Holiday Inn hosts
Christmas Charity Party
Enjoying the Christmas festivities are Inga,
Mathew, David and Aow (standing) with Tim, Eleanor, Marisa and Sabina
Holiday Inn’s Tharatong Ballroom was the venue on the evening of
December 6 for the first Christmas Charity Party organized by Dirk
Weeber-Arayatumsopon, president of Thailandfreunde e.V., his vice-president
Wuttipong, and Jenny Bleadon. One hundred and fifty guests, both Thai and
foreign, gathered to enjoy the festivities, together with guest of honour,
Khun Sahawat, director of the Regional Office of Fine Arts.
After an enjoyable buffet with some delicious desserts, the evening’s
entertainment began with music provided by Antoine Garth and his trio of
talented musicians from Payap University. A raft of talented entertainers
were engaged to give the guests a great show, including dancers from the
College of Dramatic Arts and Van Ping Massage and Spa, and a greatly
appreciated local magician, Tripoom Kanjanavirote, who amazed the audience
with his skills.
A nostalgic touch was provided by Antoine, who led the guests in an A
cappella rendition of the traditional Christmas carol, ‘Silent Night – Holy
Night.’ For the children present, Dirk played Santa Claus, distributing
gifts to all, and funds were raised for the various charities by raffles and
auctions throughout the evening.
On behalf of Thailandfreunde e.V., Dirk presented three awards for generous
donations. The first was to Christa Söllner from the city of Nuremberg,
Germany, for her donations throughout 2008. Pranee Nok Srila-Ong received an
award for her generosity in providing funds for a sick child’s operation.
Bluechips Microhouse Co., Ltd.’s directors Thomas and Sabine Zimpfer also
received an award to mark their generous donations.
Of the funds raised by the night’s festivities, Croston House will receive
requested goods to the value of 85,590 baht, and a further 80,590 baht will
be used by Thailandfreunde e.V. to help underprivileged children here in the
North of Thailand. 30,000 baht will be donated at a later date to Chiang
Mai’s School for the Blind.
At the end of a very successful evening, Dirk thanked the sponsors, Fashion
King and the Podology Center, and invited the guests to return in March for
the next event, ‘A Carnival of Cultures.’
Rachel and Chas’ wedding party raises the roof
Under extreme influence of copious amounts of alcohol, I am writing
this, to report with spontaneity the festivities I attended this evening.
Tonight was the party at Tuskers to celebrate the wedding of Rachel and
Chas. They became Mr. and Mrs. Tuskers last month in England – well,
Scotland, actually. As they’re already a legendary couple in Chiang Mai,
this was an event of major proportions.
and Rachel show a photo of their actual wedding.
We dressed in our best and rode a ‘red coach’ to Tuskers. Rachel looked
absolutely fabulous in a lovely Thai wedding dress, gold and white, with
gold in her blond hair. Chas was not as beautiful, but glowingly handsome in
a shirt designed for his bachelor party (he was wearing pants as well). On
the back of the shirt was a picture of a man in jail and the caption read,
“I’m getting married in the morning.” When complemented on his beautiful
bride, he agreed that he really is a lucky bloke.
The waitresses were all dressed in sparkly Thai dresses, and the party
began. Someone mentioned the buffet was open, and, with all the finesse of
storming water buffalos, the crowd gathered around the groaning tables. The
food was beautiful and yummy.
Then, Chas and a brave close friend began the karaoke with a stunning song.
At first, reluctant, people emerged into their alter egos, belting out songs
with no hesitant fears, ‘Why, Why, Why, Delilah?’ …which encouraged others
to became brave. Suddenly, star fever caught on, and not only were people
fighting to get up on stage, some staggered in half way through the songs,
becoming background singers!
‘YMCA’ invited the slightly sloshed audience to participate, although most
had forgotten how to do the letters. The karaoke audience began to heat up.
Phillip, usually a very uptown conservative-type person, gave a powerful and
emotional rendition of ‘Hotel California.’ His autograph was immediately
requested by a star stuck fan.
A well educated and quite proper British man yelled in my ear that the
karaoke singing was at a hitherto unparalleled skill level he had not
witnessed before. The Brits do have a way with words…
A group, rather well dressed, came in fashionably late, saying they had left
a posh event because the music was very loud. They found themselves in a
setting of even more noise and frivolity and adjusted quite well. ‘Sex Bomb’
was a resounding hit, with the blushing bride taking center stage. By this
time, people across the street were dancing and singing along, and tuk tuks
were slowing down in the street to catch the action.
