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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Congratulations from HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani

Obituary

Older people’s potential in using culture to fight HIV/AIDS

Excellence in Nursing award for CMU’s Dr Darawan

Exhibition evokes the past yet speaks of our modern era

Concert to be staged by Yuparaj Wittayalai School in honor of HRH Princess Petcharat Rajsuda

Congratulations from HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani

On this auspicious occasion, I have thought about your birthday, but then a newspaper like Chiangmai Mail would have one every week. Nevertheless happiness is involved, including mine, when I read and learn about the happenings here, and what restaurants should be tried, which mostly become a source of happiness. All the best, then, for your third year.

Bhisadej

(His Serene Highness Prince Bhisadej Rajani)


Obituary

Jacques Valls, former French Honorary Consul

Jacques Valls, the former French Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai from 1990 to 1995, died at his home on Wednesday, November 2nd. He was 80 and has lived in Chiang Mai for many years.

Jacques Valls 1925 - 2005

Born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1925, Jacques Valls trained as a physical chemist. He worked for 20 years at Roussel-UCLAF, an important French Research Centre before being honored in 1974 by UNESCO in Paris as an expert in the field of scientific and technical information.

From 1976 to 1985, he was Director of the Regional Centre for Documentation and Library Science at the Asian Institute of Technology based in Bangkok. During his tenure, he spearheaded many projects, among them the creation of specialized centers whose aim is to improve access to information in Asian countries. In 1986, he was named Director of the Regional Centre for Research and Development at the A.I.T.

Having retired in 1987, he moved to Chiang Mai where his wife Rachanee, whom he married in 1975, was born.

Jacques Valls was the author of a great number of scientific publications, many of them translated in different languages.

In 1990, the French Government named him French Honorary Consul in Chiang Mai, a post he retained for five years until he really retired at the age of 70. That year, in 1995, he received from His Majesty the King of Thailand the title of Doctor “Honoris Causa” awarded to him by the University of Chiang Mai.

Jacques Valls was a Knight of the Order of the “Palmes Acad้miques”, a French honor for services to education, and a Knight in the French National Order of Merit.

He is survived by his wife Rachanee.


Older people’s potential in using culture to fight HIV/AIDS

HDN

Older people are a critical part of Thai society. They are significant and have the potential to play an important role in shaping society but many people do not recognise this potential. The last NGO Forum provided an opportunity for older people, especially those who are affected by HIV/AIDS, to get involved in tackling HIV/AIDS related problems and to show that they have the potential to do so with a little support. It was organised and facilitated by four organisations, HelpAge International, Mother and Child Concern, the Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV) and Clear Sky.

Some of the performers from the older peoples group.

The NGO Forum started with a play performed by older people representing Thai traditional culture, which emphasises the importance of virginity and how young people should behave decently before they get married. Traditionally, parents do not allow their daughters to go out alone or with a man because they believe that a man and woman should not be close to or touch each other because this behaviour would offend the spirits. In the past, people believed in spirits and if a woman was touched by a man, they both needed to apologise to the spirits by getting married.

After the play, the forum was led into a discussion on abstinence (before marriage) that used to be very strictly maintained in the past. One of the actresses, Junfong Mahamai, the 65 year old leader of an older people’s group at Baanti, Lampoon, said, “I think the belief in virginity is a good thing, unlike today’s teenagers that find love quick, leave quick and change partners very often. This is the way HIV/AIDS is spread.”

We also heard from Aud Suyaruan, 67 years old, who said he had lost four sons to HIV/AIDS. Now he is left with two grandsons and he needs to take care of them alone. “When my sons were alive, I used to tell them to be careful but they made some mistakes and lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.”

Many people have become HIV positive from having sex without using condoms. A lot of older people believe that if teenagers do not have sex too early or girls believe in keeping their virginity as in the past, it will decrease HIV/AIDS.

However, Titus Paipilai, a 30 year old participant, who works with teenagers, said “HIV/AIDS advocacy now has two flows, first ‘abstinence’ and second ‘safe sex’, such as using condoms to protect ourselves from HIV. Both flows seem in conflict but actually we can merge them together because we need to accept that society has changed from the past and providing options to teenagers might be the best way. If you can keep your virginity it might be good but if you can not do it you should learn how to have sex more safely.”

