orient opened the wooden gates of the prestigious property on
the western bank of the Mae Ping River on Charoen Prathet Road on July 11.
Dr. Louis Gabaude personally welcomed the many illustrious guests and
scholars in company of Thomas Baude, the Honorary Consul of France in Chiang
left Mrs. Penth, Mrs. Heather Glendinning, Finish Hon. Consul Dr. Supavat
Poovakul, British Hon. Consul Jon Glendinning, Governor Suwat Tantipat,
Chamaiphan Baude, Dr. George Sioris, Dararat Shinawatra, Jumpol Chutima, Dr.
It was a dinner reception, and 90 guests were feasted
under the shades of century-old rain trees. Dr. Louis Gabaude used the
opportunity to officially announce the expansion of his scholarly duties.
Besides taking care of the important library of the L’Ecole in Chiang Mai,
he will go for two weeks each month to Vientiane, the capital of Laos, to
manage a project to modernize the facilities at the National Library there.
The more than 100 years old institution of the L’Ecole Francaise
d’Extreme-Orient, with its headquarters in Paris, also has a branch office
Baude, the Honorary Consul of France in Chiang Mai, Suwat Tantipat, governor
of Chiang Mai and Dr. Louis Gabaude, director of the L’Ecole Francaise
Another change concerning the daily routine in Chiang Mai
will be the arrival of the French scholar Dr. Francois Bizot, who had build
the fine teak wood house on the premises in Chiang Mai in the 1970’s. He
will use part of the house as his private residence in the future.
Together with French residents in the North, expatriates from many other
nations and Thai VIPs, they remembered Bastille Day, the French National
Day. This special day on July 14, 1789 – seven years after the founding of
Bangkok by Rama I of the Chakri Kings – highlighted the French Revolution
and the elimination of absolutism, when a furious mob stormed the Bastille
Prison in Paris. The expenditure of court, army and administration had
produced a huge deficit in the country and the people took their own
decisions against an irresolute king. This action changed and influenced
forever the history of the whole of Europe.
Au revoirs held at La Luna
The artistic community of Chiang Mai combined in a rather
different way to bid farewell to John Morgan and Guy Pace, both having to
leave their chosen second home for temporarily returns to the UK and the US
respectively. As their circle of friends outnumbered the given capacity of
both their homes, they agreed to co-host the party at ‘La Luna Gallery’,
a fact that added even more color to an already colorful group.
host of the evening, John Morgan (rear) saying his farewells to Bart and
Wines and Mediterranean snacks were on offer, and even a
short power cut did not dampen proceedings, but probably brought people
closer together. Following restoration of the power, guests returned to
admiring (and buying) paintings and artifacts on display.
La Luna Directors Sommai Lumdual and Lasse Norgaard have made it their
personal obligation to show off some of their finest contemporary art pieces
SE Asia, and to also show that La Luna is a community venue encouraging and
supporting the local art scene.
impressive international group (from left), David Levitt, Ogilvy &
Mather Hong Kong; Guy Pace, asst. exec. director Actors’ Equity Associates
New York; Lasse Norgaard, La Luna; Marion Vogt, Chiangmai Mail and Panomporn
‘Ice’ Sawaengsap, F & B restaurant manager Oriental Hotel Bangkok.
45 northern musicians and performers booked for the 3rd Concert
Preeyanoot Jittawong and Vincent Leutweiler (trainee)
The third in the local concert series will be held on
Friday August 6. The performance will be one night only, in the Kad Theater,
Kad Suan Kaew Department Store, and there are only 1,500 seats available.
Capt. Suchai Kengkankha (wearing suit), MD of Kad Suan Kaew and Thianchai
Sooktiang from Voice Studio at the press conference.
Nurak Nonsi, president of Northern symphony orchestra
said that this concert includes 45 Northern musical artists and actors and
actresses all from local areas, plus Joan Eubank, a former Broadway actress
and Rang Rockestra, a Thai artist, who would join the show.
Ticket prices are at 700, 500 and 200 baht (more information at 0 5389
4498, 0 5322 4444 # 19008 or at Voice Studio, 0 5341 0123 and 0 53602 4441).