Memories from Southeast Asia a decade ago flashed through my mind when we paused during my church’s service on Sunday to mourn the death of the king of Thailand.Unfortunately, all I really remembered about the Thai monarchy, though, was that everyone wore yellow shirts on Monday.
Some reflections from Thai people, passed on to me via a friend from Thailand:
- He was King of our country, but became a commoner to have a relationship with us
- He chose to dwell among us. He had residences in many provinces, and he chose to not keep to himself in his palace in Bangkok
- He was the ‘hope’ of the country
- ‘Father of the Nation’ – Father’s day is celebrated on December 5th, the king’s birthday
- His Majesty was our ‘soul’
- He cared for the welfare of his people
- He put the people’s needs before his own
- He was a ‘peace’ maker when their was division within the politics
Honoring the king isn’t something we do in the United States. Monarchy has never been part of our DNA. However, monarchy is ingrained in the history of Thailand and goes back 700 years! Reflecting on this makes me realize how ancient cultures are more connected to their story than the I am with my lens as a citizen of a the United States, a nation and political system that began within only one third of that time in history. It is little wonder then that the people of Thailand will be in mourning for their king for an entire year, wearing black, lowering their flag to half-mask and showing only coverage of their king on television for a season. As Will Ripley, author of the CNN coverage, How Thais are mourning the death of their King, put it:
“the nearly universal adoration Thais feel for their late king is undeniably palpable — and unparalleled in the modern world.”
Thanks for sharing! That picture in 2006 is beautiful!