Bhumibol Adulyadej King of Thailand - A Reportage
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Yellow represents the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He was born on a Monday. King Bhumibol Adulyadej recently passed in October His death certainly took a toll on the people, and grief was widespread across the country. Crowds of people gathered outside the hospital and wore pink clothing in the hope that it would bring him good health. The aftermath of his death was a powerful one, as the country declared an official state of mourning for an entire year.
To honor this, many people, especially those working for the government, wear black to work, and no celebrations were allowed for a month. Clubs were quiet and even the infamous Khao San Road stayed silent during this period of mourning. In it, he promised he would have an unfaltering determination to eliminate hardships from all people living in Thailand, regardless of race and religion. Throughout his reign, he continued to unify and strengthen the country, and he became known as the father of the country. King Bhumibol Adulyadej played an active role in the lives of the Thai people long before he took the throne.
A large community of Thais of Chinese descent lived here, and this area is known as Chinatown today. Despite a seven-year murder trial and the execution of three junior palace staff, there has never been a satisfactory explanation of why he died, and the death was officially ruled an accident. A book which suggested that Ananda killed himself because he had been forbidden to marry a Swiss girlfriend was banned in Thailand.
Two months later, after the legislature had appointed a two-man regency council to rule pending his coming of age, he returned to Switzerland to complete his education. The young King had planned to become an architect and had enrolled at the University of Lausanne to study Engineering.
When King Bhumibol attained his majority in December , the Siamese government allocated several hundred thousand dollars for the ceremonial cremation of the remains of King Ananda, a necessary preliminary to the coronation of his successor who was required by religious custom to light the funeral pyre. But in October , King Bhumibol was seriously injured in a motor accident in Lausanne which left him blind in one eye and paralysed half his face.
Both cremation and coronation had to be postponed once more. By the time of his coronation, the King had married Princess Mom Rachawong Sirikit Kitiyakara, a great-granddaughter of a former king and thus a distant cousin. In the s she would be described as one of the 10 most beautiful women in the world.
King Bhumipol had first met Princess Sirikit in Paris, where her father was serving as ambassador. She was 15 years old and training to be a concert pianist. While in hospital recovering from the motor accident, King Bhumibol asked to see her and they soon became engaged. It was the first coronation ceremony of a Thai sovereign to rule under the system of constitutional monarchy. The royal couple spent their honeymoon at Hua Hin beach in southern Thailand before they returned to Switzerland, where the King completed his studies.
They returned to Thailand in King Bhumibol remained sensitive to the way in which Thailand is perceived by the outside world. He always liked to keep abreast of the latest developments in science and culture. He was an accomplished painter and photographer, and was the first member of the Thai royal family to be granted a patent for an invention. The registered patent is for the Chai Pattana Aerator Model RX 2, an apparatus for water treatment which can be seen operating in many polluted waterways in Thailand. King Bhumibol was also a writer and musician.
He translated several works of literature into Thai. One of his compositions, a beguine entitled Blue Night with lyrics by the royal chamberlain was incorporated in the Broadway revue Peep Show. As King, Bhumibol would serenade the population every Friday night on the saxophone, performing with a jazz group in the studios of the royal radio station. He would also become the first Asian composer to be honoured by being made a member of the Viennese Institute of Music and Arts.
The King had been a keen sportsman, fond of skiing, tennis and diving. A skilled sailor, he once sailed a dinghy single-handed across the dangerous Gulf of Thailand; in he won a gold medal in dinghy sailing for Thailand at the fourth South-East Asia Peninsula Games. Although the King continued to be revered by most Thais, the palace had recently come in for some unprecedented, if discreet, criticism. Definitely some serious cases of Thais vying to be yellower than thou.
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