Thursday, December 01, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

And no, I don't mean Merry Christmas. Nor Happy Chanakuh. Nor Happy Kwanza. I'm talking, of course, about the King's Birthday! Yes, it's that magical time of the year again when Thai's all over the world join in praising their beloved King Bhumibol. The beloved monarch's birthday is Monday and so all Thai businesses will be closed. TASC, of course, will be open; but I'm sure we'll hold a moment of silence in honor of his worshipfulness.

The Thai king, for those that don't know, is truly adored by Thais. An homage to his greatness is played before every movie. There's a skyscraper opposite the TASC office that has an entire side covered with a mural to His Greatness. Now that it is his birthday, many businesses are erecting in their store fronts little King Monuments in his honor. Should he want to, The King could most likely re-assert control over the government without raising too many hackles. Sure, the current president would be upset, and might even try to resist, but popular support is so strong for the King that it would be futile effort. It's not like in Britain, where the Royal Family are more like national pets, kept mainly for the amusement of the populace. The King is a father figure here; you do not, under any circumstances, ridicule him.

His son is another story, however. I don't know much about it, but apparently he is known as being quite the playboy and is a spoiled brat. Should he eventually become King it could be quite bad for Thailand, as the Thai's faith in their monarchy, I believe, is one of the things that makes this country so unusually tranquil (the southern muslim rebelion being a notable exception). Without that faith, the whole country could become more cynical... much more like the US is currently. Luckily there is another who could assume the throne upon the King's death; he has a daughter and she is held in very high esteem. Chances are that she will take the thrown upon her father's death.

So on Monday, remember to raise a glass to King King Bhumibol. Long live the King.

1 comment:

pacatrue said...

Why do I find myself saying "thank you, thank you very much" in an Elvis voice?.