Vol. VIII No. 31 - Tuesday
August 4 - August 10, 2009



Home
Automania
News
Business
Book-Movies-Music
Columns
Community
Art, Music & Culture
Happenings
Dining Out & Entertainment
Features
Social Scene
Sports
Chiang Mai FeMail
Daily Horoscope
Cartoons
Happy Birthday HM Queen Sirikit
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Advertising Rates
Classifieds
Back Issues
Updated every Tuesday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


Art, Music & Culture • Entertainment • Lifestyles
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Widhida Supaporn and Achira Assawadecharit in Recital

Zingdarella…Cinders with a modern moral!

A Little Night Music

The necessity for a compulsory or required course in culture and communication for Thai undergraduate students

 

Widhida Supaporn and Achira Assawadecharit in Recital

Jai-Pee
On Friday July 24th two young pianists presented a decent-sized audience with a selection of pieces in the Recital Room at Payap University. The nearly fourteen year old Widhida, (Amie), played Bach, Haydn and Chopin. She managed the Chopin Etude in F minor, Opus 25 well, coping adequately with the demands of the piece; but nerves got the better of her in both the other compositions which she found very challenging. Sixteen year old Achira, (Ken), then followed with the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21 in C, K.467, with Ajaan Bennett Lerner as accompanist. A very good performance full of energy and drive, Ken played confidently and unerringly. He maintained a very good balance between the more rhythmic and sometimes almost jerky first theme and the delightful lyrical and very romantic second subject. Ajaan Bennett gave good support in what was a very fine performance. Somehow, the organisers got things wrong at this point and the programmed intermission was abandoned so that Ken proceeded with a technically near-perfect performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in D minor. The organisers then realized that the intermission had been forgotten, and while Ken was still sitting on his piano stool, the comperes came on to announce that there would be a ten minute interval, much to Ken’s surprise! There could not have been a more inappropriate interruption to a pianist’s concentration than an unwarranted intrusion like this.
Luckily, Ken did not lose his composure and in the now reconstituted second half, delighted the audience with a dazzling display of finger work in the Chopin Etude in C sharp minor, Opus 10, followed by a delightful interpretation of the Mozart Piano Sonata in C minor, K475. I wonder why this sonata yet again? It must be the fourth time this year it has been performed, to the great neglect of the other eighteen sonatas that Mozart wrote. Having said that, Ken played this very well, especially in the lengthy adagio where his supple wrist movements allowed him to capture with elegance the flowing melodies, contrasting these expressively with the intuitive questioning of the other sections. The great highlight of the evening was the strident, dynamic and thrilling performance of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G minor with which Ken ended the recital. He played outstandingly and showed us that he is indeed a very talented young pianist.
While not wishing to detract from an evening that was set up to support and help promote young talent, I do wish the organisers could be more professional in their approach. We were furnished with very complete programme notes on the pianists – why then hire two comperes to reiterate all that information prior to the performances? The audience can read and it was not surprising to hear groans and sighs from many people as the comperes came on yet again to re-state what we already had in front of us. Admittedly, there was no written Thai translation, but with some forethought that too could have been dealt with. The interruption in the middle was terrible for the young player himself and was most unprofessional. In conversation before and after the recital, it was apparent that many of the audience would appreciate a different kind of repertoire – and the enthusiastic and spontaneous applause for the final piece really did show that they loved something innovative that a good student could play so well. Let’s have more of this, please!

 

Zingdarella…Cinders with a modern moral!

Siriporn Raweekoon
Chiang Mai University’s English department’s English Club recently gave a polished performance of the famous fairy tale Cinderella, updated to include a modern moral and entitled, ‘Zingdarella’.
The play cleverly followed the original as regards characters, with the action transferred to Macao and Hong Kong. Zingdarella, played by Patchanee Tongkun, and now called Nicky, was provided with the traditional wicked stepmother, (Tornchaya Khattikroot) and two equally unpleasant stepsisters, (Phitchakan Chuangchai and Matthanee Churpudee). The handsome prince, however, became Prince, the boy next door, secretly in love with Nicky, and played by Poom Polachan.
Being very concerned about the manner in which his secret love was being treated, Prince attempted to rescue her, injuring the wicked stepmother in the process! The pair saw no option but to run away to Hong Kong, where they both got jobs as mascots at Disneyland.
Nicky, of course, was desperate to wear a Cinderella costume, as she loves the character so much, and was dismayed when an American girl was chosen, particularly when she grabbed the character’s shoe and found the American girl had huge feet! Nicky, of course, had, as did Cinders herself, very small, dainty feet! Sadly, as a result of her action, she was dismissed from the parade and from her job, and very, very unhappy. All, however, was not lost, as the faithful boy-next- door, Prince, took care of her and finally confessed his love for the confused girl.
A fairytale ending…the modern moral being that fantasy and reality can never be as one! Living in the real world and dealing with all the changes this brings is the way to live life. Following a dream can give purpose to life, but only if mistakes are used as learning experiences.
The play was written by Suparak Techachareonrungruang , Supatchaya Areemitr and Teeranoot Siriwittayakorn and directed by Ajaan Sura Intamool. The entire cast coped very well with the demands of the language and obviously enjoyed every minute, making Zingdarella a charming and very entertaining experience for the audience.


