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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reuters: Thailand awash in pink in support of king

Monarch Recovers

BANGKOK - Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej has unleashed a new colour on his country -- baby pink.

Since he left hospital on Wednesday wearing a pink shirt and pink jacket, Thais have rushed out to buy clothes in the same colour.


"Pink shirt sales jumped 60% today from yesterday after people saw the King in the colour," a woman selling polo shirts emblazoned with the royal emblem at a Bangkok street market said yesterday.


Some caught on sooner than others.


An aide to Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn told The Matichon newspaper astrologers had advised that the planet Mars, represented by pink, would help strengthen the Thai monarch, who spent more than three weeks in hospital.


"Since Her Royal Highness had been aware of the suggestions at the beginning of the year, she started to wear pink every Tuesday," Katevalee Napasap said.


In Thailand, Mars rules Tuesday, which translates into Thai as day of Mars. Each day is also associated with a colour. For example, Monday, the day King Bhumibol was born, is yellow.


So Bangkok is awash with people wearing yellow on Mondays to show their support for the King, a genuinely revered figure in a country that has had 18 coups since it became a constitutional monarchy in 1932.


Now pink has become the rage in hopes that wearing it will help return the world's longest-reigning monarch, who will be 80 next month, to full health.


King Bhumibol, a semi-divine figure whose portrait is hung in every Thai home, was taken to Bangkok's Siriraj hospital on Oct. 13 for treatment for a blood clot in his brain.


More than one million people in the largely Buddhist nation signed books wishing him a speedy recovery and many prayed at statues of the King's parents.


But pink may have a sting in its tail.


One fortune teller said Thailand, which is due to hold a general election in December to return the country to civilian rule after the latest army coup last year, could become chaotic if everybody started wearing pink on the same day.


"We will be under the influence of Mars from next week to February, which will bring conflicts to the country," said Kengkaard Jongjaiprah.


"If many people wear pink, I am afraid that will strengthen Mars' influence."


The planet in Thai astrology, which is derived from the Hindu cosmology, is associated with conflict and violence. Mr. Kengkaard believes lots of people wearing pink would strengthen its characteristics.


Capitalism, totalitarianism, propaganda and cult of personality-and the foreign press looks on with admiration. Probably taking notes. This shit is frightening.

8 comments:

sooksiam said...

Can you clarify your using the term of "this shit" for me?

Why do you have a problem with anything? If people want to wear yellow or pink shirts, it is none of your business.

The thing is I know that you cannot stand seeing people expressing love by using lively colours. The only colour you like to see is black which I personally think suits you pretty well since it signifies your sombre mood on anything regarding Thailand.

hobby said...

Fonzi: IMO this pink craze looks more like harmless superstition done for a good purpose (to improve the kings health, or to show admiration for the king), and in some ways it appears similar to Western prayers in its intent.

It should be distinguished from Thaksin's black magic, which looked to me to be much more negative and seemed to be about improving his personal wealth & power and/or putting a curse on his opponents.

BTW, I thought you knew the Western media is full of shit, and apart from pushing the establishment line, it's other main purpose is to distract people by keeping them obsessed with the cult of celebrity

Fonzi said...

Sookie and Hobby-

Well, