One of Thailand’s significant holidays is coming this weekend. Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday, Dec. 5. Thai people celebrate Father’s Day on the birthday of their king, the symbolic father f the nation. As we look forward to the day, we love to see how the Thai people honor and respect their king.
The Thai people love and respect their king. They truly think of him as the father of all Thai people. We are constantly reminded of this fact when we go to the movies in Bangkok. After the coming attractions are finished, a special song and message appear on the movie screen. At that time, everyone stands to show respect to the king as the his song is played and a video is shown. At the conclusion of the song and before sitting down, the Thais will bow their head reverently before the king. Leading up to the Father’s Day, businesses and commercial buildings begin to display large poster sized pictures of the king, the longest reigning monarch in the world.
Outsiders unfamiliar with a monarchy might feel people honor the king as a dutiful citizen, but it is so much more that this to the Thai people. For one to think like this, they have no idea the connection this king has made with his people. In his younger years, he made a point to visit every province each year and look for ways to help his people improve their lives. For example, he started projects in the northern hill-tribe region to give the people jobs and get them off of growing opium. Also, he devised programs to help the agricultural sector of Thailand, one of the largest parts of the economy. The king of Thailand has given his life to help the Thai people and that has endeared him to his people forever. He is the one unifying person throughout the nation. On Sunday, everyone will stop to pay respect to their king and symbolic father, as well as honor their own fathers.