HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

New branch of National Health Security Office in Chiang Mai

4th Northern Raksat Festival for animal lovers

Budding gymnasts at CMIS

Baroque Music at Gong Dee Gallery

Great Christmas show at Christian German School

Fashion Week promotes Lanna traditions and local materials

Earth, Wind and Water

Looking back on a filled niche: Christmas among friends

New branch of National Health Security Office in Chiang Mai

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Dr. Sa-nguan Nitayarumpong, secretary general of National Health Security Office (4th left); Pongsak Wangsamer, Chiang Mai governor assistant (4th right) and Dr, Winai Sawadiworn, the deputy secretary general (3rd left) and officers of Chiang Mai new branch of National Health Security Office.

A new branch of National Health Security Office has been set up in Chiang Mai to support health golden card holders. It opened officially on December 16, 2005 at Airport Business Park building on the third floor, but had been operative since August this year.

At the beginning, the office has stressed on service standard development by supporting and encouraging nursing homes to join the health security project and checking the Medical Record Audit and Disease Management. The committees of National Health Security Office hope it will be advantageous for residents as much as possible.

4th Northern Raksat Festival for animal lovers

Kittiyaporn Kanjam and Pinutda Suwanchaisri (Student Trainee MFLU)

Female Bang Kaew Thai dog competition for ages 6-9 months.

Raksat Oversea Pet Shop in association with Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University or-ganized the 4th Northern Raksat Festival for animal lovers at the Chiang Mai 700 Year Anniversary Stadium on December 17-18, 2005.

Many visitors were interesting in the festival.

Vet. Kamon Awaiwanon, former Director General of the Livestock office presided over the openingceremony. The event was supporting and encouraging development of dogs species similar to overseas countries. There were also dog and cat contests including single fancy dog and fancy dog with its owner, foreign dog species competition, both small and large breeds, Thai dogs and cat species competition and Persian cat contest. Judges of the entire competition came from both Thailand and overseas.

Budding gymnasts at CMIS

Nicki Gamble

CMIS gymnasts perform the bridge

The new gymnastics club at CMIS is fortunate to have a very experienced coach. Catherine Erpen began her life-long association with the sport when she was just three years old. She progressed from being a fledging gymnast at Earls School of Gymnastics in the U.K. to becoming a certified coach who ran a successful gymnastics program of her own at a local sports center.

CMIS First Grade Student Sandra B. is already accomplished at the splits.

Catherine is passionate about the benefits of her sport, and thoroughly enjoys passing along her know-how and enthusiasm to her forty students. She is keen to point out that gymnastics helps children to develop good hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. For the past four months, Catherine’s students have been training in the special floor work skills required for artistic gymnastics, including body conditioning, rolls, jumps, and balances. The club will soon be acquiring a springboard, and a vault apparatus is on their wish list for the New Year.

Two sessions of the CMIS Gymnastics Club have been held on Fridays after school since September, but in response to popular demand, two more classes will be added on Monday afternoons. There will be an additional class starting in January (Fridays from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.) for non-CMIS students from ages 4 to 12 who are interested in learning gymnastics. A few spaces are still available — please contact Catherine Erpen at 04 741 5737 for more information.

Baroque Music at Gong Dee Gallery

Jan Verwers

The thunderous applause after the Baroque Music concert demonstrated how much this very special event was appreciated by the audience. The combination of an ensemble with excellent musicians, performing a program dedicated mainly to Baroque music, was something not to be missed. On stage was the Silpakorn Ensemble, consisting of four teachers and two students from the famous Music Department of this Bangkok university.

The evening started with older music. “Mille Regretz”, a chanson by the Flemish Renaissance composer Josquin des Pr้z (c.1440-1521). Originally written for four voices, here it was given an instrumental presentation by all six instruments: violin, cello, guitar, flute, oboe and harpsichord.

