Thailand is a monarchy, and has been ruled by the Chakri Dynasty for a very long time. Its current leader, King Bhumibol Adulyadej was born in the USA in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was born in 1927 and became king on the 9th of June 1946. This makes him the longest ruling king in the world. His actual coronation was on the 5th of May 1950, when he was still studying in Switzerland, which is where he met the present queen HM Queen Sirikit.
In this period, Siam changed its name to Thailand and was experiencing much political and social instability. However, the people of Thailand remained in need of a King and it is very clear that such is still the case. The people of Thailand see their royal family as a true pillar of the community. The King, when he assumed the throne, stated that he will reign with the happiness and righteousness of the people of Siam at the forefront of all his actions, and he still stands for this.
The King and His People
The King has been a guiding light for his people for over 60 years now. During his reign, some 27 prime ministers came and went, with the 28th currently in power. As a constitutional monarch, the King does not choose any political side, nor does he influence political decisions. As such, he has seen his country guided by those of differing political views. Being above politics, the King focuses on the people in his kingdom, and particularly those in the more rural areas. He has always stood by his people and has provided them with a guiding light.
How the Thai See Their King
For the people of Thailand, the kind is the country’s father. This means they expect him to look after them and give them what they need to survive. This includes a foundation of good education and the ability to gain employment when they grow up. In return, the people of Thailand want to look after their father when he reaches old age, so he can be comfortable after retirement.
Every Thai person, as such, is a child of the king. The oldest and wisest went to form a group that allows the younger children to have a peaceful and prosperous home. As such, the current King is seen as the father to some 60 million people, who he has looked after properly during his reign. This is demonstrated through the hard work he has done as a philanthropist, using his personal funds to improve the nation as a whole. The Thai will agree that no monarch has worked as hard for his people as King Bhumibol Adulyadej has, particularly as he the people of Siam were not living in healthy or good conditions when he came to the throne. However, even during those days, they had their basic needs met and they were happy, something that the King built upon.
The people in the most rural areas, however, were quite lost. As such, the King put in strong efforts to improve education in these areas by starting schools and he ensured the continued existence of these communities. The government, which is comprised of older and wiser children, have helped to ensure that these projects can continue and are always seen as important. Although the people of Thailand – the King’s children – are ready to look after their King in his retirement, he is still going strong and shows no signs of wanting to retire.
The King truly is a strong pillar for the people of Thailand. He has seen his country turn into a true democracy after much bickering between the older and wiser children. This bickering, besides bringing some infrastructure into Bangkok, did not bring about much positive change, particularly for the rural areas that the King has always been so interested in. Hence, he has provided personal funds and time to go to these areas and bring them into development.
For the Thai people, the King and his Queen are true parents. They can offer them the comfort they seek knowing that they are looked after. As a result, most homes in Thailand will have images of their beloved royal family. In moments of happiness, they will always look for this image and give thanks. If you visit Thailand, it is very important to understand this important role of the royal family in the everyday lives of Thai people. Being disrespectful of this is absolutely unacceptable.