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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Chiang Mai: The King's Birthday


Yesterday was the King's birthday, a pool day that ended with fireworks, the national anthem, and the launching of yellow lanterns. Yellow is either the royal color or the King's color, and I suppose I should care which, but I don't. It was nice to see all the people in yellow shirts in the plaza, with their little candles lit. Today, all the laundries had yellow shirts hanging outside, already washed from yesterday.

Jellybean, note what the King is carrying. King Bumiphol has been known to hold up various functions so he can get just one more shot, from yet another angle.

  The King is 79, although most of the pictures that are used in posters and such are from much younger years. His age is a concern. One of his daughters, the science daughter (they seem to have been allocated or have chosen special interests), is really popular and some people would like to see her succeed to the throne. But there is a brother. I don't think the succession is automatic, but is subject to a sort of extended family, high-ranking nobility, concensus committe opinion. In theory at least, the daughter could rule instead of the son. At least that is how I understand it.

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