Yesterday we all received the sad news that the beloved King of Thailand had passed away. His passing didn’t come as a big surprise as the King had been struggling with poor health for a while now, but I was still deeply saddened to hear this news.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej was never supposed to become a King but after the sudden death of his elder brother, the course of his life changed. Once he finished his studies in Switzerland, he came back to Thailand to begin his reign.
His parents had always been a big example for him, as they worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the Thai P\people, and so he wanted to do the same. He really cared about the problems his people faced, which he saw when he travelled around the country to meet with them.
By starting the Royal Development Project, His Majesty the King came up with loads of projects to solve the problems he had seen during his travels and heard from the people he talked to. He made sure the issues were studied and looked into, got the help of professionals to advise him, and after that, they came up with a solution. Once all of this was done, King Bhumibol would pass the initiative to the government. The King found that the people’s problems were his problems, and therefore he never stopped making their lives better. With these projects, he was able to change the lives of many of the people in Thailand. And this is one of the reasons why the Thai people call him “Father of the Nation”.
The government has informed that there will be a year of mourning, but at this moment we’re still waiting for what this will mean for the day to day live in Thailand.
What we do know is that for the coming month entertainment must be “toned down”, meaning that all entertainment events will have to be cancelled – there will be no concerts, live music, stage shows or competitions. Nightclubs and go-go bars have already closed down and will remain closed as a mark of respect. And as with many religious occasions and remembrances in Thailand, it is expected that the sale and consumption of alcohol may also be banned for a short period. However, for the time being, it is understood that large shopping malls, tourist attractions and beaches will remain open.
If you’re going to travel to Thailand in the coming period, please make sure to follow instructions given by your Embassy. Respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people, as they mourn this great loss, and if possible wear sombre and respectful clothing when in public.
To the Royal Family and all of my Thai friends, my most sincere and deepest condolences for the loss of The Father of Thailand – His Majesty The King Bhumibol Adulyadej. May he rest in peace.