Ramadan celebrated with a feast
Wichai Wittaya Bilingual School holds party during Ramadan
President of Wichai Wittaya Bilingual School and a school executive greet
Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai and her son Pakin at the Ramadan dinner party
held at the Empress Hotel.
By Shana Kongmun
Wichai Wittaya Bilingual School, the first bilingual school
established in Chiang Mai in 1996, held a Ramadan dinner for Chiang Mai
residents, Muslim, Buddhist and Christian under the theme of love, peace and
understanding amongst all people. The event saw Deputy Governor Chareonrit
Sa-nguansat joined by Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai, President of the
Chiang Mai Culture Council and Vice Consul Marc Miller attend where
scholarships were also handed out to students who will be attending school
overseas, including the United States.
Ramadan is a holy month of fasting for Muslim faithful. They abstain from
all food and drink during the day but may break their fast when the sun
sets. The holiday of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and this is also a
period of charity as caring for the poor is one of the pillars of Islam.
This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and community and Wichai
Wittaya Bilingual School celebrated that with their Ramadan dinner at the
Empress Hotel on Wednesday, July 16.
U.S. Vice Consul Marc Miller joins Phillip
Johnson and his friend and Maj. Gen. Bhumiphat Chawiphat.
Deputy Governor Charoenrit Sa-nguansat (3rd
left) joined School President Metin Askan and leaders and friends of the
Wichai Wittaya School including Mr. Cedar Candemir (Public Relation) (far
left) and Jirachai Srijandorn (center).
chatted with old friend Jirachai Srijandorn and Metin Askan, President of
the Wichai Wittaya School.
Robinson Bright & Charm Awards recognize 9 dedicated men and women
Awards in Education, Culture, Environment, Human Rights and Social Dedication
Robinson Bright & Charm Awards winners are onstage with Governor Suriya
Prasatbuntitya (center), Dr. Chao Duangduan na Chiang Mai (3rd left)
Robinson Head of Marketing Dr. Ton Chirathiwat (4th right) Senior Vice
President of Retail for Robinson Mark Senior (1st right) Voravat Tantranont,
Executive Director of CR Chiang Mai (2nd left) and pop sensations Mario
Maurer (far left) and Lydia or Sarunrat Visutthithada (2nd right).
By Shana Kongmun
The Robinson Bright &Charm Awards were started five years ago to
recognize the social and environmental work of local Chiang Mai people and
this year’s recipients featured nine stellar people who have devoted their
lives to helping people and the environment, maintaining and promoting Lanna
culture and aiding their society.
Recipients at this star studded affair that featured the music of pop
superstar Mario Maurer and Lydia, as well as local singers from around the
province, also saw Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and Dr. Chao Duangduan na
Chiang Mai, President of the Chiang Mai Culture Council attend alongside
many Chiang Mai luminaries.
girls from Doi Angkhang trekked 4 km from their villages to attend the event
and were brave enough to ask for photos on their phones. Seen here is
Robinson Head of Marketing Dr. Ton Chirathiwat taking photos of the girls
with pop star Mario Maurer.
Awards were presented in Education,
Culture, Human Rights, Environment, and Dedication to Society. Winners in
the Education category were Ajarn Riam Singtorn who moved from a comfortable
Bangkok life in1984 to remote Ban Kop Dong on Doi Angkhang to devote her
life to teaching children in a place that initially had no electricity, no
running water and no school. She has worked tirelessly to help her students
and was near tears in her acceptance speech that talked of the achievements
of her kids.
Also recognized in Education was Sumet Sukin who taught at Ban Kai Noi
School in Mae Taeng for many years and now teaches at Wat Phaya Chompoo
School in Saraphi. He has worked to promote the education of Lanna language
and culture and stressed the importance of children learning their roots.
award winners take the stage after the presentation for a group photo.
Awards for Cultural Support went to
well-known Payap University music teacher Bringkop Vora-urai who is famed
for his composition Nithan Inthanon as well as his work in teaching
traditional Lanna music and melding it with contemporary to bring it into
the modern age. Also recognized for his work in promoting Lanna culture is
famed Khru Mee or Benchaphon Sithiprani, known not only for his promotion of
traditional lanterns and his Thai Wisdom Learning Center but for being
honored as a Thai Wisdom Teacher in 2009.
On the Human Rights frontier Prayong Doklamyai was honored for his work in
obtaining farm land for disadvantaged people by working with the government
to release unused productive public lands and working towards amending laws
regarding community title deeds and others.
On the Environmental front Decho Chaitap of the Northern Sustainable
Development Foundation and coordinator for the Northern Community Forest
Network, was honored for his work in sustainable use of forest and working
to bring local community members into this by acting as forest guards at Doi
Inthanon, as well as his work with communities to reduce burning of forests.
