Vol. V No. 30 - Saturday July 22, - July 28, 2006
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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai center of knowledge

Auspicious Birthday for Borvorn

Helping hill-tribe hostel students have a better life

Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai center of knowledge

Everybody knows that knowledge is essential to keep abreast of the current wave of globalization that is rapidly taking place in the world. At present, there are several ways to acquire knowledge: by studying from books, VCD’s and DVD’s, the media or the Internet by using a computer, depending on each individual’s interests.

Various books can also be found in Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai.

Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai, located on Chang Klan Road near the Night Bazaar, has become known as the largest IT shopping mall outside of Bangkok, distributing quality computers and IT products at reasonable prices. Pantip Plaza also has several bookstores like SE-Ed Book and Dok Ya on the first floor and caters for anyone who requires books for study. These two bookshops distribute various books and magazines in Thai and foreign languages, moreover, books can be ordered from overseas worldwide and members will receive a 5 percent discount (except on journals). There are also special discount prices offered every month. This place also distributes computers and software to use in searching for knowledge in the cyber world.
There are many computer shops located on every floor of Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai. For example, Q-Computer has shops on the first and second floors that distribute computer programs, All Zone; a source of entertainment for both movie and music CDs and DVDs. Senior Soft on the third floor and Custom Software on the fourth floor, each distributing instant programs and accepting commissions to write software programs for use by various organizations. NC Digisoft on the third floor and CD Land on the fourth floor both distribute computer games, computer training programs, practicing programs and animation techniques shown on instructional CD Roms. The pursuit of knowledge using computers is certainly available at Pantip Plaza Chiang Mai. For more information call 0-5328-8383.

Auspicious Birthday for Borvorn

Chiangmai Mail reporters
The recent 60
th Birthday of one of Chiang Mai’s “favorite sons” Borvorn Sripaurya provided an excellent opportunity for Chiangmai Mail G.M. Murray Dickson to learn a little more about Thai culture.
Borvorn’s wife, Acha (Aoy) and his sons, Garn and Grit invited Murray to join family and friends to attend the Pitee Sueb Cha-Ta: Ceremony for Auspiciousness that had been arranged to mark Borvorn’s birthday.

“Borvorn Sripaurya lights candles at his Pitee Sueb Cha-Ta.”

Our G.M. was keen to find out about the significance of the ceremony and thought it would also be of great interest to other Farangs in our community.
Pitee Sueb Cha-Ta is an old Thai custom, carried out on, amongst other occasions, special birthdays and anniversaries such as the 24th, 36th, 48th, 60th and 72nd. This ceremony which lasted about an hour and a half was carried out under a decorated “wigwam” like structure. Holy thread links the celebrants’ heads to the top of the frame and leads to the Monk’s alms-bowl, filled with Holy water in front of a Buddha image. The Monks hold the Holy thread while they pray. The head Monk then ties the Holy thread to the wrists of the celebrants. This particular ceremony also included the optional lighting of candles and concluded with the head Monk sprinkling Holy water on the guests. The Auspicious ceremony was followed by a lavish lunch in the grounds of the family home and an even more sumptuous dinner at the Amari Rincome Hotel.

“Borvorn Sripaurya (3rd left) his wife, Acha “Aoyb (standing) with guests Klaus & Saibura Bettenhausen and Murray Dickson (far right.)

Helping hill-tribe hostel students have a better life

Pramote Eua-Amnuay President of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North
Steve Townsend, a representative from the Rotary Foundation, along with delegations from the Rotary Clubs of Chiang Mai visited a hill-tribe student hostel at San Hok Far Village, Phrao District Chiang Mai. The grand opening was on July 9th and they were joined by more than 800 guests. This hostel will be a home for more than 100 hill-tribe students.

Pramote Eua-Amnuay, president of the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North, with Steve Townsend.

It is one of “Student Hostels and Integrated Agriculture” projects that have been implemented under a Matching Grant No. 56503 in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Chiang Mai North, D. 3360; Rotary Club of Missouri, D.6060 Zones 29 – 30; and Heifer International Thailand.
In the past, these students lived in very remote high mountainous areas without any aid organizations to provide essential basic services such as healthcare and education. They traveled long distances to reach a school, so their parents decided to send them to hostels situated close to a school. Packed with around 50 students, these so-called hostels were simply crude bamboo shacks; roughly built and had no electricity or running water.
With the assistance and expertise of Heifer International Thailand, more than 450 students can now be accommodated in the new student hostels in three provinces, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, and Mae Hong Son. As well as providing clean, well appointed accommodation, the hostels also have an assortment of animals, a bio-gas unit, vegetable seeds, and the students receive training to learn how to manage those animals and are also taught sustainable crop production.
Following self-sufficiency initiatives as advocated by His Majesty the King, this hostel project applied various integrated agricultural activities to support students’ daily needs such as pigs, laying chickens, frogs, fish, a small mushroom farm and an organic vegetable garden.
Careful management of these facilities will reduce the food expenses of the hostel while increasing food nutrition. A water filtration system was also installed nearby the hostels, offering clean drinking water to both students and animals.
Students will be encouraged to maximize the resources resulting from their farming activities such as making compost from the animal’s manure, collecting pig manure for producing cooking gas with the by-product of good quality fertilizer, leading to sustainable development of the hostel as well as individual and group self-reliance in the future.
It is hoped that the hostel will become a learning center for both parents and students. The children will learn how to raise animals, practice basic animal husbandry and self-feed formulation and so on, which can apply to their daily lives when they go back home during the school vacation or for their future lives on attaining adulthood. It is hoped that this project will help the students lead worthwhile and fulfilling lives in the future.

Steve Townsend senior coordinator of the Rotary Foundation and Rotary Clubs of Chiang Mai delegation.

Rotary delegates visited student hostel activities.

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