Majestic Vegetarian Festival 2004 begins in Pattaya
Thousands participate in opening activities with largest ‘Jabchai Jae’ pot in the country
At the auspicious hour of 12.29 p.m. October 13 at
South Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier, the calling of the spirits and deities to
earth began with the massive parade celebrating the start of Pattaya’s
Vegetarian Festival. The festival will finish on October 23. Local
politicians, vendors and Thai-Chinese residents totaling over 1,000 people
took part in the parade.
Pattaya City, in conjunction with the Tourism Authority
of Thailand Central Region 3, Sawang Boriboon Foundation, private
enterprise and the provincial administration, organized the activities and
the parade for the vegetarian festival.
A large dragon featured in the parade as well as lions
and provincial floats carrying sacred images. The parade made its way from
Bali Hai to the Chaiyamongkhol Temple intersection, along Pattaya Second
Road to Central Pattaya Road, then on to the Third Road intersection.
Walkers then boarded a bus and were taken to the Wat
Sawangfa School (Pattaya School No. 3), Pattaya-Naklua for another stint
along Beach Road to Larn Poh at the Vegetarian Hall in Naklua for the
grand opening ceremonies of the “Majestic Vegetarian Festival, full in
merit, full of heart Pattaya 2004”. All this was done to call on the
deities “Kew Uan Huang Hook Jo” and “Phra Rahu”.
Santsak Ngamphiches, advisor to the minister of tourism
and sports presided over the opening ceremonies and added ingredients to
the ‘Jabchai Jae’ pot, the largest in Thailand. He was joined by Mayor
Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Wisit Chawalitnititham, Sawang Boriboon
Foundation president and residents in preparing the vegetarian dish. Once
complete, plates of ‘Jabchai Jae’ were then handed out to over 1,000
people. Representatives from Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum were
present to record the event.
Mayor Niran and city councilors later handed over much
needed equipment to Wisit Chawalitnititham, Sawang Boriboon Foundation’s
president, for the foundation’s rescue department.
‘Jabchai Jae’ was cooked in the country’s largest pot; the food
was created by many chefs from Pattaya’s Thai Hotels Association member
hotels. The pot is 3 meters in diameter, 1.20 meters deep and holds 8,478
liters. Ten varieties of vegetables and 8 sauces and spice were used to
produce 5,380 kilograms of ‘Jabchai Jae’.
of the ‘deities’ at Vegetarian Hall.
paid their respects to the deities.
expression says it all about the taste.
Malhotra, Pattaya Mail managing director and Wannapa Wannasri, Pattaya
Education department supervisor emceed the event in English and Thai
Chef’s Association created the country’s biggest pot of ‘Jabchai Jae’.
of local ‘deities’ perform.
ladies dressed in Chinese attire lead the “Engkor Pabu” dancers.
Dragon, from Paknampo in Nakhon Sawan rises high above the street
sprouting fireworks from its mouth.
dressed in white join in the parade.
Narkchuatrong, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum general manager,
presented a plaque certifying that it was indeed the largest pot of
‘Jabchai Jae’ in Thailand.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Chansak Chawalitnititham, Chonburi MP took
part in the ceremonies in Naklua.
Vegetarian Festival - Origins
On the first day of the ninth lunar month of the Chinese
calendar, the faithful honor 9 deities: one symbolizing each day of the
week and two others, Phra Rahu and Phra Kaet. To do this, the faithful
purify their bodies and souls through prayer and partaking of fruit and
vegetables for 9 days and 9 nights: a thousand years of tradition remains
firmly entrenched in today’s modern society.
Throughout the nine days and nights, those
participating in the festival cleanse their bodies of animal products by
following a strict vegetarian diet; the wear clean white garments and make
merit through offerings and prayers and meditation to cleanse their souls
and minds in the search for better health and prosperity over the coming
year. They follow the strict rules:
1. Not to take life of an animal for the prolongation
of our own.
2. Not to take the blood of living animals, to
replenish our own.
