Celebrating The King in New Zealand

Over the past couple of weeks Thai people all over the world have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ascension to the throne of The King. My local Thai community held their celebration last weekend.

We could not hope to match the one million people who turned out in Bangkok, and our temperature was probably 30 degrees colder, but we had a good crowd in our recently opened Bot, which was fitted out with a new extra-large picture of His Majesty for the occasion.

My most significant challenge for the weekend was locating a yellow shirt. I thought that this would be a simple matter, but yellow has not been a colour of choice in New Zealand for some time (if ever) and I spent almost two hours trudging through shopping malls before I happened on a shirt that was not only the right colour, but did not have any tasteless illustrations. The time spent did pay off in the end, though. My Thai friends were impressed that I had remembered to wear yellow, and those of us wearing yellow were promoted to the front row when it was time to take photographs.

Our celebration was low key. We had offerings for The King, mostly of yellow flowers, a message to the King read by one of the women, music and dance from the cultural group, our usual Buddhist chanting, and then we stood to watch a video recording of The King addressing the crowd last week, and to sing the Anthem.

Not quite the same as being there, but at least we could share a small part of the excitement of this important occasion.

Long Live The King.

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