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King Chulalongkorn Day

The Thaiger

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King Chulalongkorn Day | The Thaiger

October 23 is a national holiday in Thailand as it marks “King Chulalongkorn Day”, known in Thai as “Wan Piyamaharaj Day”. He remains highly revered in Thailand and his portrait can often be seen, alongside the current King Rama X, in homes, shops and halls around the Kingdom.

The day commemorates the passing of King Chulalongkorn, otherwise known as King Rama V. King Chulalongkorn led several major reforms in Thailand, for example in the areas of Thai educational system, military affairs, State Railway and the Slave Liberation Act, without bloodshed in Thailand.

King Chulalongkorn is the fifth monarch of Siam under the House of Chakri. He is the son of King Mongkut and the great grandfather of the current King of Thailand, His Majesty the King Maha Vajiralongkorn. He came to be known in the west as the young prince in the Hollywood musical “The King and I”, which portrays the story of an English teacher in the court of King Mongkut.

He was born on September 20, 1853.

Before his coronation, King Chulalongkorn studied various branches of arts and sciences such as Royal Tradition, Public Administration, Archaeology, Pali, English, Military Science Wrestling, Weapon Using, and Engi neering. He visited Singapore and Java twice and India once. He travelled to observe the political systems and administration of the European colonists who came to govern many regions in South East Asia. He brought back knowledge and technology to apply in the governing of Thailand. Royal traditions such as uniforms, haircuts and audiences with the king were adapted to a western style.

He was ordained as Buddhist monk for a short time during September 15 to October 11, 1873 and then was coronated officially on October 16, 1873 to announce absolute kingship to the people of Siam and the world.

King Chulalongkorn is considered one of the greatest kings of Thailand. His reign from 1868 to 1910 was characterised by extensive social and economic development, including the abolition of slavery and state labor service. He is also famed for his ardent Thai nationalism, and for his skill in fending off the threat of European colonialism, despite the fact that large tracts of Siam were ceded to the Europeans during the period.

King Chulalongkorn managed to prevent Thailand from being colonised by extending friendship and travelling extensively to western countries like America, Great Britain, France and Russia. Because of this, Thailand remains as the only country in South-east Asia to have never been colonised.

Besides that, King Chulalongkorn was the first Thai King to send the Royal Princes to be educated in Europe. Throughout Chulalongkorn’s reign, outspoken writers could have their works published for the first time. Works that were previously banned were allowed to be read by the public once again.

King Chulalongkorn was perhaps best known for his abolition of slavery. In 1900 the Employment Act stated that all workers should be paid. The most important royal contribution was the announcement of Slave Abolition Act. Slave Abolition made him the Beloved Great King of all people of Siam.

King Chulalongkorn Day | News by The Thaiger

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Thailand

21% of Thai teenagers are gambling

Greeley Pulitzer

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21% of Thai teenagers are gambling | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Gambling, local style, Rai Et, north-east Thailand – Pinterest

Early in October the Thai Health Promotion Foundation met to discuss the gambling situation in Thailand in 2019. Also present were the Centre for Gambling Studies, Stop Gambling Foundation and related groups.

The meeting was set up after a report revealed that more than half (57%) of the Thai population, or 30.42 million people, gamble. The director-general of the Centre for Gambling Studies at Chulalongkorn University shared the report, which was based on data from a survey of 44,050 people across 77 provinces.

The figure is an increase of 1.49 million people from 2017. While most Thai gamblers are of working age, 2.4% of the total were aged between 15-18 years. This means that 21% of that age group are gambling.

According to California’s Council on Problem Gambling, youth, like everyone else, gamble for many reasons, including entertainment; socialisation; competition; loneliness, and boredom; to get rich quick; to impress others; be the centre of attention; make new friends, and because winning provides an instant, temporary boost of confidence.

“The California Council on Problem Gambling lists depression as one reason youth turn to gambling, noting that depression can just as easily be an effect as a cause. This is especially important to note in a country like Thailand.”

In an article in The ASEAN Post, it was noted that in December 2017, Thailand’s Department of Mental Health (DMH) reported that an estimated one million teenagers are believed to suffer from depression, many of whom go untreated, with two million more are at risk, making upward of three million among a population of eight million teens then.

The DMH said that stress and anxiety may affect a student’s ability to concentrate and perform well at school, and they may show several warning signs, such as lack of attention, loss of interest in daily activities, lethargy, sadness, and sleeping issues.

“It is clear from studies that depression and gambling go hand-in-hand: the unfortunate case in Thailand is that it is affecting children too.”

SOURCE: The ASEAN Post

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Bangkok

Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare

Greeley Pulitzer

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Professor: Military government too interested in tourism – not people’s welfare | The Thaiger

A professor of Rangsit University has criticised the previous military government for focusing too much on tourism and not enough on the welfare of the Thai people. The professor was speaking at Chulalongkorn University at a seminar discussing street stalls and urban development.

She questioned the National Council for Peace and Order’s policy of clearing street vendors in all but a few areas such as Yaowarat and Khao San Road that mainly cater to tourists.

She claimed that the NCPO – in power since the coup of 2014 until this year’s election – was more interested in economic development through tourism than in the welfare of the public.

Having affordable street food options was not just about tourism, she said, it was vital for poor workers who have migrated from the countryside, adding that it was part of an informal rather than a formal economy.

“For years people had earned their living from selling goods and services, including food, on the streets.”

This in turn provided an affordable option to eat for workers who came to Bangkok on for large investment projects. The issue, she said, was not just about tourism but the wider economy that might benefit.

The professor noted that CNN had once called Bangkok the best place in the world for street food but this had changed with the sanitized food trucks that have appeared since stalls and vendors were banned from most areas.

The Thaiger notes that banning street vendors has divided the capital. Many are happy that the sidewalks are easier to navigate, but others – including tourists – have said that the lifeblood and character of the city has suffered.

SOURCE: Naew Na | ThaiVisa Forum

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