A Prayer for the Japanese tsunami victims
from temples around Chiang Mai came to pray for the dead and missing in
Japan’s tsunami disaster.
By Shana Kongmun
108 monks gathered on stage and prayed for those lost in the
earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit Tohuku, Japan two years ago. The
event, held at Nim City Airport on Sunday, March 17, 2013 saw Japanese
residents joined by Thais and foreigners to remember those lost in the
devastation that hit Japan two years ago on March 11.
Consul General Kazuo Shibata speaks of Thailand’s help during the crisis.
The Japanese Consulate General together with Chiang Mai Province and the Old
Japan Students Association, CLL, Fukushi no kai, and the Chiang Mai Japanese
Association organized the event which began with prayers for the nearly
19,000 people dead or missing from the 9.0 earthquake, resulting tsunami and
nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Japan continues to clean up and rebuild two
years after the disaster and in a statement by Japanese Emperor Akihito,
thanking the police, Self Defense Forces, volunteers and the world for their
help and commending the Japanese people on their strength in carrying on.
Collection boxes were carried around as well as set at every booth which
ringed the area, selling Japanese snacks and food. The moving ceremony of
prayer held by monks from around Chiang Mai was followed by local and
Japanese performances, dance, calligraphy and others.
Chiang Mai led the nation in donating to tsunami victims and the second
anniversary falls with over 320,000 people still remain displaced from their
homes. The spirit of giving continued on in Chiang Mai as boxes filled and a
donation check was presented to the Thai Red Cross to pass on to Japan of
50,000 Baht raised by local Japanese organizations.
continue to help Japan as many still remain homeless.
One of the
abbots sprinkles holy water on the audience.
137 Pillars House celebrates anniversary
Jonas Dept and vocalist Ana Gracey are thanked by GM Manfred Ilg after
entertaining the guests.
By Shana Kongmun
The lovely 137 Pillars House Hotel celebrated its first anniversary
in style with a fancy hat themed dinner party that saw winners receive spa
treatments, floral hat themed duo Chris Chun and Kristie Kellahan won for
the “women’s hat” as their hats were so similar although incredibly
elaborate. Steve Yarnold won best Men’s hat for his creative photographer
The evening saw a traditional ballet performance by the Sangdao Ballet
School as well as a modern interpretive dance that took place first on land
and then in the small pool depicting the travails of Thailand during the
devastating floods that saw thousands displaced from their homes and their
Phanichphant came in an enormous straw hat, here he is joined by friends and
GM Manfred Ilg.
The buffet dinner was held on the front
lawn in front of the beautiful old home that used to belong to the East
Borneo Company and served as the residence of the Company manager until 1927
though it remained part of Company headquarters until World War II. The name
137 pillars comes from the heritage of the site, that used to hold in total
four historic teak houses, each with more than 100 teak pillars. The house
was commandeered by the Japanese during World War II but returned to the
company after the war where William Bain resided with his Mon wife and four
children, his son Jack followed in his father’s footsteps and remained in
the house with his family as well.
Now under the care of the SilverNeedle Hospitality Group, the beautiful 137
Pillars House Hotel plays host to many cultural and music events as well as
to the lucky visitors who stay there and enjoy the gracious hospitality of
its staff and General Manager Manfred Ilg.
include Tim McGuire of Segway Gibbon and his friend, Julie Hastings, Marc
Miller of the U.S. Consulate General, and Annette Kunagigon of Eagle House
and the Irish Representative.
Who let the dogs out??
Kulwadee Jintaworn of Impact Muang Thong Thani, Deputy Governor Ritthipong
Techapun and Supakit Asavachaiporn of Perfect Companion Group cut the ribbon
to start the show.
By Shana Kongmun
The Chiang Mai International Dog Show was held on March 14-17 at Central
Airport Plaza and saw dogs big and small take part in fashion shows,
competitions, agility tests and in spreading general puppy happiness. Dog
owners brought their beloved pets to not only compete but to visit and
socialize as the Smart Heart sponsored event opened on March 14, 2013.
cute little Chihuahua was the perfect model for his owner’s line of doggie
Deputy Governor Ritthipong Techapun, Kulwadee Jintaworn, Executive Director
of Impact Muang Thong Thani which brought the show to Chiang Mai and Supakit
Asavachaiporn of Perfect Companion Group and makers of Smart Heart Dog Food,
sponsors of the show, cut the ribbon to start the dog festivities.