After this magnificent start, each musician got his ‘solo’. There was Antonio Vivaldi’s (c.1676-1741) “Sonata for Violin and Basso continuo No.2”, played by violinist Tasana Nagavajara. Ajarn Tasana is both a devoted teacher and a much sought-after soloist with a long career, both in Thailand and abroad. Among his spectacular achievements is
his concert tour with the Camerata Lysy Gstaad under the direction of Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

Flautist Worapon Kanwee-rayothin has been invited as a soloist by several well-known orchestras in the world. He has been the principal flautist in the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra since 1992 and flute instructor at Silpakorn University, Chulalongkorn University, and Kasetsart University. He performed Bach’s (1685-1750) “Sonata BWV 1031 in E Flat Major”.

A less well-known composer was next on the program. Jacques Martin Hotteterre (1674-1763), born in Paris, descended from a family of woodwind makers and players. We listened to his “Sonata for Oboe and Basso continuo in D Major”, played by Damrih Banawita-yakit. Ajarn Damrih this year completes his 7th season with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra. He has an impressive international career as performing musician, is also active as composer and conductor, and still finds time to teach at Silpakorn.

Music from Handel (1685-1759) was presented by guitarist Jetjumnong Jong-prasert. He played the “Passacaglia” from the Harpsichord Suite No.7 in Gminor. Jetjumnong is a second-year student with a full scholarship at the Faculty of Music at Silpakorn. He won the First Prize at several Yamaha Guitar Festivals and the Gold Medal from the 2001 Mahidol Music Competition.

There was another student on stage: Christopher Jan-wong McKiggan, a first year student at Silpakorn. Born in Christchurch, England, Chris moved to Thailand when he was seven. He is highly regarded as an accompanist at voice and instrumental concerts. That is also what he did here in a quite spectacular way, as he was on stage practically all evening, accompanying his five colleagues. Fortunately several compositions gave him ample space for impressive solos.

At the end of the concert all musicians came back for a beautiful finale: Telemann’s (1681-1767) “Concerto in A minor”, for flute, oboe, violin and basso continuo.

And there was an encore: Ajarn Tasana on violin together with Chris McKiggan on harpsichord surprised us with Bach’s “Ave Maria”.

Great Christmas show at Christian German School

Matthias Wolf

On of the highlights of the annual Christmas party at CDSC was the shadow play.

On December 21, 2005, CDSC celebrated the be ginning of winter break with an exciting Christmas show.

To start the fun off, all classes sold goods at our Christmas market and the money raised was given to charity. It was chaotic due to the line-up for the delicious waffles sold by
the 9th and 10th graders.

Each grade demonstrated how different countries and continents celebrate Christ

Afterwards, there was a picnic buffet on the soccer field, with some of the girls dancing to entertain the guests. After an hour, the Christmas play star-ted. This year’s theme was “Christmas in other countries.” Each grade demonstrated how different countries and continents celebrate Christmas, which included: Mexico, Africa, Sweden, United States,
and Russia!

All classes sold goods at the Christmas market.

In addition, there was a shadow play about the birth of Christ. Afterwards, all the actors sang “Silent Night”.

To conclude the Christmas program, the school band played a number from Michelle Branch. Everyone enjoyed the show, and most students left im-mediately to start enjoying Christmas Break.mas, which included: Mexico, Africa, Sweden, United States, and Russia.

Fashion Week promotes Lanna traditions and local materials

Chaingmai Mail Reporter

Orachorn Chanwiwattana, GM of Central Airport Plaza Chiang Mai (5th from right) joined the Northern Village Fashion Week 2005.

Almost 200 dresses designed by eight of the best-known designers in the North were on show at Northern Village Fashion Week 2005, staged as part of the year-end festivities on December 16 and 17 by Central Airport Plaza Chiang Mai and Northern Village Project in association with Tourism Authority of Thailand Northern Region 1.

