There is a story shared via WeChat official account from website  among Chinese  and Thai about a story when a Chinese traveler and her family accidentally got caught up in the midst of the crowd near the Grand Palace to pay respects to His Majesty the King Bhumibol who died a year ago.

Mourners gather in the rain outside the Grand Palace as they wait to pay their respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej near the Grand Palace. (Image not related to the post story: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

The story goes like this.

October 4, 2017 and it is Midnight Moon Festival when Chinese families are gathering together. It is Happy Chinese New Year, but in Thailand there are many people standing in line in the rain waiting to pay respect to His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej or King Rama IX. This may be the last time they will be close to their King.

That afternoon, my family and I planned to go on the dinner cruise in Chaophraya River and enjoy the moon. Unfortunately, there was heavy rain and did not stop. Not only we cannot see the moon, there is no boat too. What we could do that evening was to wander around the market nearby .

At late night, the rain started to stop. We decided to go back to our hotel. However, we couldn’t because on the road was full of people. What happened was when I and the family walk out of the alley, we saw almost everybody in the crowd were wearing in black standing on a long line waiting to pay respect and honor their pass-away king.

I know that since the palace was opened to the public in October last year, over the past year, many Thai people have come to visit the Grand Palace. Theu wait in long  lines waiting many hours in order love their love and respect to their king.

Image not related to the post story. Image: South China Morning Post

Of course, I’m a Chinese person who has been working in Thailand for the past one year and I has been following the news and media about the death of the King Rama IX since the beginning. Honestly, as one of the Chinese people who live in Thailand, this news is far was quite far from my daily life. That day I saw with my eyes and I started to understand more.

The moment I and the family are lost in the crowd, something unexpected happened. I retrieved numerous help from the crowd. There was a lady who guided me the way out and some people take us to the bus. On the way, they offered me and my family food and drink. This kind of help makes me feel so grateful.

More importantly, I saw many volunteers who are at all ages and from all professions, provide help and convenience to people there tirelessly. There are a lot of motorcycles and cars offer ride free of charge. I also saw Thai people in the waiting line without fear of  the rain. I can not help wondering why Thai people can do things that much for one person. Is it just because of respect?

No, of course not. From what I hear, The King of Rama IX, he was always by the people through his royal duties all the time during his reign. It is like he has been the symbol of the country. His royal birth is also a national day. He made Thai people become more united.

Because of his royal duties that has had done for Thai people all his life, Thai people come together here to show their respect. What happen that I have seen, is the result of what He has done for Thailand. I’m Chinese and I am feel a it of jealousy that Thai people have the king who sacrificed so much for them.

Portraits of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej are pictured at a shop in Bangkok. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

I may not be as sad as Thai people because I do not understand the love of Thai people in the Rama IX. Probably because of the history of China I have learned tells me that a idol is just an illusion. All faith from people is just what has been planned or is it just a made-up thing.

From what I experience that night, I can’t help but feel jealous that Thailand has nice people like this and there are good stories like I had. People come together in large scale and they are sincerely dedicated. They quietly wait at night to send respect and love to the person who become light in the hearts of the people of Thailand.

I think this way, what can make people want to help and do something to stranger that we have not met before. And when was the last time that strangers did something good for us? so far this life?

Finally, I want to say that Chinese people who live in Thailand know the love of Thai people to their king. We just do not say it. Even we will not feel as much as Thai people do, from the expression and grief of Thai people over the past year has made us realize that Thai people love King Rama IX so much beyond what we can explain.

Image: Nation Multimedia



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