Tatler Then And Now: Mother-Daughter Duos Pensupa And Sarisa Gajaseni; Apiphawadee Snidvongs And Pleng Kruesopon
For our latest look at then and now, we gather at the family home of Pensupa Gajaseni and her daughter Sarisa to re-imagine a photograph the pair took 17 years ago with Apiphawadee Snidvongs and her daughter Pleng Kruesopon. “But I wasn’t in the original,” Pleng points out. “Yes and no,” laughs her mother. “I was pregnant with you at the time, so technically you were!”
The first image was taken in August 2003. “It was Mother’s Day,” Pensupa recalls. “We were promoting Nom Mae, a new organisation that encouraged Thai women to breastfeed, which wasn’t widely practised at the time.” Backed by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Nom Mae became instrumental in getting shopping centres and businesses across the country to adopt breastfeeding rooms. In the time since the picture was taken Apiphawadee has spent 15 years at medical charity Operation Smile Thailand, eight as an ambassador, while Pensupa had a 10-year stint as the Mandarin Oriental’s social director before moving to Soho House, a London-based private member’s club and hotel group. The 51-year-old recalls her first meeting with Apiphawadee. “We were introduced through mutual friends at an event but I always remember seeing her on television,” she laughs. “I used to be a presenter for the Dove brand a long time ago,” Apiphawadee explains with a shy smile.
Sarisa, who was just four years old in the original shot, is now 20 and about to start her third year of anthropology studies at Smith College in Massachusetts. “Mum took me everywhere,” she remembers. “I grew up knowing her friends, so it’s always nice to see them again—hear them say ‘wow, you got so big!’—and find out what they’ve been up to.” Pleng, currently in her junior year at the International School Bangkok, was born a month after the older picture was taken. Like her mother and Pensupa, the 17-year-old has an altruistic streak and a can-do attitude. “I’m in the process of starting a new environmental initiative called Care for Coral,” she says—and if you don’t think she’s serious about it, she adds that following discussions with the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, she and her team are already busy arranging a coral restoration trip in October.
The saying goes that the apple never falls far from the tree and both young ladies seem to have inherited the altruistic streak that runs so strongly in their mums. Both are certainly ones to watch in the future.