RIP Thai King – why we love our teacher and father figure

Thai King

RIP to the Thai King – His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away peacefully last night at the age of 88 after ruling for 70 years.

The people of Thailand mourn the loss of their beloved Thai King. If you’ve been to Thailand, you can’t miss the posters and billboards proclaiming their loyalty to him. Even if you go to the cinema in Thailand, it is compulsory to stand up in respect to the King before the screening of a movie.

In an age when politicians are mocked, and royalty is deemed as archaic, it may be hard for non-Thais to understand why his citizens loved their King so much.

We asked JAI’s trainers for their favourite memories of their King:

Pradit: Even though he is the Thai King, he would go to the farmers and talk to them about their problem. (The King was a trained engineer) When they had (irrigation) problems with water, he helped them get the water they needed for their crops. He was not just a King, but a teacher to his people.

Thai King

Thai fighters, including Buakaw (above) would hold a portrait of the Thai King to dedicate their fight to him

Wimbledon JAI : After my father served in the army for the Thai King, he gave him a house. My family still lives in this house today.

Wit: The Thai King helps every Thai person, no matter what background they are from. Whether they were homeless, had no food or clothes, he would try and find a solution.

Wuttikun: The King worked hard for the people. Every day, no day off for him. And he took an interest in every area, from education to medicine, sports and the arts.

Yo: The King takes care of Thai people everywhere. He will travel from Bangkok to the villages rural parts of Thailand, even in the hot sun and broken roads. I remember how excited we were when he visited my city, Khon Kaen.

Thai King

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