The boutiques and fashion outlets were keen participants in this event, as the style relied very much on the culture and materials of the region. Each outlet came up with a special concept with some such as Sang Boon, Trueng Tra and Oriental Textiles displaying local textiles and patterns, Born 2 Shop presenting ready to wear dresses, and Earth Tone showing natural color materials.

All the designs were based around Lanna art and culture, the concept being to give tradition an international style and to increase the profile of Northern textiles and designers. An exhibition with stands displaying clothes and accessories was included in the event.

Earth, Wind and Water

Two young Chiang Mai artists exhibit at La Luna Gallery

Chiangmai Mail reporters

A muscular young man in boxer-shorts sings karaoke with his hands tied behind his back. Two angels with dreamy stares bend naked with soft pandas on their laps. Big mama is dipping her toes in the cold water, new busses have yellow wings ready to take off and even the cocks are flying!

Jittiwut Sriyang letting loose with a new selection of semi-abstract, semi-bizarre paintings.

Artist Jittiwut Sriyang is letting loose with a new selection of semi-abstract, semi-bizarre paintings, bold in color, and bold in depicting humans and celestial beings in natural and unnatural environments. The seemingly happy pain-tings often contain numerous symbols commenting on Thai society and recent events in the country, be it pandas elevated to Gods, monks with modern mobiles or the heavy death toll in traffic accidents.

Jittiwut is exhibiting at La Luna Gallery, January 14-28 together with ano-ther young popular Chiang Mai artist, Jason Tamthai

Jason’s style and tech-nique is vastly different from Jittiwuts, although he also draws his inspiration from Northern Thailand. He emphasizes the balance and partnership between man and nature as seen on his canvases – yet not so often in life. For this exhibition he has created a number of new paintings in his unique deep colors with smooth flowing lines. Blue icicles slide down the wall next to dense rainforests and a sun sets over a pur-
ple lake.

“We are pleased to showcase two of the best young Chiang Mai artists during the peak season”, says La Luna director Sommai Lumdual.

Looking back on a filled niche: Christmas among friends

Phillip Johnson Photos: Marion Vogt

On December 24, 2005, the newly formed Chiangmai Expats Club (CEC) held its first Christmas buffet at the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel. Board members expected around seventy-five guest to attend the event, however, one hundred and two adults and six children arrived.

Enormous numbers came to the first CEC Christmas meeting. Standing (from left) Phillip Johnson, Lucy Coombs, John, CEC President Jim Cox while (seated) Ploy and treasurer Don Egan are busy signing in the many new and ‘old’ faces.

The well-received affair, hosted by Chiangmai Orchid Hotel, was a refreshing way for old friends (figuratively speaking) to get together and share their most recent experiences in Thailand, and also a time for new expat club members and guests to meet new friends.

Jim Cox, club founder, was Master of Ceremonies, and was elated that so many people were having so much fun. Although this was not billed as a ‘meeting’, dates of some upcoming events were shared. Besides the hike (a steep one to be sure) on January 2, it was also mentioned that a trip to the Chiangmai Waterfalls is in the plan-ning (please log on to the Chiangmai Expats Club website - http://www.chiangmaiexpatsclub.com for more information). It was also mentioned that the next club meeting will take place on January 14, at 10.30 a.m., at the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel.

Half of the attendants came with Santa heads and even more had their photo taken on stage in front of the tree, as seen here Mate and Sak.

Don Egan, club web-master and acting treasurer, asked all children under six years of age to come to the podium and select a holiday gift from under the Christmas tree. After the children had chosen their gifts, Don conducted a lucky draw and gave out some very nice prizes to several lucky adults in the audience. Gifts were also collected for Chiangmai orphans and other children who are not so fortunate to receive gifts during the holidays. If you are interested in seeing what the Expats Club is all about, reserve some time on January 14, and stop by the Chiangmai Orchid Hotel. The Chiangmai Expats Club would like to wish all children throughout the world, a very merry Christmas and a fun-filled New Year.