Also honored was Rujisombat Ngaokam for his community work since 1992 to use
new methods of building, implement check dams to reduce flooding and
preserve watersheds and his work in San Patong to build a fire barrier as
well as his community radio station Dan Din Thin Lanna.
The last awards were for lifetime Dedication to Thai Society and went to
famed hilltribe philosopher, social activist and environmentalist Jorni
Odochao for his lifetime of work in protecting forests and working with his
local Paganyaw community. This 70 year old was one of the founders of the
Northern Farmers Network and continues to work for his community. Also
honored was Insom Panyasopha, Editor of Thai News and a man known for his
dedication to the Chiang Mai community. Insom was the co-founder of the
Provincial Sports Association and worked on the committee to bring the SEA
Games to Chiang Mai in 1995 as well as help to re-organize the Night Bazaar
and helped to push the foundation of Thailand’s first regional University,
Chiang Mai University 50 years ago.
The event left everyone feeling inspired and touched by the dedication and
hard work of these nine special people.
Lydia performs with dancers from the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy Narissa
Thitasuta and Jasmine Kunigagon.
Wat Phra Singh draws the faithful
on Asarnha Bucha Day
Wat Phra Singh is surrounded by Buddhist
faithful leaving candles and incense after performing the wian tian
ceremony, walking three times around the main shrine.
By Shana Kongmun
Asarnha Bucha Day is one of the holiest days on the Buddhist calendar as it
celebrates the first teaching by Buddha and the establishment of the Sangha
with the five disciples becoming monks. This first talk by Buddha is pivotal
to Buddhism as it sets out the four noble truths; the Truth of Suffering,
the Truth of the Origin of Suffering, the Truth of the Cessation of
Suffering, and the Truth of the Way Leading to the Cessation of Suffering.
This first sermon held the essence of all his subsequent teachings as well.
On Asarnha Bucha Day, July 11, the Buddhist faithful offered alms to monks
in the morning and monks chanted mantras or repeat the first sermon of the
Buddha during the day. In the evening people performed the wian tian
ceremony; walking clockwise around the main shrine carrying a candle, three
incense sticks and a lotus bud. They then lit the candle and incense before
the Buddha image and laidthe flower at the base.
Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn is one of the most popular places to perform
the wian tian ceremony and the beauty of this Royal Temple as assigned by HM
King Ananda Mahidol in 1935. With construction beginning in 1345, this
temple is one of the most revered in Chiang Mai for its Phra Buddha Sihing
image and people filled the temple on Asarnha Bucha Day, Friday, July 11,
Chiang Mai Governor Suriya Prasatbuntitya and
his wife Mananya walk behind the monks as they perform the wian tian
Wat Phra Singh fills with people for the sermon.
One of the many Buddhist faithful who visited
Wat Phra Singh on Friday, July 11 lights incense and a candle to leave
before the Buddha image.
Lots of pizza, lots of fun!
Siripanna Villa Resort pizza eating competition
Winners are joined by the owner of Siripanna
Villa Resort Supamit Kitjapiphat (3rd right) judges and guest of honor
Voravut Tantranont of CR Chiang Mai.
By Shana Kongmun
Nearly eighty contestants took part in the pizza eating competition
held by Siripanna Resort on Sunday, July 20, 2014 all vying for the 10,000
baht first prize and the promise, or perhaps threat after eating so much
pizza, of free pizza for a year at Siripanna.
Judges Supamit Kitjapipat, the owner and Managing Director of Siripanna
Villa Resort & Spa, Chiang Mai, Setthawut Tassoora, General Manager of
Robinson Chiang Mai, Naphat Peerataworn, Account Executive of Dontree
Season’s radio station, and Titayaporn Parnont, blogger from
Travel+Square.com roamed the room watching contestants as they chewed their
way through slice after slice of pizzas. Second place in the kid’s under 12
category at 6 and a half slices, quite a lot for a little guy and first
place winner ate 8. In the over 51 category were winners . First place was
taken by a visitor to Chiang Mai who was impressed with the enthusiasm and
organization of the event, semi-professional eater (yes there is such a
thing) Col the Conqueror or Colin MacLaurin of Brisbane, Australia who
recently spent the past week or so riding the hills of Chiang Mai. Colin
wolfed down 24 slices in 30 minutes. Coming in second was local boy
Chaturayut “Tar” Promnil who managed to eat 20 (not his personal best he
noted) and Anisut Chokpipatporn in third with 15 slices of pizza.
The event was great fun and saw cheerleading teams from WETV and Long Stay
Magazine on hand to cheer on their colleagues as well as families and
friends of the contestants.
Col the conqueror conquered 24 slices of pizza
in 30 minutes at Siripanna Villa Resort’s pizza eating competition on
Sunday, July 24. He took home 10,000 baht and a year’s supply of pizza which
he planned on donating.
The two big eaters and big winners in the adult
and under 12 categories.
Tar and Col after the competition, feeling more
than a little full!