HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Survivors of the tsunami theme of exhibition

Jazz with a Lanna theme will feature music written by HM the King

88 means double luck and double blessed

Chiang Mai teen team wins regional round and aims to be Number One in finals

All in a day’s work

Survivors of the tsunami theme of exhibition

Nopniwat Krailerg and Preeyanoot Jittawong

Assoc Prof Dr M L Surasawat Sooksawat, dean of Fine Arts faculty, Chiang Mai University and Michael de Jong, representative of DAAD.

Goethe Institute Bangkok and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have organized the “Faces of Survivors” exhibition, featuring the works of Muhamad Igbal. It is being held from November 23 to December 4 at Chiang Mai University Art Museum.

The opening ceremony on November 22 was presided over by Michael de Jong, representative of DAAD, with Assoc Prof Dr Mom Luang Surasawat Sooksawat, dean of the Fine Arts faculty at CMU and Assoc Prof Dr Samphan Singharatworaphan, head of the Research Center for Earthquake Disaster also participating.

Prof Samphan presented a talk on the tsunami, describing how the shifting of the earth’s plates under the seabed caused the movement in the water which led to the formation of giant waves.

The exhibition featured more than 50 photos and showed how people turned to their various religions such as Buddhism, Islam, and Sikhism for spiritual help.

Artwork in the “Faces of Survivors” exhibition.

Jazz with a Lanna theme will feature music written by HM the King

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

This weekend sees a jazz festival with a distinct Lanna element to it organized by Kad Dhara at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai.

The concert will feature music written by His Majesty the King and other music to honor the occasion of the birthday of His Majesty, a noted lover of jazz music.

Many well known bands and singers are lined up for the event. Ko Saxman, Jennifer Kim and Phod Thanapat, the Infinity featuring Shanthana Kitiyaphan, Fusion Jazz and Original Composition, Bangkok Connection Band, Bangkok International Big Band and Jazz Big Band, ETC Band featuring Thostten, and Chiang Mai artists such as Ajarn Teh’s Band and Big Boy and Friends are all on the bill.

The concerts will be staged December 3-4, at 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Ticket prices are 500 baht and 1,000 baht. For reservations and more information tel 053 888 888.

88 means double luck and double blessed

Michael Vogt

Guests included (from left) Tom and Dot Delaney (married almost 52 years), Marti, Hermann and Outi Jussila, Awarit Pitchawong and Tanja Mussler from Chiang Rai, the bride Ta, her friend Pan, Roland and Ta’s sweet daughter Fai, and Chef Joerg kneeling in front.

How many people can celebrate their 88th birthday in good health and good spirits? How many people get married at the age of 88? And how many do exactly that on the same day? Meet German-Canadian Hermann Kleefisch.

“What a Life!” Hermann’s credo in his speech for his guests.

Hermann was a widower after 50 years of happy marriage when he decided it was time for an adventure and embarked on a nine months journey through 30 countries and four continents in a 1990 Volkswagen van, decorated with a funny yellow dragon. It was during this, he found his new love, and now his wife, in Chiang Mai.

Ta has proved to be his soul mate or as he calls her, “his lucky star”, and on Friday, November 25, on Hermann’s 88th birthday, they had the double celebration at To Nobody’s Restaurant in Chiang Mai. A wedding and a birthday.

Friends from Finland (from left) Marti Jussila, who has known Hermann since he was 12 years old, and his wife Outi, Ta, Hermann and daughter Fai.

New and old friends arrived, including people Hermann met on his journeys, and old neighbors from Finland, and the evening was a homage to life and love.

Ta, now Mrs Kleefisch, will have to keep up with her husbands pace, as he is currently designing, and manufacturing the furniture for their new home (that he intends to build himself) here in Chiang Mai. Hermann also plans to make yet another movie, and has a dozen (at least) of other projects in mind. Taking it a bit easier at 88? That’s not Hermann.

If you are interested to learn more about Hermann’s adventures, he has published an illustrated book (B. 580), telephone 0 5708 5934.

Chiang Mai teen team wins regional round and aims to be Number One in finals

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Phrao team, the Northern champion of To Be Number One Teen Aerobics & Dancercise Thailand 2006.

A Chiang Mai dance team won the Northern championship of the To Be Number One Teen Aerobics & Dancercise Thailand 2006 competition and will represent the region at the next round in Bangkok.

The Department of Mental Health of the Ministry of Public Health joined with AI Event Agency Co., Ltd. and Central Airport Plaza to organize the event, which took place on November 20.

This activity is to support both music and sport, encouraging young people to exercise and not get involved with drugs. Teams in the national round are competing for a trophy sponsored by Her Royal Highness Princess Ubolratana and scholarships worth almost a million baht.

The Northern round drew young people from provinces including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Uttaradit and Phitsanulok. The Northern winner was the Phrao team from Chiang Mai, who received a certificate from the minister of public health and 20,000 baht in scholarships.

The Northern representative team will now compete in the national final round in Bangkok on January 28-29 at MCC Hall, at the Mall Ngam Wong Wan branch.

All in a day’s work

Nicky Rowland

“Voluntourists” Without Borders (VWB) a non-profit initiative aims to work alongside ethnic minority groups and rural Thai villagers. (Photo: Brent Madison)

“Voluntourists” Without Borders (VWB) a non-profit initiative by Track of the Tiger Co. Ltd., aims to bring in small groups of tourists to work alongside ethnic minority groups and rural Thai villagers on a program designed to develop a world class eco tourism industry in the north of Thailand.

In developing an eco tourism industry under a system whereby disadvantaged local groups are given full ownership of the products developed, they acquire a fair and perhaps long overdue share in the benefits from tourism. They are given good reason to protect their community forests, a sustainable future, and the return of their dignity.

VWB is well aware, however, that many individual tourists will have only a day or less of their time to contribute. Consequently, they are looking for projects or initiatives closer to the city that would benefit from the hands on help, together with financial assistance provided by those “voluntourists” who, for one reason or another cannot join the main program.

Shane Beary of Track of the Tiger recognizes the mutual benefits of joining forces with other local organizations dedicated to fighting poverty and its related problems. “If we can harness the tourists’ desire to experience the ‘real’ Thailand and use it to create the opportunities for others to escape the shackles of their poverty, then we are creating something positive for everyone concerned.”

He also believes that in the post tsunami, hurricane and earthquake era, where conventional donor sources have all but dried up, “voluntourism” provides the perfect solution for the steadily increasing number of visitors who want to deliver their assistance in person - and direct to the front line.

If VWB can help provide “voluntourist” labor and funding to help your particular project then contact: [email protected] or telephone on 053-308775 and provide her with the relevant details.