3. Not to take animal flesh to nourish our own.
The legend of how it
A small village was faced with a terrible disease
causing people to die. The village headman consulted with a monk at the
local temple seeking guidance.
The monk instructed the village headman to pray to the
9 deities and as the disease subsided the villagers joined the headman in
presenting offerings and praying, presenting offerings of rice and
vegetables as part of the ceremonies. They abstained from eating the flesh
of animals and made merit and donations to those in need. The ceremonies
have continued for the last 1,000 years.
Pattaya’s Vegetarian Festival began some 57 years ago
(1957) when the Chinese business community in Naklua formed what is now
known as the Sawang Boriboon Foundation. From throughout Banglamung and
Sattahip, they collected bodies of the deceased who had no relatives for
religious rites and a proper burial. During this ceremonial period, the
devotees practiced vegetarianism and wore only white clothing.
At the end of the ceremonies they built a shrine to the
‘Paed Sian’ deity, which was completed on the first day of the ninth
lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The festival has been celebrated here
Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa unveils new image
Makes 50 million baht investment
The Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa, led by William
E. Heinecke, chairman and CEO of Royal Garden Resort Plc and Kevin J.
Beauvais, chief operating officer of Royal Garden Resorts Plc presided
over a ‘thank you party’ and the grand opening of their new swimming
pool as well as the unveiling of the hotel’s new image. The event took
place on October 9 around the pool area with honored guests and hotel
customers, staff and management joining in the lime green theme of the new
Kraiyusen, famous Thai musician wowed guests with his performance.
The Pattaya Marriott Resort & Spa’s new look is
part of a 50 million baht investment in renovation and re-opening. The
lavishly refurbished pool area, Garden Cafe Restaurant, Manao Bar and
Poolside Sala were officially opened. The new beautiful look of the
Marriott also coincides with the opening of the hotel’s new Chinese
restaurant - The Rice Mill.
E. Heinecke (left) and Kevin J. Beauvais open the ‘fiery’ champagne
magnums, declaring the party open.
The new pool, the highlight of the event, is 650 square
meters and set amid lavish natural landscaping. Bill Bensely, one of the
designers of the project, and well-known throughout Asia, participated in
the project planning. The new pool includes hydrotherapy jacuzzis to ease
those aches and pains, in a unique oriental style featuring a fusion of
Thai, Burmese and Cambodian influences. A special point is a new sala from
the Mandara Spa providing poolside service for hotel guests.
Thai musicians greeted guests.
During the event, the atmosphere created by colorful
lighting was embellished by a water ballet show and numerous other
activities and a special guest appearance by famous Thai actor Oliver
William E. Heinecke, chairman and CEO of Royal Garden
Resort Plc said in his speech, “Welcome to you all and thank you to
those who made this possible. Tonight we join in opening a new era for the
Spa, part of the poolside services.
stage shows were held to mark the occasion.
The festivities included the opening of two champagne magnums, dazzling
fireworks and a special show by Ford-Sobchai Kraiyusen, famous Thai
musician, creating a romantic atmosphere enhanced by spectacular light and
sound throughout the pool area. The grand opening was a splendid event and
enjoyed by all.
atmosphere around the poolside.
A prosperous future through cooperation
TGI takes knowledge to the workplace
On October 7, TGI hosted an industrial exhibition
titled, “A Prosperous Future through Cooperation” and a technical
seminar in their impressive branch at the Amata Nakorn industrial estate
Due to the recent restructuring of the Thai cabinet,
unfortunately no member of the Thai government was able to participate in
the event. However, German Ambassador Andreas von Stechow held the opening
speech. He focused on the significance of innovation, discussed the
competitiveness of the Thai industry and stressed the importance of a
good, praxis oriented vocational training.
his “Your Point of Technology Transfer” speech, TGI German director
Walter Kretschmar discussed the causal dependences between education, the
political system and the competitiveness of the industry.
