Thailand has encountered a lot of conflicts (some call it ‘more diversity’) during the past decade but no matter how diverse it may have become, the one thing that always united Thais was their shared reverence for King Bhumibol Adulyadej or King Rama IX – and this has been highly apparent since his passing. Of the many ways to honour and reminisce about King Rama IX, one of them has been public gatherings to sing the Royal Anthem, and these have gone viral on social networks. The biggest, most memorable such event occurred at Sanam Luang in front of the Grand Palace on 22 October, with thousands of attendees, many whom travelled from afar, who stayed from afternoon till dusk.
Similar scenes happened overseas as well. Here are video clips of Thais living in Europe, America and Australia gathering together to sing the Royal Anthem and showing the world their deep sorrow at the loss of King Rama IX. In other parts of the world such as Hokkaido, Japan, Thais came together to pay their respects to the late King and to make merit at their local Thai temple. It can be seen in all the video clips that foreigners have also joined in the mourning activities.
San Francisco, USA
Los Angeles, USA
London, United Kingdom
(at École nouvelle de la Suisse romande, King Bhumibol’s high school)
Massachusetts, USA (at King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand Square)
International monarchs and leaders are continuing to travel and pay their respects to King Rama IX at the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, or else offer compassionate condolences to the Thai royal family and the citizens of Thailand by correspondence. I dare say it’s not an exaggeration to call the level of mourning that we are seeing a phenomenon.