Saturday, December 5, 2009

Guess Who is Celebrating His Birthday Today?

Courstesy of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (
His majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is celebrating his 82nd birthday today!  Here are some very interesting facts about Thailand's beloved monarch!
*The King was actually born in Cambridge Massachusetts on Dec. 5, 1927. 
*His name "Bhumibol Adulyadej" means "Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power."
*His mom Sangwal was a commoner.
*The King came to Thailand from the United States  when he was already around one year old in 1928.
*In 1935 his elder brother, Phra Ong Chao Ananda Mahidol, became King of Thailand. King Bhumibol ascended the throne following the death of his brother on  June 9, 1946. King Ananda died from a gunshot wound to the head while in his bedroom in the Baromphiman Hall in the Grand Palace.
*On 4 October 1948, while he was driving on the Geneva-Lausanne road, he collided with the back of a truck. He hurt his back and incurred cuts on his face. He also lost sight on his right eye. He had to wear an ocular prosthetic. 
*While finishing his degree in Switzerland, Bhumibol visited Paris frequently. It was in Paris that he first met a child of his first cousin, Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara , daughter of the Thai ambassador to France. He was 21 and she was 15. They got engaged in Lausanne  on July 14, 1949, and the couple were married on  April 28,  1950, just a week before his coronation.
*King Bhumibol and his wife Queen Sirikit have four children.
*During his coronation, he pledged that he would "reign with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Siamese people."
*King Bhumibol is a painter, musician, photographer, author and translator.
*The King is also an accomplished jazz musician and composer, particularly for his works on the alto saxophone. He was the first Asian composer awarded honorary membership of the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna at the age of 32. (Wow!!!)
*One of his book  "The Story of Thong Daeng" is the story of his dog Thong Daeng (meaning copper). He rescued the stray dog from a shelter that he had dedicated. Of the dog, the King wrote: "Tongdaeng is a respectful dog with proper manners; she is humble and knows protocol. She would always sit lower than the King; even when he pulls her up to embrace her, Tongdaeng would lower herself down on the floor, her ears in a respectful drooping position, as if she would say, 'I don't dare.'"
*The King is humble. In spite of lese majeste laws, which allow critics to be jailed for three to fifteen years in Thailand, he admitted during  his 2005 birthday speech. "Actually, I must also be criticised. I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. Because if you say the king cannot be criticised, itmeans that the king is not human", he said. "If the king can do no wrong, it is akin to looking down upon him because the king is not being treated as a human being. But the king can do wrong."
*King Bhumibol is an accomplished sailor and sailboat designer. He won a gold medal for sailing in the Fourth Southeast Asian Peninsular Games in 1967, together with HRH Princess Ubol Ratana. This accomplishment is to be remarkable given his  lack of binocular depth perception.

We hope you're as impressed as we are with His majesty. We pray for the King's continued good health and success on this special day. This psalm accurately sums up our well-wishes:

May God do what you want most and let all go well for you.
Then you will win victories and we will celebrate.
May the Lord answer all of your prayers.
I am certain, Lord, that you will help your chosen king.
Some people trust the power of chariots or horses,
but we trust in you, Lord God.
Give the king victory, Lord, and answer our prayers.

Happy birthday, Your Highness King Bhumibol Adulyadej! 
Love Samui 

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