Thai director of TGI, Narong Warongkriangkrai held a
short opening speech, and then Walter Kretschmar, the German director,
went to the lectern. At his speech, under the motto “Your Point of
Technology Transfer”, he was aided by a big screen, where as part of a
presentation charts and diagrams were shown. After some statements about
the history and the development of the TGI, he discussed the causal
dependences between education, the political system and the
competitiveness of the industry.
to R) TGI Thai director Narong Warongkriangkrai, German Ambassador Andreas
von Stechow and TGI German director Walter Kretschmar
“Regular education in schools and universities is of
course very important, but vocational training is important as well. Each
year in Thailand about 50,000 students are leaving universities with
Bachelor or Master Degrees, who don’t find a job because they don’t
have any vocational experience. Only the dual system ‘classroom –
workplace’ will lead to success. That’s why funded and praxis oriented
vocational training is so important. Well-trained workers, technicians and
vocational academy engineers will help the industry to increase the
innovation, to build social and financial security, to improve the
productivity and to reduce poverty. This causes an increase of
competitiveness for Thai industry in global markets,” said Kretschmar.
“At the present rate of globalization it is very easy
for companies and affiliated groups to take their production abroad. For
this, Thailand is one of the target countries – the automotive industry
is the best example. But the companies are not only looking for cheap
labor. Increasingly, they are looking for well trained human resources,”
After the speeches, the participants of the event,
about 200 businessmen, managers and representatives of Thai and German
companies, went to visit the industrial exhibition. Due to the limited
space no machines were shown, but a lot of smaller work pieces and product
examples could be viewed, and several well-known companies from Thailand
and Germany introduced their production and products on show boards, such
as BMW, Siemens (Skytrain), Thai Heng (foundry and machining), JJ-Lapp
Cable (electric cable and connectors), Getabec (pressure vessels and heat
exchangers), Doosan (CNC machines), Ingersoll-Rand and CNC design (both
machine-building), O’Connor’s (precision measuring equipment), Fibro
(standard parts, automation and robotics), C.H. Schaefer (gear-building),
Delcam (machine-building) and Merlin Gerin and Telemecanique (both
electric machines), to name just a few.
Representatives of the companies explained about their
production and their products, including Ralf Gunter Broda of the Heatec
Co. Ltd. from Laem Chabang, the builder of heat exchangers, and his
29-employee counting company. They can be tailor-made to all sizes and
needs, up to heat exchangers for power plants. A special kind of synthetic
heat exchangers, Heatec is actually the only supplier worldwide. Some of
the very special or precise parts are imported from Germany, other parts
and materials come from Thailand, and the assembly takes place in Laem
Chabang. Most orders for the heat exchangers which the company builds come
The participants were served a lunch, and in the afternoon a technical
seminar about three different themes took place. Buranang Suksamitti from
Delcam (Thailand) Co. Ltd. spoke about “3 Dimensional Mould Design”,
and Vuttipong Vongsankakorn from Omron Electronics Co. Ltd. presented the
topic “RFID the next step of auto-identification”. After a coffee
break Natthawut Klowuttisathien discussed the topic “Maintenance on the
CNC machines” at the closure of this informative event.
The Thai-German Institute (TGI), established in 1995,
is a joint initiative of the Thai Ministry of Industry and the Industrial
Development Foundation (IDF), the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation
and Development, the German Technical Development Agency (GTZ) and the
German Development Bank (KFW). The main task for TGI is to offer
non-formal, industrial and vocational training courses, including tool
& die technology, CNC & CAD/CAM technology, automation technology,
industrial information technology and plant productivity management.
In their courses they put their main focus on praxis
orientation. The lessons are taken to the workplace. To enable this, TGI
dispersed a collection of industrial machines and equipment worth 700
million baht, including two CNC turning 3 axis machines, three CNC milling
machines with 3, 4 and 5 axis, a high speed milling machine, a laser
cutting machine, a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) and a rubber and
polymer quality tester with nuclear magnetic resonance. There are also 3
CAD/CAM labs, a material testing lab and a heat treatment lab.
