iCare Club 2010, Creative Social Business Contest

There will be nine teams of university students presenting their ideas on three different topics. This event gives teams 15 minutes to present their ideas and judges will ask questions for 10 minutes. The event is run in Thai language and is geared towards the Thai context in terms of it’s problems, participants, judges and audience.

iCare Club
Location: Hotel S31
Time: 8:00-17:00
Partner: change fusion, Ashoka, Magnolia, TCDC, BE magazine, I care

THANN Sanctuary for an indulgent experience

Bangkok is well-known for its tropical nights, sandy beaches, Thai massage, and trendy designs, whether house wares or high fashion. The THANN Sanctuary will definitely add to Bangkok’s image as an indulgent destination.

THANN is the popular Thai that focuses on being a contemporary Asian lifestyle brand. Its products include wood-infused shower gels, the jasmine-scented hand and body creams, facial products incorporating rice barley and shiso as well as a lovely line of scented candles and essential oils. The great scents are a combination of new and old, which THANN also tests for effectiveness in the lab.

There are two locations of the THANN Sanctuary Spa, which offers THANN products in conjuction with its THANN spa services. The first location is in the ultra-glam shopping destination, Gaysorn Plaza, in the Ratchaprasong District. Another location is at the Siam Discovery Center at the ever convient Siam District.

The interiors of the rooms are fragrant, moody, and sensuous with many natural elements to give the entire space a relaxed, earthy feel. The therapists are very good, the products themselves are first-rate, and the atmosphere hints at a natural Zen-like quality. The attention to detail and service is evident the moment you step into the THANN Santuary.

I recently had a Nano Shiso Anti-Aging Face Massage that lasted 1.5 hours. After a hectic day at work, it was an almost unreal experience to be so pampered. First, you are treated to a foot soak. Then, you are moved onto the massage table. The face massage involves several applications of different facial products including cleanser, mask and scrub. With each application, the therapists goes through a tedious routine while you relax and breathe in all the lovely aromas.

At the end of the face massage, the therapist briefly massages your arms and feet. The finale of the whole experience is a head, neck and shoulder massage. After the massage you are treated to some fruit, light rice tea and a warm towel. The results were an extremely relaxed mind and body with wonderfully soft skin.

THANN Sanctuary

Photo: StreetFly JZ on Flickr

Will Education for All be Achieved in Thailand?

In this video clip from UNESCO’s channel on youtube, Will Education for All be Achieved?, several Thai educators and UNESCO staff comment on the status of EFA in Thailand. Part of EFA is to provide universal primary education to all children as a basic human right. Thailand has been working on these issues for many years but there is still 5% which are still not being reached because they live in remote areas, are disable or have other barriers to attending school. EFA encompasses early childhood, primary and secondary education as well as higher education and adult education. The EFA goals were establish in 2000 and are expected to be reached by 2015, so in June 2010 there was an EFA Global Monitoring Report to look at the progress on these goals. Each country will be expected to make as much progress towards these goals in order to ensure that sustainable development in possible by having educated citizens.

Thai and Khmer languages

In this interesting blog from the Brooklyn Monk in Asia, author Antonio Graceffo, discusses the similarities between Thai and Khmer languages. He was in a Khmer-speaking region of Thailand when he found himself switching between the two langauges unconsciously. Thai, Khmer and Laos are similar languages in the region and Thai is the linguistic dominant language. Meaning that other people adapt their speaking to Thai listeners rather than Thais adapting themselves to the foreign pronunciation. He goes on to relate his own experiences learning Vietnamese and the cultural similarities that can trigger and influence the learning of languages beyond ligustic similarities.

Suan Rod Fai Park – A Wonderful Park in the City

Near Chatuchak Market there is a great place for jogging, biking, swimming, playing tennis or having a family picnic. It is best known as “Suan Rod Fai”, or Train Park, by the Thais and there are several train artifacts lying around.
The park is a converted golf course which the BMT changed into a public park. Now it is a popular spot for joggers and bikers to go, especially in the mornings, to get a good workout. It is also a great location for families to spend the day. There a several playgrounds in the central area of the park, a pool, a butterfly garden and nice lakes to look at. There a many large trees which provide a shady place to sit and relax.
There is a wonderful 3 kilometer paved bike path that goes around the perimeter of the park. Even if you don’t have a bike or want to bother transporting it, bikes can be rented for as little as 20 baht for the day. The selection varies from toddler sized bikes with trainning wheels to typical bikes with baskets, mountain bikes and tandem bikes.

