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German Embassy helps disabled people in Chiang Mai

Tawan Chai improves center with donation

German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen chats with some of the disabled people who use the center.

Physically disabled people in Chiang Mai have access to an improved and extended center for their self-development in Hang Dong. The Tawan Chai Foundation received a donation of 400,000 baht from the German Embassy in Bangkok to add to funds already raised to improve the building and facilities for disabled people at the hall located near the Big C Hang Dong.
The has been working with severely handicapped people since 2004 and this is the third time that the German Embassy in Bangkok has provided financial support for its objectives. They held a Buddhist blessing and grand opening of the building on October 10, 2013 where German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen represented the Embassy, he added that he was quite impressed to see what could be done with people who were willing to help themselves.
Mr. Michael Boeder of Helfen-Germany, a charitable NGO, shared his knowledge of applying to the German Micro – scale Development Fund and to obtain funding for projects in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Helfen – Germany plans on initiating four more projects in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai next year.
The Director of the Center Mr. Rathee showed a presentation of the center and its facilities which was followed by a Buddhist ceremony to bless the building.

Disabled residents are joined by German Honorary Consul Hagen Dirksen and Mr. Michael Boeder at the opening of the extended Self Development Center in Hang Dong.

Bollywood Masala Charity party brings Bollywood glamor

Fundraiser for autistic children’s center

Frank and Vanita Sethi of Fashion King held the Bollywood Masala night to raise funds for the Chiang Mai Skill Center and Thanua Witthaya School.

By Shana Kongmun
The Bollywood Masala Charity Night held at the Empress on October 4, 2013 was a Bollywood glamor-filled night that saw most people dressing up in fabulous saris and Indian costumes. The night was organized by Frank and Vanita Sethi to raise funds for the Chiang Mai Skill Centre and Thanua Witthaya School and had nearly 200 people attend.

Even local residents got into the fun, with a locally organized group of dancers performing a Bollywood style dance.

Frank and Vanita arranged for a popular Indian band to come from Bangkok and perform for the evening and dancers took to the floor to perform lively and energetic Indian dances. There were prizes for Best Costume as well as an Indian style Bazaar at the event. The vegetarian Indian food proved most popular for the sit down dinner. The dinner was followed by the lucky draw, a grand prize for a night’s stay generously donated by the Four Seasons Chiang Mai in Mae Rim.
Raffle tickets were sold as well and many happy people walked away with great prizes as well as helping children in need. This is the second such Bollywood evening held and it turned out to be a very popular success.

The charitable group Phuen Thai German Organization donated 10,000 baht for the kids.

Chiang Mai Mail Managing Editor joins El Patio’s Julio, Joon of Beer Republic and Tina and Michael in costume for the party.

Newest Rimping opens at Mali Place

Mae Hia government officials joined with Rimping execs to cut the ribbon to open the new store at Mali Place.

Shana Kongmun
Rimping Supermarkets opened their 8th branch in Chiang Mai on October 3, 2013 with the latest outlet at Mali Place at Mae Hia market on Canal Road. This newest branch joins two other “condensed” shops, offering a smaller yet still fully stocked supermarket with the same expat appeal.
The store also features their usual excellent bakery which sits alongside a bistro style venue with European and Asian favorites open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The newest shop saw Voravat Tantranont, Executive Director of Choice Ministore Co., Ltd. and President of Tantrphan Co. Ltd. Phairoj Phatsornpinyosakul greet guests and fellow Mali Place businesses for the grand opening.
Rimping Supermarkets have expanded in the past year with two of these more compact shops opening at JJ Market and Star Avenue Mall and the full size Rimping Supermarket in Promenada opening earlier this year.

Local resident Jerry is happy to see the new branch open up in his neighborhood.

Star Avenue owners came to the Rimping opening to present a welcome bouquet to President of Tantraphan Phairoj Patsornpinyosakul.

Viva La Musica!! –

The first visit by the Siam Sinfonietta Youth Orchestra

The Siam Sinfonietta gave an inspiring and inspired performance on Thursday, October 10 at the CMU Art Center Theater.

By Jai Pee
Words almost fail me as I try to write about the first public concert in Chiang Mai by this internationally renowned and prize-winning youth orchestra – the concert at Chiang Mai University on Thursday October 10th was not only a sell-out, with standing room only, but the orchestra was accorded several standing ovations by an overwhelmed and enthralled audience. The electrifying atmosphere in the auditorium and the spontaneity of the performers combined to make this one of the most memorable evenings in the musical history of the city.

Donjai Srivichainanda presented a bouquet of flowers to Maestro Somtow.

