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Chinese New Year

Throughout the whole of January I have been subjected to the drumming coming from the Chinese Temple in the next street as they practised for this celebration. I can’t say that it was the music to try to go to sleep to, but you have to admire the dedication of these people, mainly youngsters  as they prepared to celebrate the most significant event in the Chinese calendar. On February 8th and 9th we finally got to see and hear the dragon and the gymnasts and it really was an amazing sight.

The dragon was paraded around the streets first, bring the already heavy traffic to a chaotic standstill, children ran up and down the pavements in excited anticipation and crowds stated to gather quite early on at the end of the street that house the Temple. The temple itself is beautiful and had been given fresh paint and a general spruce up before the event. It looks wonderful at night, red lanterns, trees spotlight from below, golden statues and icons and incense burning on the altars. I feel quite lucky to be living so close to this delightful structure, although as mentioned before I could have done without the drums for 30 nights solid!

When the dragon came to a halt the gymnasts took over. at one point a toddler, who could have been no more than 3 years old was hoisted onto a human tower of six adults,  each standing on the shoulders of the man beneath him. My heart was in my mouth as this tiny figure waved at the crowd from what seemed like the height of the neighbouring shops and buildings. Health and Safety? Don’t be silly! Mae Sot is a relatively small town but the display these people put on was very professional. Duelling dragons, a boy strapped to a pole and flung up towards to the dragon’s mouth brandishing fireworks, his teammates struggling to catch the pole, which was more like a very large and heavy log, as he hurtled earthwards, and all accompanied by drums bells and whistles. I’m really glad that I was able to see it. I have videos captured on my phone which show the cascading fireworks and the gyrations of the dragon much more clearly than the still pictures, and of course there is also the sound of the music and excited shouts from the crowd. Unfortunately, I’m not able to upload it here, but I will try to do so on Facebook.

2019 is the Year of the Pig. It’s element this time around is earth and if you are born in the Year of the Pig you will receive good fortune in health and financial matters, although it appears that your love/romantic life may not be plain sailing. As far as I am aware, there are no “forms” in Tai Chi that correspond to the Pig. Just as well really as they’re not exactly the most graceful of animals are they?

A good time was had by all as they say.

Fundraising Day at Mae La Camp.

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This is the school principal, Khu Paw, busy cooking in preparation for the fundraiser on Friday of last week. I have mentioned her before. What an amazing woman she is. She has to be a “Jill of all Trades” in her role as Principal and she keep the school going on a shoe-string. Donations are always welcome BTW.

The students also worked hard, cooking, playing music and making cold drinks to sell. I have said before that the sheer size of Mae La is quite awe-inspiring. I was there in the morning, and most of the “customers” came from nearby, but Khu Paw said she expected a steady stream of people throughout the day and evening from other parts of the camp. I can’t wait to hear how much they managed to raise.

That’s it for now folks, it’s getting late here and I have had a fairly long day sorting out arrangements for the Cambridge exams due to take place in March, and teaching my Mae Sot evening class.

Do you like the T-Shirt? (Not mine, the “Border Boy”?)

Namaste

Caroline

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