Usa Kaewrod from HelpAge International said, “I absolutely agree that we need to advocate for both flows together, to decrease infection then decrease the number of affected people. However, I would like to emphasise that there are a lot of older people affected by HIV/AIDS, in the same situation as Aud, who lost his sons, who were of working age. He has to take care of his grandsons alone on a low income. There is a lot of older people who live like this but organisations pay little attention to them.”

At the end of the session Usa said, “Finally, I would like to say thank you to the older people who are involved with fighting HIV/AIDS. I am speaking on behalf of people who are working on HIV/AIDS issues and would like other sectors to be aware that older people have a lot of potential to get involved with tackling these issues. If we can provide them with knowledge about HIV/AIDS then when they understand clearly they can share this information with older people’s groups. Older people are respected in society so they can disseminate knowledge and information to many groups in society, such as women and teenagers.”


Excellence in Nursing award for CMU’s Dr Darawan

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

Assoc Prof Dr Darawan Tapinta, head of the department of psychiatric nursing at the Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, has received the Excellence in Nursing 2005 award from the Thailand Nursing Council. The presentation took place on October 16 at the Ministry of Public Health.

The Excellence in Nursing awards take into account practical work, social services, research, education, services and high-risk areas.

Dr Darawan’s citation was for her work in nursing research. She has with other researchers, been particularly concerned with the nursing of HIV and AIDS patients, researching areas such as vaccinations, medication, family and community support, mental health and the care of terminal cases. Her research findings related to mental health care have been published for both Thai and international nursing workers.


Exhibition evokes the past yet speaks of our modern era

Nopniwat Krailerg

Belgian artist Christian Develter, who has specialized in creating images of Shanghai girls of the 1930s along with images of dragons and themes taken from Chinese opera, is holding an exhibition at La Luna Gallery in Jaruenraj Road from now until November 27.

Christian Develter and works from the exhibition.

Christian also likes to use images of Japanese girls in the traditional kimono, and often works in strong contrasting colors to evoke the old style prints while using modern techniques to create paintings that are unmistakably of our present era.

His exhibition is entitled Daughters of the Dragon, and was opened on October 29. La Luna Gallery is at 190 Jaruenrat Road, between Wat Ket and Nakornping Bridge. For more information, tel 0 53 306678, mobile 09 6357667 or visit www.lalunagallery.com

Visitors at the Daughters of the Dragon exhibition.


Concert to be staged by Yuparaj Wittayalai School in honor of HRH Princess Petcharat Rajsuda

Pinutda Suwanchaisri (Student trainee MFLU)

Yuparaj Wittayalai School is to stage a concert in honor of Her Royal Highness Princess Petcharat Rajsuda’s 80th anniversary.

Deputy Mayor Wilawan Woraputtipong (right) and secretary of the Cultural Council Jakrawan Wannawong (left) make an announcement about the HRH Princess Petcharat Rajsuda 80 Years Honor Charity Concert.

A press briefing to announce the event was staged on November 2 at Royal Peninsula Hotel, led by Chiang Mai municipality deputy mayor Wilawan Woraputtipong, secretary of the Cultural Council Jakrawan Wannawong, and Thana Anontawilad, chairman of the 100 Year Pra Paramee Poklao Yuparaj Wittayalai organizers under the patronage of HRH Princess Petcharat Rajsuda.

The concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday November 19 at Kad Theater, 5th floor, Kad Suan Kaew department store. Featured singers will include national artists Suthep Wongkamhaeng and Ruangthong Thonglanthom, and Daojai Paijit, Wongchan Pairoj, Chomchay Aroonchan, and Nitat La-Ongsri. Music will be provided by the YRC symphonic orchestra, with more than 70 musicians in the lineup.

Earnings from the concert will go towards buying land for Yuparaj Wittayalai School. Tickets for the event may be purchased at Yuparaj Wittayalai School Alumni Association and the information center on the ground floor at Kad Suan Kaew department store. Seats are 800, 400, and 200 baht. For information and reservations tel 0 5390 4919, 0 5322 4444 # 19008, and 0 5389 4498.