If the course graduates are taught theory about some
step of manufacturing, they can stand up and immediately test it out at
the corresponding machine. This praxis orientation is usually missing in
the vocational education in Thailand. A lot of teachers and trainers at
Thai vocational schools have a Bachelor degree from a university, but
they’ve never seen a factory hall from the inside.
Other tasks at the TGI are SME development support, CE
and GS certification support (German product quality certificates),
additional support services including technical and management seminars,
and of course general support to Thai industry by technology transfer. To
enable this, TGI have a human resource pool of 120 employees, Thais and
Germans which have all received training from Germany. This also ensures
the technology transfer from Germany to Thailand. A course certificate
from the TGI is nearly a guarantee for a job and is in more demand from
Thai industry than a Bachelor degree.
The training courses are laid out as short-term intensive courses (3 to
5 days), mid-term courses (4 months) and long-term courses (16 months).
Additionally, TGI can organize training directly in the customer’s
companies. Of course, for all training courses and other offers, fees must
be paid, but nevertheless the TGI is a non-profit institute, and all
profits must be re-invested.
Old Germany celebrates grand Oktoberfest shindig
With genuine Oktoberfest beer and songs, the annual
Oktoberfest was celebrated in “Old Germany”, the German restaurant in
Maptaput, last Wednesday. It will also be celebrated every Wednesday this
Osterwald provides the music, and it was great, toe-tapping, dancing
The jaunty waitresses, in their traditional dirndl
dresses, exactly like their counterparts in Munich, carried large beer
mugs to the guests, who downed them so quickly that the women quickly
needed to return with refills.
Of course, there were also fantastic Oktoberfest
specialties to fill the stomach - schweinshax’n, bratwurst and
sauerkraut. But as opposed to the Oktoberfest tents in Munich, here there
were delicious homemade tarts for dessert, baked by Pat, the hostess. The
revelers in Munich would have been green with envy if they had seen how
everyone here tucked in!
James, what time is it? It’s beer time! Make mine a double - or am I
just seeing double?
German James Osterwald provided the music. Reckon the
name is a bit unusual? Well, host Dieter Floeth has a foible for artistic
names and they should at least a bit German. So he, as it were, threw the
two great German artistes James Last and Hazy Osterwald into a pot and
renamed his all-round keyboard musician James Osterwald. Exactly like his
waitresses have German names like Olga, Frieda or Anna.
Of course, the guests who turned up in traditional Oktoberfest garb
were delighted at this weekly Oktoberfest shindig, which takes place till
the end of the month.
May I have this dance,
know, let’s put on silly hats and pretend we’re in Munich.
friends, silly hats and great beer. This is the good life.
Adoring fans remember famous Thai film star Mitr Chiabancha
Crowds gather at Jomtien Beach shrine to pay respects
Thirty-four years to the day, adoring fans still pay
tribute to Mitr Chaibancha at the spot where he lost his life. Mitr died
after falling from a helicopter during a film shoot on Jomtien Beach on
October 8, 1970. Locals regard the memorial site, located in a quiet area
on the little soi that runs parallel to, but inland from Jomtien Beach
Road, as a shrine of good luck and those who adore the film star remember
with great love the boxer-turned-actor.
from all walks of life still pay their respects at the shrine in Jomtien
where Mitr Chaibancha’s life was tragically cut short.
For 34 years fans have come and prayed to his memory.
He was a very well known movie star, and was idolized by his millions of
fans. It was during the filming of Insee Thong (Golden Eagle) on
October 8,1970, in the then small village of Pattaya that Mitr was to make
his last appearance. The stunt shot required him to cling onto the rope
ladder of a helicopter, which was to get airborne and fly off into the
sunset as the final scene in the movie. As the helicopter gained height
Mitr lost his grip and fell to his death on Dongtan (Sugar Palm)
Chaibancha is enshrined in Jomtien.