One very well respected woman, editor of a popular Chiang Mai magazine, was
sighted in the audience shaking her bootie in a lovely blue silk dress. She
told me it was quite all right to report this. No shame. People who are
usually rather sedate were snapping fingers and moving parts of their bodies
they had forgotten about years ago.
The feverish festivities continued on, with everyone caught up in them. It
was an evening where everyone let their hair down to celebrate the wedding
of two of Chiang Mai’s favorite citizens. Thank you Rachel and Chas for a
Footnote: While editing this, this morning, I ignored my husband’s whining
pleas to go buy him a beer. He suddenly realized he had been watching TV for
an hour with his reading glasses. He walked out the door for the elevator
saying weakly, “Here I go!” Like I said, a wonderful party!
It was a full house for the
The 6th Payap International Day – the best ever
Payap University recently held its 6th International Day on December
3 at its Mae Khao Campus, launching the event in style with a choir of
international students singing the Thai National Anthem in perfect harmony.
‘Turkey Booth’ proved one of the most popular of the 40 booths at the event.
Performances continued with martial arts displays, acoustic performances
and, showcasing the well-known musical talents of Payap’s students, songs,
musical interludes and dance, including rap and hip-hop, all high on the
Visitors to the event had been advised of two suggested requirements –
firstly, that they should, if possible, come in vibrant traditional costume,
and secondly, that they should come hungry! The colourful scenes all over
the campus reflected the success of the first request. The second was amply
rewarded by the huge selection of international cuisine available. Delicious
dishes from all over Europe, Asia the Middle East and North America were on
offer, and everyone took full advantage.
Fun and games for all included a ‘dunk tank,’ virtual pinball, trivia games,
cookie decorating and calligraphy.
The whole event gave students, families and friends the opportunity to learn
about different cultures and traditions from around the world. A ‘fun’
contest involved buying a ‘Payap passport’ for 20 baht, then collecting
‘country stamps’ from as many of the 40 different booths as possible.
Mystery prizes were awarded to the first guests who collected 10 stamps. At
the end of the day, everyone agreed that the 6th International Day was the
Chiang Mai Friends’
Group Christmas meeting
The Christmas Party meeting of the Chiang Mai Friends’ Group will
take place on December 23, at JJ Market, just behind the Kam Thieng flower
market and close to the Superhighway. A special treat will be a display of
classical northern Thai dances by a very talented young girl, Nong Plum, who
has been dancing since she was 2 years old, and who has prepared a special
show for the group.
Joe and Martha, from Alaska, will present a slide-show of their home state,
just in case anyone misses snow! This promises to be very interesting, as
Martha has an Eskimo background. The informal open forum is a great chance
to share experiences, met new friends, network, and help others, so bring
your business cards and your ideas.
Breaking news is that the Chiang Mai municipality are organising a New Year
countdown from December 26 to New Years’ Eve itself, at Thapae Gate, and
have asked people from all walks of life to join in and make it a great
celebration. Chiang Mai Friends’ Group will, of course, take part and hope
to present a slideshow of exactly what foreign residents are doing to
enhance the city.
If anyone would like to send photos (with descriptions) to be included,
please could they do so as soon as possible. If the more theatrically
inclined amongst you would like to participate on December 26, perhaps with
a song or dance, please also get in touch with Khun Boong.
Sounds like a great way to celebrate New Year - come to JJ Market on
December 23 and hear all about it. Confirm your reservation by December 20 -
dinner and meeting is 250 baht, meeting is 80 baht.
‘Rio’ wins JJ Markets talent contest
‘Rio’ were top of the pops at
the 2008 JJ Markets talent contest.
The second annual JJ Markets’ talent contest, specifically aimed at
young musicians, singers and bands, has been ongoing since last May, with
hopefuls queuing to enter each month and their eyes on the coveted top spot.
December 4 was the day all the finalists of each month’s contest had been
waiting for – the final round itself – and graced by the presence of Chiang
Mai Mayor, Dr. Duentemduang na Chiengmai, the 2nd Annual Talent Competition
Final 2008 got underway at JJ Markets Kam Thieng.
Since May, many talented kids had taken part in the heats, including, for
the first time, a special heat for entrants from Chiang Mai’s international
schools and one specifically for solos and duets. The overall winners were
‘Rio,’ who accepted a cheque for 10,000 baht. The Chiang Mai Mail wishes
them all the very best for the future.
At the end of the evening, Dr. Duentemduang was presented with another
cheque, this time for 22,550 baht, to be donated to His Majesty the King’s
The huge number of musically talented youngsters in this city might like to
take note that the 3rd Annual Talent Competition will start in May 2009.