Maestro Somtow – renowned international author, conductor and composer, as well as the orchestra’s founder – took charge of the first half of the concert. He himself treated the audience to an informative and welcome insight to the two main pieces – Rossini’s sparkling Overture La Gazzra Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) and the Symphony No 101 in D major by Joseph Haydn. The orchestra, composed of young men and women aged between 12 and 25 responded wonderfully under his baton. He is a precise conductor and he elicited from the players every subtle nuance imaginable in both pieces. The players loved what they were doing – fifty plus faces all intent on channeling their seemingly endless supply of energy into delivering exciting and enjoyable music which seemed to ooze from every pore.

Trisdee na Patthalung took over the baton for the second half and his energetic and lively style kept the audience enthralled.

 What is so wonderful about such a performance is the fact that so many young people – maybe an average age of 18 or so – and all Thai nationals, can capture with deep eloquence the music of Italian and Austrian composers who were composing over 200 years ago. This requires talent, energy, understanding and enthusiasm all of which were combined to provide us with a superb performance of dynamic proportions.

The performance of 18 year old Tanayut “Top” Jansirivorkul was one of the most touching moments of the show.

The concert’s second half consisted of four pieces from Maestro Somtow’s recently performed Opera/Ballet – Suriyothai – a tale of struggles and love based on events from Thai history. The resident conductor of the orchestra – twenty-seven year old Trisdee na Patthalung walked on stage to take over the baton. This remarkable young man has already established himself internationally as one of the great genius’s on the worldwide stage, having conducted orchestras such as the Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the national RAI Orchestra of Italy. His concentration, attention to detail and his discipline are remarkable. His conducting is assuredly clear-cut and exact, his technique quite unique and his rapport with the orchestra almost magical – what a great privilege it was to have him here in Chiang Mai. And the music of this new stage-piece Suriyothai is mesmeric throughout – full of evocative passages and tender moments balanced by thunderous and exciting marches. The orchestra loved playing it and gave it their all under Trisdee’s magnetic influence. But the show was stolen by the beautifully melodic and wistful playing of the violinist Tanayut Jansirivorkul or ‘Top’ as he is colloquially known - the soloist in the third of the four pieces in the Suriyothai suite – this particular piece having been specially written for him by Maestro Somtow. His performance was riveting and the audience was totally spell-bound as this 18-year-old enchanted the listeners with seemingly effortless playing that was so tender, clear and penetrating that it brought tears to many an eye.
The coda to the evening was another amazing eye-opener for the audience – the Johann Strauss Radeztky March played with sustained vigour and great aplomb, the audience being invited in true Viennese tradition to join in at appropriate moments. After the first standing ovation we were treated to Strauss’s Thunder and Lightning Polka as an encore which again brought the audience to its feet! What a night and what a deep impression these two marvelous conductors and this astonishing orchestra have made on the city of Chiang Mai and its music-loving population. As a number of those present have commented by email: this was the best-ever concert in the city, deeply memorable and full of all the ingredients that make for total and complete enjoyment and satisfaction. So: Viva La Musica as we eagerly await the return visit!

Mitsuoka showroom opens amid much fanfare

Raya Luelai (3rd left) is joined by Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiangmai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council (center) at the launch of the new dealer.

By Shana Kongmun
Unconventional cars with a classic beauty came to Chiang Mai on the evening of October 11, 2013 at Promenada Resort Mall as the newest and perhaps one of the more unusual dealerships opened. Mitsuoka is a small Japanese auto manufacturer that is known for the lines and style of its unique cars. The company is known for building coaches on already existing cars such as Nissan.
They first became known for their stylish and exotic looking Orochi Roadster that came out in 2005. Raya Luelai was on hand to welcome guests to the launch party of her new Mitsuoka Chiang Mai dealership at Promenada, telling guests that it was her love of the car that inspired her to start the business. This love stems from her purchase of a Mitsuoka as a birthday present to herself two years ago.
Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiangmai, President of the Chiang Mai Cultural Council presided over the grand opening of the dealership at Promenada Resort Mall with Mr. Tjeert Kwant, Chief Executive Officer of ECC International Real Estate, developer of Promenada Resort Shopping Mall.
The party was attended by well-wishers, friends, and interested car buyers who took their photos with the exotic cars, and enjoyed wine from El Patio. The dealership is located on the ground floor of Building A at Promenada Resort Shopping Mall.

One of the stylish Mitsuoka cars on display.

Promenada execs including Marc, the new GM of the mall, Tjeert and his wife congratulate Raya on the new business.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

German Embassy helps disabled people in Chiang Mai

Bollywood Masala Charity party brings Bollywood glamor

Newest Rimping opens at Mali Place

Viva La Musica!! –

Mitsuoka showroom opens amid much fanfare