A shrine was built at the spot where Mitr died and is a
place of pilgrimage for many of his devoted fans. They come from all walks
of life and from different parts of Thailand.
Orathai Noparat, a 50 year old teacher from Nakhon
Nayok, knew Mitr Chaibancha personally when she was younger. She adored
his films and more especially his charm. She prays for him and believes
that this will bring good luck in her life.
photos of Mitr Chaibancha hang respectfully at the Jomtien shrine.
“After I worship him, I receive good things in my
life” said Orathai, adding that she comes to Pattaya twice a month to do
this. She said it makes her feel good and gives her the strength to
believe and accomplish things in her life. Her family members are also
fans of Mitr Chaibancha and they revere him as well. “This is our own
personal belief and we don’t try to persuade others to worship him. If I
think positively, positive things happen in my life,” said Orathai.
Pattaya Mail reporters spoke to a flower, incense
and candle salesman at the revered spirit house, who said many people from
all walks of life come to pay their respects. “They think this will
bring them good luck, especially with the lottery numbers,” he said.
The venerated wooden spirit house was built by Thanet
Munprasitchai and is situated in a soi off Jomtien Road in front of the
Banglamung District Revenue Department, at the back Jomtien Palm Beach
Hotel. Inside the spirit house is a life-size statue of Mitra Chaibancha.
He is holding a gun in his hand reminiscent of his numerous roles as an
action movie star. The walls are lined with rare photographs of him
together with other action stars.
Mitr’s life is a rags to riches story. Pichet Pumhem
was born into poverty in Petchaburi Province on January 28, 1934. At the
tender age of 8 his mother moved to Bangkok where he was introduced to and
studied Thai boxing. In 1952 he became a lightweight boxing champion for
his school, and eventually went on to win 2 Lightweight division titles,
which gained him his first feel of fame. After finishing secondary school
(M.6) he studied at Pranakhon College. A year later he was accepted into
the Royal Thai Air Force aviation school where he trained to as a pilot.
After graduation, he worked at Don Muang Military Airbase, teaching pilots
how to fly and ‘dog-fight’.
In 1957 close friends showed his photograph to
journalist Kingkaew Kaewprasert, who introduced him to Surat Pukkawet, the
editor of a movie magazine. Before long he starred in his very first film
titled Chart Sua. It was then that he decided to change his name
from Pichet Pumhem to Mitr Chaibancha. He caught the attention of Thai
movie fans after starring in “Chao Nakleng” using the character name
Rom Ritthikrai from Insee Daeng series.
In 1959 he married Jaruwan in a private ceremony. In
1961 a son, Yuthana (Ton) was born. The marriage didn’t last long and
ended in a divorce.
In 1961 he starred in his first film with Petchara
Chaowarat titled Banthuk Rak Pimchawee. This was to be the
beginning of one of the most celebrated hero-heroine partnerships. The
Mitr-Petchara team made more than 200 films together.
In 1970, he started to produce his own films, in which
he also starred as the leading actor. His first production Insee Thong,
featured the return of Insee Daeng, or detective Rom Rittikrai.
On the morning of that fateful day, which was the last
day of shooting, the script called for Mitr, having vanquished the bad
guys at their hideout on Dongtan Beach in Pattaya to fly off in a
helicopter. As the camera rolled, Mitr leapt from the ground to grab the
rope ladder. The helicopter flew higher and higher. Within moments Mitr
lost his grip and fell to the ground. The horror was all caught on film
and was actually left in the final theatrical release for all to see.
Early investigations thought that the ladder had broken, but it proved
to be intact. Mitr’s death was ruled as an accident. Other theories
allege that there should have been two takes for that final scene. The
first would be of Mitr grabbing the ladder and flying at low altitude and
a stunt man would have preformed the second shot at higher altitude.
Unfortunately the crew was running out of film and therefore kept the
cameras rolling unbeknown to the hapless star who could not hold on much