Gate Theatre Group gets a
‘thank you’ party from ArtSpace on 7
Definitely a ‘full house’ at
Artspace on 7.
After an extremely successful run of The Eight Reindeer Monologues
recently, Artspace on 7 held a ‘thank you’ party for the Gate Theatre Group
and its many followers. For those who missed it this time, the play will
have a second run on December 21, then on December 24 - 28. Don’t miss it
The co-hosts of ArtSpace, Laura, Chadwick and Bradley, designated the party
as an ‘open mike’ event, resulting in Bradley, who stars in the ‘Monologues’
as a (very fetching) gay reindeer, repeating his characterisation for the
assembled crowd - who appeared to love every minute of it.
Laura told the Chiang Mai Mail that ArtSpace is planning a very
special event early in the New Year, entitled ‘Where is my Prize?’ - a
one-man show featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim with Antoine Garth as
the ‘one man’, and David Wilson accompanying him on the piano. It promises
to be an evening of music and hilarity through spoken word and song, with
Antoine exploring fate, fortune, relationships and how the choices made in
the past affect the present. For further details contact
FERC Board and supporters donate to Lahu village
Board members and supporters of the Foundation for the Education of
Rural Children (FERC) travelled to Ban Huay Pa Hon Lahu village in Chiang
Dao district to distribute 50,000 baht’s worth of school furnishings and
supplies, purchased with part of the money raised at ‘Let Us Entertain
You!,’ FERC’s recent fund-raising event at the Shangri-La Hotel.
The school is part of the Department of Education’s non-formal educational
program, and was built with funds donated by the Bangkok TV station, ITV.
The program provides education to preschool children to prepare them for
entry into the Thai public school system. While the focus with these little
ones is on Thai language skills, which they must learn in order to be
admitted into Thai schools, they also learn counting, colours, how to tell
time, puzzle-solving and general skills in living.
The teacher, Pongpan Suwannama, who has worked in the village for eight
years, devotes a part of her time towards educational projects that benefit
the older children and adults in Ban Huay Pa Hon. The village is home to 140
Trucks arrived in the village laden with black boards and chalk, bookcases,
desks, floor mats, story books and work books, tablets, drawing and art
supplies, pencils, crayons and a myriad of other supplies for the school.
Board members also contributed socks, shoes and knitted caps for every child
in the village as well as bags of rice and boxes of fresh oranges. The
largest and heaviest gift though was a generator for the school, which has
no electricity. This more than welcome gift will enable it to stay open even
on dark or rainy days.
Tangerine Blue principals John Smith and Mark Walder entertained the people
of the village with banjo music and renditions of ‘Willkommen,’ ‘Stairway to
Paradise’ and ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band.’ Despite not understanding the
English words, the children understood the language of the music and danced
along and clapped with each song.
The FERC board and volunteers would like to thank everyone who made it
possible for them to help the children of Ban Huay Pa Hon.
FERC board members and
the goodies at Ban Huay Pa Hon Lahu village.
Village sewing cooperatives benefit from Kids’ Ark Foundation
and Rooftop Charity
Members of a village women’s
sewing cooperative are delighted with the new sewing machine donated by the
Kids’ Ark Foundation.
As a result of the recent donation to the Kids’ Ark Foundation of
300,000 baht from the Rooftop Charity, the women of Ban Mae Meua Noi, Ban
Santadu and Ban Pa Dai recently received a wonderful surprise, when
representatives of the charity arrived in the villages bearing 4 sewing
machines. At least one villager in each village can sew and groups of their
friends were keen to fulfil their dream of forming sewing cooperatives to
earn money to support their families in the periods between rice planting
In Ban Santadu, the women were looking forward to forming their sewing
cooperative but needed machines. They also asked that Resa come and teach
more of them how to use the machines. One machine was donated, and Kids’ Ark
are now working on raising more funding to fully respond to that project.
Ban Pa Dai village received two sewing machines, as they had already
received orders for blankets and their borrowed machine had broken.
Six women are already working together at Ban Pan Dai; 2 to cut the fabric,
2 to do the preparatory hand-sewing and 2 to use the sewing machines. When
the team from Kids’ Ark left, the women were already trying out the
machines. The women at Ban Meua Noi also received their sewing machine.
Kids’ Ark would like to thank the Rooftop Charity, both on their own behalf
and that of the women of the three villages for its much appreciated and
The foundation has an office/showroom at 18/2 Wiang Kaew Road, where
visitors can see other handicrafts. For more information, please contact
Rita Holms Gustafsson on 053-416-077, or visit the foundation’s website at
www. kidsarkfoundation.org, where donations can also be made.