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Exhibition displays the diversity of three regions of Thailand

Stalactites, stalagmites and bats

You can be what you want to be

Kind donation to Umphang Wittayakom School

Exhibition displays the diversity of three regions of Thailand

Preeyanoot Jittawong and Kittiyaporn Kanjam (student trainee MFLU)

Traditional products from the North.

An exhibition which displayed how the diversity of Thai culture from the three key regions of the North, Northeast and South comes together to form one national identity was staged at Chiang Mai City Arts and Cultural Center from November 3 to 6.

Arranged by the National Discovery Museum Institute, the concept of the exhibition was to show the interrelatedness of the local eco-geographical surroundings with local culture and way of life.

Thai society is made up from many different ethnic groups, and they have built their own towns and cities and created rules and forms of culture and tradition that have been followed from one generation to another. This has all melded into one nation, despite the different points of origin.

Demonstrating animal leather sculpturing.

The exhibition therefore displayed through photographs and artifacts the way of living, tradition and culture of three different regions, namely the North, Northeast, and South.

From the North there were traditions such as bamboo weaving, banana leaf folding, lantern making, and other crafts and occupations including Sa paper making.

The section on the Northeast displayed a local house and its kitchen utensils, the local dress, and information on local food. From the South came information on customs and traditions, culture and the arts. Music and dancing from all three regions was also included.

The exhibition will travel to all three of the regions it depicts. From Chiang Mai it goes on to Maha Sarakham where it will remain from November 24 to 27, and from December 8 to 11 it will be at Songkhla.

Stalactites, stalagmites and bats

Tara Colen

Grade 5 boys enjoy exploring the caves!

A visit to the Chiang Dao caves by Prem Tinsulanonda’s two Grade 5 classes was a day of learning beyond the classroom. The goal of the fieldtrip was to reflect on Term 1’s PYP Unit of Inquiry about Explorers, in addition to looking at the concept of change (however slowly in a cave!) with the current Science Unit of Inquiry. Grade 5 teacher Steve Shaw commented, “Learning outside of the classroom is beneficial for everyone- student and teacher. It was a great day out!”

Aek creeps through a small hole.

Students first toured the caves with tour guides and then filled out a worksheet on what they had learned. Grade 5 also gained insight on local herbal medicines, as one of their tasks was to ask vendors near the cave entrance about the various types, including “look gai tong” also known as “golden chick” in English.

Student Nont Panayanggool said that, “We learned that stalactites hang from the ceiling and stalagmites come from the ground.” Students also illustrated their account of their experience inside a dark, cold rock formation.

“A visit to the Chiang Dao caves is a must on any itinerary of northern Thailand,” said teacher David Best. “For students it represents a perfect opportunity to explore the geology of the area. This is the second year we’ve gone there, and both have been a learning success!”

Shade and Lydia learn about herbal medicines.

You can be what you want to be

Tara Colen

Through Sally Sizemore, a private designer, students got a firsthand look at jewelry design and how to examine gems to make sure there are no flaws.

College counselor Sheryl Cooper opened Prem Tinsulanonda International School’s first Career Day with a powerful statement to all students, “A career is not conferred with the handing over of a high school diploma, or a college diploma, or even with a graduate diploma. A career is established through the years by a series of pivotal decisions, leading to the work of our hands and minds that, we hope, will make our hearts sing.”

During the day, fourteen professionals from careers including fashion design, computer technology, international entrepreneurship, archeology, and linguistics came for a day of sharing their experiences with Prem students in grades 10-12. By choosing three lectures to attend, students were able to get a range of information about the path leading to a particular field.

Andrew Harrison, General Manager of the Four Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai emphasized to students that for international hotel management, “Languages are important. It shows you are interested, willing, and want to make a difference.” He also explained the hospitality field as very broad since there are so many aspects, including hotels, bars, restaurants, catering, and airlines. Although this is a portable skill, Harrison also told students that aside from the perks such as living in luxury hotels and eating at great restaurants, “It does not hide you from the reality of today’s world,” referring to recent international hotel bombings.

Students got a firsthand look at jewelry design through Sally Sizemore who is a private designer. She displayed various stones and explained to students how she examines them to make sure there are no flaws. Sally informed the group that she majored in Linguistics from UCLA in California, U.S.A., and then went on to take jewelry design graduate courses where she learned the art of stone inspection.

A rather large group of students gathered for three sessions around international entrepreneur Aly Miehlbradt, a Harvard and Wharton School of Business graduate. Aly told students about her consultancy firm, which works with various UN agencies, CARE, and various Western governments. Her projects aim to develop the economies of poor countries. She informed students of the pros and cons of her job, flexibility and a little bit less stability, respectively. Aly also stressed to students that it is best to find a career where one is good at what one does and one is passionate. Interestingly, she added that the best preparation for her career was her college experience as a rower. She learned to “work hard, persevere, team work, to never give up, and to know how to lose.” Great advice for anyone!

Among the other presentations, students learned how to get started in the airline industry, the film industry, in archeology, and even journalism. From exposure at Career Day, many students became aware that they do not have to know what career they want to go into when they leave high school, or even college. It takes time and passion to figure out what professional career a person wants to follow.

Grade 10 student Kritya Feldman commented, “I found the day very insightful. It helped me think of the future because I want to go into international hotel management. Now I feel like I know what I have to do to get into that field.”

Kind donation to Umphang Wittayakom School

Mario Greatti

After a recent article in Chiangmai Mail in regards to the needs of the students at Umphang Wittayakom School, plus another one in the Bangkok Post, the school received contact from some potential sponsors and people who saw the need of those students.

The first boxes of books are being donated to the students at Umphang Wittayakom School.

Now the first books arrived! Umphang Wittayakom School is still having trouble taking care of the many students staying in its dormitories. But it is not only the dormitories that need help. Thanks to the State Lottery office, the school received 28 computers. But besides the internet there is a whole world of information that can be discovered in books. But unfortunately the school doesn’t have the money to buy new books. The books in the school library are all donated by tourists and other schools, who have no longer use for them as they are outdated. The library has many computer books for instance, but for programmes nobody uses anymore. Looking for sponsors to upgrade its library, the school sent an e-mail to the SE-education book chain. Having learned of the hardship of the school and its students, they didn’t hesitate for one minute. Within 24 hours they contacted the school and said they would be happy to donate some books to the school. And they were not alone. Provision, who publishes books about computers, also responded within 24 hours that they wanted to donate books to the school to aid the students in learning about computers.

On November 14, the school received a gracious gift of 600 books from SE-education, more than the school ever dreamed of. Now the school has up to date books to teach the students about the fun of reading and to enable the students to learn more about the subjects taught at school. The students now can make their homework better. The school and its students are very grateful and are already making use of the gift.