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Today's Alert 2016

May 2016

The Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day

Sacred oxen: Forget drought, there's plentiful water. A prosperous economy, plentiful water and abundant food were predicted by two sacred oxen, Phoem and Phoon, during this year's Royal Ploughing Ceremony at Sanam Luang on Monday morning. His Royal Highness Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, on behalf of His Majesty the King, presided over the ceremony. Four consecrated women in the procession carrying gold and silver baskets filled with rice seeds scattered them into the fresh furrows. Walking alongside the plough were official Brahmans from the Royal Court who chanted and blew conch shells. Phoem and Phoon were offered seven bowls containing grass, paddy, maize, sesame seeds, soy bean, water and liquor. The oxen ate paddy and maize, leading to the prediction that there will be plenty of food and sufficient water for agriculture; that communication and foreign trade will improve, leading to a prosperous economy.

Right after the ceremony, a large number of spectators rushed to collect rice seeds scattered on the field. The ceremonial grains are considered an auspicious start to the rice planting season.

Credit

April 2016

13 - 15 Songkran Festival 2016

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April is the hottest time of the year in Thailand, so the water splashing fun of the Songkran festival is always welcomed, by Thais and tourists alike. The kingdom’s most culturally important event, Songkran is a celebration of the traditional Thai New Year. Normally the celebration lasts for three days from 13 to 15 April, but this year there will be an extended break as 16 and 17 April falls on the weekend.

According to the Thai Buddhist calendar, Songkran literally means ‘astrological passage’. It can be interpreted as ‘change’ and ‘cleansing’, a time to usher in a new year and to purify one’s soul and also to do some spring-cleaning. It is also a time to enjoy family time and some fun and exciting festivities too.

Don’t be surprised to see thousands of Bangkok-based Thais flocking to the bus terminals or joining the traffic for the long drive back to their hometowns to see their families and old friends to enjoy the Songkran celebrations together. Each province and each community has its own unique way of celebrating the festival, so the activities vary from province to province.

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Top tips to get the most out of Songkran:
1. In the morning, make merit and listen to temple sermons to understand and benefit from the spiritual side of the festival. Remember that during the New Year festival, the temple activities are the most important aspects of the celebration.
2. To purify or bathe the Buddha or other statues, water should not be poured directly onto the head of the relic, rather on other parts of the statue’s torso. This is a unique ritual which for centuries has celebrated the significance of water in Thai culture and society as a symbol of purity, prosperity and happiness.
3. The custom of pouring water onto the hand of elders’ (people above 60 years old), is to show respect and seek their New Year blessings. This custom is called the Rod Nam Dum Hua.

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Water used to splash on others should be clean or mixed with Thai traditional fragrances. Avoid using dirty water, cold or iced water on others. Also, do not use water mixed with sweet basil seeds, saku seed or any colours as they can stain clothes and cause irritation.

Avoid throwing water aggressively or using high-pressure water guns or hoses.

Women should be wary of wearing tight clothes or ones that are light in colour and/or made of thin fabric. When wet, such garments can become quite revealing, raising the risk of sexual harassment.

Reference

TAT NEWS. Songkran Festival 2016. Retrieved from http://www.tatnews.org/events/songkran-festival-2016/


March 2016

International Women’s Day (IWD)

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International Women’s Day (March 8) honouring the achievements of women and promoting women’s rights. A national holiday in numerous countries, it has been sponsored by the United Nations (UN) since 1975.

International Women’s Day (IWD) grew out of efforts in the early 20th century to promote women’s rights, especially suffrage. In its campaign for female enfranchisement, the Socialist Party of America in 1909 held the first National Woman’s Day, which was highlighted by mass meetings across the United States; the day was observed until 1913. Encouraged by German activist Clara Zetkin, the International Socialist Congress agreed in 1910 to create an international version of the U.S. holiday, and on March 19, 1911, the first IWD was held in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. More than one million people attended rallies marking the day. In the ensuing years the IWD was celebrated in additional countries and on varying dates. On March 8 (February 24, Old Style), 1917, women in Petrograd (St. Petersburg), Russia, marked the day by staging a strike to protest food shortages, poor living conditions, and World War I. This strike for “bread and peace” helped give rise to the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led to the abdication of Nicholas II on March 15 (March 2). In 1921 the date of the IWD was officially changed to March 8.

In the following decades, the success of the suffrage movement contributed to a decline in the popularity of the IWD. However, aided by the growth of feminism in the 1960s and UN sponsorship (1975), the IWD experienced a revitalization in the late 20th century. Today, it is an important occasion for promoting women’s issues and rights, especially in developing countries.

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Reference

International Women’s Day (IWD). (2016). In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from http://academic.eb.com/EBchecked/topic/1090678/International-Womens-Day

February 2016

Veterans' Day in Thailand

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February 3, is annual celebration of Veterans' Day in Thailand. This day commemorates the foundation day of the War Veterans Organization of Thailand.

The official remembrance ceremony takes place at Victory Monument in Bangkok. The monument was erected in 1941 to commemorate the victory of Thailand in Franco-Thai War. This war was a brief conflicts waged against the French colonial authorities in Indo-China. The conflict resulted in Thailand annexing some territories in Laos and Cambodia. These territories originally belonged to the Kingdom of Siam before the forced ceding to France in 1893 and 1904.

Red poppy is a symbolic flower in Thailand, as well in other countries. It's the symbol of peace, that reminds us about the people, who died in fights for freedom. Red color symbolizes blood shed in the battles.

Red poppies are sold on Veterans' Day in Thailand under the initiative of the War Veterans Organization. The money from the sales of poppies are given to the veterans and their families.

References


January 2016

What's new in 2016

e-SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) a new Discovery Service from CGI Learning Center
offerring lists of books, articles and chapters searched from CGI reference databases (Ebscohost),
using selected keywords that might be of interest to CGI students and faculty members.
Simply click on the link and continue searching at your convenience.
For example this week offer is “Medicinal Chemistry” http://goo.gl/bvnTv4
You may want to limit your search to view only full text that is available from the database, or to view journals, or to e-resources only.



CGI Learning Center Most issued 2015
January - December 2015

Molecular Cell Biology (6th Edition).**
QH581 .2 L823M 2008