By Joyce Campos
Bhumibol Adulyadej was the longest reigning monarch in both Thai and world history. Ruling the country of Thailand for seventy years, he peacefully passed away at the age of 88 years old at Siriraj Hospital.
The king was appointed to the throne at the age of eighteen on June 9th of 1946. Being conferred with the title King Bhumibol the Great in 1987, 41 years after his reign, reveals how loved he was by his people. Adulyadej was the ninth monarch of Thailand from the Chakri Dynasty as Rama IX, a reference to his lineage stretching from Rama I, the founder of the dynasty. His demise became a major emotional earthquake that shook his followers all around the country, bringing everyone to tears and a solemn state of mind.
The Thai cabinet approved a public holiday for government offices as soon as he passed away, asking the public not to hold any "entertainment activities" for a month as a demonstration of condolence, according to an announcement on Thai state television. The holiday is discretionary for private companies, but civil servants are ordered to wear black clothes for one year in mourning.
Previous to King Adulyadej’s demise was an extremely colorful gathering. Civilians dressed in two colors: pink and yellow. These colors have a significant meaning to Thai people: pink is the hue believed to restore health and yellow represents the King. The crowd outside of the hospital he was treated at chanted “Long live the king!” several times, but it was not enough to prevent the effects that age has on a human being.
The mood around the country has been somber for the past several weeks. Restaurants and food vendors remain open, but usually close by midnight. The usual loud dance music is absent as nightclubs closed for the night. Adulyadej’s demise did not only affect his own country, but others around the world as well. U.S. President Barack Obama described the king as a man of "grace and warmth," followed with a small oration of condolence and empathy. Other world leaders, such as British Prime Minister Theresa May, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have also offered their commiserations.
Apart from the tragic event, there must be a new king to appoint to provide protection for the country, especially in such a tense time in the world. Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will ascend the throne, but the date remains unknown. Until then, the world sends prayers and respect to Thailand.
Dewan, Angela, and Kocha Olarn. "Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dies at 88." CNN. Cable News
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Belopotosky, Danielle. "What the Death of Thailand’s King Means, and What’s Next." The New York
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