New learning centre
for traditional dyeing and
weaving skills opens in Mae Chaem
Saengarun Chaiyarat, president of the new centre
(left) accompanies Amornpan Nimanant, Chiang Mai’s Governor, to witness a
demonstration of the process of producing dyes.
A cooperation between the Chiang Mai University Institute for
Science and Technology’s Knowledge and Technology Centre for Northern
Textiles and the Tree Bark Cotton group, (Fai Plueak Mai) has resulted in
the opening on August 3 of a knowledge and learning centre for dyers and
weavers in Mae Chaem district.
villagers weave the freshly dyed cotton threads into cloth.
The Charng Kerng centre, Hom-Kram Fai Plueak Mai, will provide knowledge of
traditional textiles and dyes to students and community residents, and will
be supported by Mae Chaem District and Chiang Mai administrative
organisations, with ‘One Tambon, one Product’, (OTOP) displays being set up
at district-level meetings to promote the recognition of the Mae Chaem
brand. The building itself will include a sales display and facilities for
the recycling of the wastes from the production of dyes into fertiliser for
use in the plantations. Help has been given by the Knowledge and Technology
Centre in the fields of advertising and media publicity and the training of
group leaders in the relevant skills and efficiency. The centre will also
host trips to the Thai traditional dress event held every February in Mae
display of the products made at the Hom-Kram Fai Plueak Mai (Tree Bark
Cotton) Learning Centre.
The original Fai Plueak Mai group, based on the transference of traditional
knowledge through the generations, was formed in 1997 by Saengarun Chaiyarat
and 9 of her relatives and family, after she had noted that visitors to the
region had shown interest in local costumes with their individual designs
and dyes obtained from two local plant varieties, Indigofera Tinctoria Linn,
(kram), and Baphicacanthus Cusia Brem, (hom). The aim of the group was to
publicise and popularise the unique local product to improve the economy of
the villages, and to organise production of the unique textile products, a
combination of Mae Chaem and hill tribe styles dyed in beautiful colours.
At present, the group has 53 members from 12 villages in Mae Chaem, with
each member contributing their differing skills in planting hom and kram
plants and cotton trees, dyeing, weaving, designing, sewing and marketing.
Each group member receives about 50,000 baht a year for their work, which is
now on sale nationwide at a variety of venues such as Siam Paragon, as well
as overseas, including in Japan, where indigo-dyed traditional clothing is
AA Insurance networking evening
proves popular again
The 4th of the monthly Networking 1 events was held at the
Shangri-La Hotel on September 3, sponsored on this occasion by the free
magazine, ‘In Focus 4 You’. 40 guests mingled, talked and exchanged their
ideas about business and its possible expansion, both in Chiang Mai and in
Intharasri, left, draws the winning number in the lucky draw, assisted by
Peter Smith, Director of AA Insurance.
Peter Smith, MD of AA Insurance Brokers. Co. Ltd., performed his duties as
MC with his usual flair, inviting Monthakan Intharasri, the manager of In
Focus 4 You to draw the winning ticket in the Lucky Draw, with
NetrdaoViriya, consultant from the Chiang Mai branch of Muang Thai Life
Insurance Co, walking away with the prize a bottle of very good wine!
The next Networking evening will take place on October 1, again at the
Shangri-La, beginning at 6.30 p.m. As usual, entrance is 300 baht, including
snacks, wine and beer. The regular event is proving to be successful in
bringing together like-minded business people for a pleasant and useful
Phillip Johnson, left,
consultant for In Focus 4 You magazine, the meeting’s sponsors, gives his
welcoming and thank you speech to the guests.
(L-R), Zane Crosby-Emery of
Zanegardens Tea & Coffee House enjoying the networking opportunities with
Gary Morrison, of English Language Services.
(L-R), Charles Begley,
owner with his wife Rachel
of Tuskers Bar and Restaurant, chatting with Gary Marrison.
(L-R), Anong and Sandee of
Newlook I.P.D. Co.Ltd.,
in conversation with Monthakan Intharasri.
(L-R), Kanda Khoo, owner of
Amway, Way Batson
and Wiranphat Chaivitnon of Bean Exports Co., Ltd.
(L-R), Peter van Loo ,
C.E.O. of Brainware Exporters Co.Ltd., Arie J.M. de Keijzer, director of
Mokador, Richard Prouse, local manager of AA Insurance Brokers and Golden
Whitehead, director of Food & Beverage at the Shangri-La Hotel.