The first order of the day was a toddler led fashion show with a few budding
models strutting their stuff and others stopping to pick up glitter
confetti, finding it much more interesting than fame and glory on the
catwalk. Dogs, of course, took part in the fashion show but in general
seemed to be leading the children around the room rather than the other way
The Dog Show was great fun for everyone involved and saw many vendors
offering their wares, from food to natural tick and flea control, the dog
clothes that are so popular in Chiang Mai and amazingly, dog strollers. The
agility shows were the crowd favorite although everyone seemed to delight in
sniffing noses and pulling on leads.
International Women’s Day in Chiang Mai
The women of
Zonta International Chiang Mai planted yellow roses in Suan Buak Haad on
March 8, 2013.
By Shana Kongmun
International Women’s Day was celebrated by women around Chiang Mai and the
North on Friday, March 8 with rose planting during the day and a march and
rally held at Tha Pae Gate in the evening. Zonta International, the women’s
organization dedicated to helping women in need, held their annual tea party
and rose planting at Suan Buak Haad in the morning while Grandma Cares
members planted roses in San Sai with young female students and taught them
about the day and the work towards equality and human rights for women.
A rally was held at Tha Pae Gate later in the evening where women’s groups
met and talked about their goals and achievements, from sex workers seeking
legal protection, to migrant women, to women in business, International
Women’s Day brought them all together.
zur Strassen, social anthropologist consultant from Frankfurt, who has
called Chiang Mai home since 1988, was honored at a luncheon held at Prem
International school. She is a remarkable woman with a master’s degree in
historical ethnology and a doctorate in social science. This German-Peruvian
mother of two has long worked with indigenous highland people in northern
Thailand, she co-founded an organic farm initiative called Suan Lahu (Lahu
Orchard) and has presided over the project which has become known for its
production of organic Arabica coffee working with local Lahu people.
Later in the week the Chiang Mai
Professional Businesswomen’s Association joined hands with Zonta
International, the Chinese Hakka Women’s Association, the Chiang Mai Muslim
Womens Association, the National Outstanding Mothers of Chiang Mai group and
women from the Amphur Muang office to hold a seminar on empowering women in
the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community integration in 2015. Speakers Narong
Thanuwat and Pattana Sittisombat spoke on the AEC and how women can benefit
by networking and expanding their scope throughout ASEAN.
International Women’s Day sprung out of the suffrage movement in the United
States and Europe and saw women working together for equal pay and better
working conditions and the right to vote in the early 20th century.
helping women is the driving idea behind Zonta and the cooperation among
women can be seen in all of the works the organization does.
Grandma Cares joined with students at Ban Lukpan School in San Sai to plant
roses and learn more about International Women’s Day.
the Professional Businesswomen’s Association and other women’s groups held a
seminar on empowering women in the upcoming AEC.
Shaken, not stirred
James Bond theme party raises money for COSA
gentlemen came in tuxes (and toy guns)!
By Shana Kongmun
Prem International School’s Parent School Association hosted the
James Bond themed fundraising dinner at the dusit D2 Hotel on Saturday,
March 16 to raise funds for COSA, the Children of Southeast Asia, an
international organization that works to prevent child trafficking and
sexual exploitation in northern Thailand. Prem parents Pu Ostertag and Maria
Lšngle worked hard to get the glamour filled evening turn into a roaring
success. Over 150 people attended the event which saw ladies in gowns and
men in tuxes, a few with guns tucked demurely into their cummerbunds (fake
The live band kept people on the floor and dancing and D2’s superb staff
kept the drinks flowing while the kitchen set out a delicious buffet for the
crowd. There were prizes for best costumes, door prizes and raffles. The
proceeds of the event, 120,923 baht was raised, will go directly to COSA to
fund their community activities.
COSA works at a community level, working with at-risk families and
communities to prevent trafficking before it happens. The organization works
with families who have little access to education and works to provide their
children with a good education, they develop relationships in the local
community based on trust and partnership and work with families to intervene
before a child can be trafficked, offering the families alternatives to a
trafficking agent. More information on COSA can be found at their website:
ladies were decked out in jewels (hopefully not fake!).
Michelle Ring of Absolute Fitness and Chatchai Jullatamara of the House and
Ginger Kafe enjoy their cocktails, shaken not stirred.
joins Adrian Crump and his glamorous date Jantira “Ya” Namwong at the dusit