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River Chair Walking Ceremony

Songkran smiles

Turtles in Chiang Mai

Songkran festivities?

 

River Chair Walking Ceremony

Dear Editor,

Each year as Songkran approaches I try to see one cultural event before locking myself in my condo until it’s over. This year I was able to see the girls at the Blue Diamond practicing for the almost forgotten and rarely ever witnessed by foreigners “River Chair Walking” ceremony. The girls say they would love to wear traditional outfits but have no government funding. Sounds like a job for one our many NGO’s!

Enjoy
Rusty

 

Songkran smiles

Dear Editor

As a newcomer to the city I just wanted to write in to say how much I have enjoyed the friendly atmosphere of the party over by Kad Suan Kaew. Mostly Thai, families, young people, old people and everyone in between, the atmosphere has been good natured and peaceful. It was wonderful to see a young man approach a pick up truck inching through the crowded city streets and respectfully ask the old man in the back to pour water over him in honor of Songkran. And imagine my surprise when a young man in the crowd gave a policeman a polite and friendly wai as he moved people back from the one open lane.

I realize the death toll for this time of year is appallingly high and that many people eke Songkran water throwing out for far too long, but attention must also be focused on the positive aspects as well; smiles, friendly faces, and people having fun in the way that Thai people seem to do so well.
Signed
Newbie to the Chiang Mai Songkran


Turtles in Chiang Mai

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the article in the last paper about the new sea turtle exhibition at the Chiang Mai Zoo Aquarium. Despite being so far from the sea here in Chiang Mai I think everyone has a keen interest in these magnificent and yet sadly fast disappearing creatures. I hope the Royal Thai Navy promotes their exhibition at local area schools so that Northern children may learn of these intelligent and uniquely long lived animals.
Regards
Chiang Mai turtle lover

Dear Turtle Lover
Thank you for your letter, I, too, am looking forward to this exhibition. Sea turtles are quickly losing their egg laying habitats due to encroachment, egg poaching and over fishing. Sadly, I recently read that turtles on a famous turtle egg laying beach did not produce one egg that hatched. I don’t know if this is due to poaching or other issues, but I am aware of places where resorts, restaurants and nightclubs have been allowed to build near beaches and the baby turtles, instead of heading for the sea, head for the bright lights and noise of the venue. I hope that an appreciation of the wonders of not just these animals but for all animals and the reasons we need them in our lives can be conveyed by this exhibition,
Regards
Shana Kongmun, Managing Editor.


Songkran festivities?

Dear Sir 

As usual, the Songkran water war broke out early this year, first pistols being seen in the city centre on the 10th and big guns erupting around the moat on Monday the 12th.

While red flags and ribbons were commonplace, the one good thing (at time of writing) was that politics, Bangkok-style, were omitted.

The most aggressive water throwing was, as usual, around Thapae Gate and, as usual, carried out by young farang tourists with no knowledge - or thoughts - of the unwritten rules.

a) keep it out of buildings and

b) stop at nightfall.

By 9.00pm on the 12th, police trucks with loud speakers appeared and put a stop to most of it.

Apart from thoughtless parents (Thai and farang) giving no eye protection to their children, the worst excesses I’ve seen so far have been ‘gunmen’ riding on car bonnets and one using his Honda Dream as a weapon. Opposite Darets, he stopped the bike, stood up, aimed the rear wheel at the crowd and spun it, showering all with filthy water from the road.

All praise for Thai tolerance. Where I come from, he would have been lynched.

Half a day was, as usual, more than enough for me of this juvenile, dangerous and uncontrolled so-called “festival.”.

And if we have a drought this year, don’t forget to ask the Mayor why constantly gushing, free, water was available from local government pipes at Thapae throughout!

Sadly yours,
Richard Hardy