(L-R), Peter Smith and Sakda
Sillprasit, attorney at law from the Thai Lanna Law office, together with
Phillip Johnson and Calvin Huang, the executive director of Kingdom BIZ Co.,
(L-R), Penny Kohci, Barry
Main, sales and marketing director
of Thai Visa, Pornchanok Prakobboon, senior sales manager
of Chiangmai Retreat Development Co.Ltd., Sean P. Riley of Tikithai Co.Ltd.
and Nienke Parma, owner of Lucky Dogs .
All the guests at the
at the Shangri-La Hotel got together for a group photo.
Chiang Mai Toy Ride Keeps Giving and Riding
The Chiang Mai Toy Ride
committee with new toilets and gifts.
Toy feeding frenzy at Pa
Muang School near Mae Rim!
Netting over 200,000 baht last January, the 2009 Chiang Mai Toy Ride
(CMTR) annual charity motorcycle ride was a resounding success, with
northern Thailand’s children in need continuing to benefit from funds raised
through individual donations, business supporters, major sponsors and
headline sponsors Tesco-Lotus, X-Centre, GT-Rider, Yamaha, Richco Power
Sports, Thailandfreunde e.V. and AA Insurance.
Playgrounds Plus! As part of CMTR’s new Playgrounds Plus program,
several schools in need have been identified as recipients of playground
equipment, educational books, athletic equipment and uniforms, plus other
specific needs at each location. The Chiang Mai Toy Ride’s policy is to help
children in need with goods, not money, with funds channeled through Give
and Live, a registered non-profit organisation in America and an official
Thai foundation. Donation events are festive and encourage interaction with
riders and kids, normally including snacks and toys for each child plus a
few games, a clown and short presentations of goods or construction projects
with the school staff.
Toys, warm blankets and
lunch for 280 kids and parents
at CMTR’s Children’s Day Remote in Ban Bo Kaew
New toilets for tots! On 11 August 2009, with the
assistance of CMTR headline sponsor X-Centre, Pa Muang School near Mae Rim
in the Mae Sa Valley got a brand new bank of toilets. Broken and smelly, the
old ones looked like a quick ticket to the hospital. The 70,000 baht project
(casually named ‘Sawadee Crap’) was constructed by a local contractor with
supervision from CMTR committee members. About 15-20 bikers joined the ride
for the dedication, lunch, the school’s Mother’s Day celebration, several
dances from tiny, costumed students and a few tug o’ war games between kids
aged 4-6 and riders aged 25-70. With mothers on the kids’ end of the rope,
the riders never won a match.
New uniforms for teens! Students from Bo Kham School near Samoeng,
last year’s recipient of blankets, food, toys and athletic equipment,
requested football uniforms for their two teams. A red set and a green set
with CMTR logos appeared on their two competing teams in a Samoeng
tournament on August 1, ensuring that the Chiang Mai Toy Ride would be on at
least one winning team. Several riders came along for the fun.
Children’s Day Remote! On a cold winter morning following the main
fund-raising ride on January 4, the annual Children’s Day Remote event on
January 10 brought toys, warm blankets and food for 280 children and
parents, plus a few hardy riders, to the small village of Ban Bo Kaew in the
mountains beyond Samoeng.
The kids always beat the
riders at tug o’ war!
More giving in the works! Several more projects
and events are planned for 2009 with three more schools receiving tailored
donations during the next four months. Specific dates will be announced on
the CMTR website at www. chiangmaitoyride.com. This September, San Tor
School near Hang Dong will get new athletic equipment, a ping pong table,
illustrated books plus a computer for the library and educational toys for
the younger students, plus book bags, food and toys for everyone. Huay Nam
Khao School near Mae Wang is scheduled for a new playground, plus books and
athletic equipment in November. The Ban Mai pre-school north of Chiang Dao
is also on deck for a playground and educational toys once their new
building is completed. On Christmas Eve, Santa will arrive with bags of
stuffed animals for the third annual CMTR Christmas Giveaway in the acute
care wards at Chiang Mai’s Maharaj Hospital.
Muang dancers stole the show on Mother’s Day.
Mark your calendar for Sunday February 2, 2010! Next year’s main
charity motorcycle ride is scheduled for that day, with a parade through
Chiang Mai as usual - then off to the X-Centre for the party, food,
entertainment, games and the famous Toy Giveaway. Picture a small mountain
of toys surrounded by a hundred wide-eyed, salivating kids. There’s always
one tiny tot that dives in and starts swimming in a sea of toys! The
donation events throughout the year are free for everyone. The cost of the
main ride? One toy. You’ll give and get many smiles in return.
Uniforms for the red and
green teams at Bo Kham school.
One tiny tot swimming in a
sea of toys!