Bunong mother tongue-based Education in Cambodia

As a part of the DVD series, Promoting Mother Tongue-based Multilingual Education, the section is about the Bunong speakers in Cambodia. I am research about mother tongue-based and multilingual education as preparation for my participation in UNESCO’s Language, Education and the Millenium Development Goals Conference which will be held in Bangkok on November 9-11, 2010. This segment features the Bunong ethnic minority which lives in the rural forests of Cambodia and the struggles of Bunong children to learn Khmer language, the Cambodia national language, in school. As a way to help support the education of this ethnic minority, they have developed a written language and learning materials for the Bunong and later transition the children to learn Khmer. By having the children learn first in their mother-tongue, the acquisition of the national language is facilitated and the children have less difficulty in achieving in school.

Buddhism terms in English and Thai

There is a good section in this website on Thai and Lao Language that discusses different terms and vocabulary about Thai Buddhism. It also includes sentences in Thai and translation into English. It serves as a good primer into Thai Buddhism, Thai terms used in Buddhism and as well as practice in reading the Thai Language. It definitely help clarified a few terms for me related to Thai words used in Buddhism as many English text on Buddhism use the Pali words.

Types of Buddhism/Scripture
The Buddha/The Three Gems
Monks & Lay People/Being Ordained
Temple Activities/Language a Monk Uses
Dharma/Impermanance/Four Noble Truths
Path to Enlightenment/Precepts
Merit/Rebirth/The Four Principles


Thai Terms for Character Analysis

There are a number of components that Thai talk about when they talk about the soul and character.

The soul is divided into two parts: Khwan and Winyan. The khwan is the spirit, the essence of life, or the soul element; while the winyan is the consciousness of the soul. Winyan is from the Pali word vinnana and it refers to the part of the soul which remains after death.

To describe character there are three components: Sanda, Nisai and Chai (Chit-Chai). Sandan is related to the inborn traits that a person has, often dealing with a person’s upbringing. Nisai is used to describe a person’s characteristics or personality. Chai or Chit-Chai can be used interchangably with the term heart or mind. Most often a person’s nisai is described in terms of the character of his chai. Sandan, nisai and chai are frequently used to describe or judge the quality of the character of a person.

Source: Thai Buddhist Character Analysis

Thai Buddhist Prayer

Many Thais who practice Buddhism will suat mon, or chant, before going to sleep every night. Saying the prayers starts by putting your hands together in a Wai position, sitting with your knees on the ground facing the Buddha and bowing your head towards the ground 3 times, or bowing 3 times on the pillow. Then followed by these two general payers:

  1. Namotasa
    Namo tatsa pakka-wato ara-hatto samma samputtat-sa,
    Namo tatsa pakka-wato ara-hatto samma samputtat-sa,
    Namo tatsa pakka-wato ara-hatto samma samputtat-sa.
    ( * And slightly bow with your head to your hands 1 time
    or bow towards the floor 1 time *)
  2. Arahang Samma
    Ara-hang samma-sam-putto pakka-wa put-tang-pakka-wan-thang api-wa-temi, (Bow 1 time)
    Sawa-ka-tho pakka-wa-tha tammo
    tammang namat-sami, (Bow 1 time)
    Supha-thi-phanno pakka-wa-tho
    sawa-ga sang-koh sang-khang na-mami (Bow 1 time)

And then feel free to finish with a well-going wish followed by finishing off with a bow towards the ground/pillow 3 times.

Krispy Kreme Craziness at Siam Paragon

A few weeks after Krispy Kreme’s Grand Opening of it’s first branch in Bangkok, Thailand and people are still waiting two hours in line just to get these popular donuts.
In the mornings, some folks arrive two hours before Siam Paragon even opens in order to beat other anxious customers. The lines have been consistently long and be prepared to wait a minimum of two hours to get your quota of one dozen Krispy Kreme donuts per customer.
I had already had a sample of these donuts made in Thailand and I can verify that they taste just as rich and sweet as they did in the US. I enjoyed watching the donuts being made in the traditional Krispy Kreme conveyor belt fashion, even though I didn’t have the patience to wait in line to actually buy any of them. I’ll wait a few more weeks to see if the hype dies down.