A Little Night Music

Jai-Pee
On Friday 7 and Saturday August 8 at 7 p.m. in CMU’s Wijisin Hall on the 8th floor of the Faculty of Humanities  the Princess Galyani Vadhana Chamber Orchestra will present 2 wonderful public concerts, with tickets priced at 500 and 300 baht,  and100 baht for students with ID. Both concerts will include Mozart’s delightful and probably most performed piece, his Serenade for Strings in G major K525, known as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
Composed in 1787 while Mozart was working on Act 2 of his great opera Don Giovanni, we have no inclination or evidence of how or why this magic piece came to be composed. Preceding this will be conductor Usni Pramoj’s own composition, Threnody, premiered on May 6th this year in Bangkok – this piece was written as a memorial to the late and much loved Princess Galyani Vadhana and that first performance was on her birthday following her death.
The concert will also include the short and elegant Trumpet Concerto in E flat by Vincenzo Bellini. Known best for his great bel canto operas such as La Somnambula and Norma, Bellini originally wrote this very short yet delightful three movement concerto for oboe and strings, and on the two concert nights, it will be performed by Thailand’s foremost trumpeter, Lertkiat Chongjirajitra. He is a founder, leader and manager of the Bangkok Brass Quintet, principal trumpet with both the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and the Princess Galyani Institute Orchestra as well as professor of Brass at Silpakorn University. Interested readers might like to learn more about this award winning musician and his spectacular career on www.lertkiat.com
The final piece in this wonderful duo of concerts will be the superb Serenade for Strings in C major, opus 48 by Tchaikovsky. This charming serenade premiered in 1880 is one of the late Romantic period’s most definitive compositions. The first movement is written as an imitation of the style of Mozart and the second movement, Valse, is often performed as a popular piece in its own right. What a splendid treat we have in just a couple of weeks! Tickets in advance can be obtained by phoning 0833212883 or at the door.


The necessity for a compulsory or required course in culture and communication for Thai undergraduate students

Lloyd Holliday,
Maejo University

All undergraduate students in tertiary education in Thailand should be given some form of compulsory or required course in culture and communication or cross cultural communication in order to be able to cope with the so-called “globalization” of the world in which people and communities can no longer merely interact within their own communities, but have to act within a much larger context of the whole world on all levels of trade, business, industry, education, and politics, in a co-operative way to collaborate on projects and not just compete amongst one another.
Such a course does not mean more courses in English or Chinese as a second language or a course in comparative linguistics. Nor should it be a course on how to do business in or with people from a foreign culture in order to outwit and dominate your business partner. A course on culture and communication should provide a better understanding of the values and socio-psychological principles that guide people’s actions and communications and how these may be reflected in the structure and pragmatics of the languages they speak and other paralinguistic forms of communication used. And as it cannot be a Cook’s Tour of the world’s cultures, it should provide as an outcome general sensitivity to these issues, and apart from learning a few general strategies for coping, should enable students to develop strategies for themselves based on an enhanced awareness of these issues.
Today, although we can communicate across great distances and travel physically with ease to other cultures, we live under a shadow of troubled inter-ethnic and inter-cultural relations. This is probably due to this ease of cross-cultural interpenetration and the perceived threat of loss of identity and culture it brings. Ironically at the same time communication across great distances at an instant has lead to the possibility of small cultural communities or groupings maintaining their identity and localized character while separated by vast physical distances. This means that while, on the one hand, modern travel can lead to cross cultural contact, this is not necessarily the case as it affords cultural groups the means to retreat in the physical contact space and in actuality to maintain a small cultural group identity. On the one hand this is positive in that it allows minority groupings the means to maintain their identity and culture through contact via distance media, although they may be physical separated from their other group members. On the other hand, this means that travellers or sojourners in places removed from their mother community do not have a strong incentive to learn much about the surrounding culture and community or integrate to any great degree, i.e they learn little about other cultures and may not be pushed to develop cross cultural communication skills. This is often the case of international students who often band together in overseas universities in communal houses and apart from brief sorties to lectures and seminars at the university; they have little contact with the local culture and language. As a result the supposed opportunity for learning in and about another environment is often lost. As a result of Twitter and the recent phenomenon of social networking sites, the so-called ‘play space’ of the present generation has greatly increased and privacy relaxed, but this ease of communication can be very superficial and lack a deeper understanding of the underlying beliefs and values of the other.
To illustrate what is meant by looking at culture in greater depth form a psychological view point we can turn to a recent article by Neff et al (2008) in which they report on an investigation of the levels of self-compassion in three countries, the United States of America, Thailand and Taiwan. Perhaps surprisingly, the self-compassion levels of the USA respondents fell between those of Thailand and Taiwan with those in Taiwan being the lowest. This demonstrates that s superficial grouping of Taiwan and Thailand as countries with an Asian culture versus the USA as a western culture is a far too superficial approach to be of much value.
The results may not be surprising for Thailand as Buddhism stresses that this universal idea called compassion must be mindful; however,without first having compassion for the self it cannot be extended successfully to others. Thai culture exemplifies this idea of paying attention kindly to one’s own errors in the saying Pid Ken Kru (‘errors are teachers’) and in the notion of krengchai. People need to understand mindfully their own and other cultures in depth and how people may construe themselves and others in order to be able to negotiate, interact and communicate successfully with people from other cultures. And in doing so we may come to understand our own culture much better and this may be an equally compelling motive for arguing for the need for a compulsory course in cross-cultural communication.
References: Neff, Kristin, Pisitsungkagran, Kullaya, & Ya-Ping Hsieh (2008). Self-Compassion and Self-Construal in the United States, Thailand and Taiwan. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 39 (3): pp 267-285.



Chiangmai Mail Publishing Co. Ltd.
189/22 Moo 5, T. Sansai Noi, A. Sansai, Chiang Mai 50210
THAILAND
Tel. 053 852 557, Fax. 053 014 195
Editor: 087 184 8508
E-mail: [email protected]
www.chiangmai-mail.com
Administration: [email protected]
Website & Newsletter Advertising: [email protected]

Copyright © 2004 Chiangmai Mail. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.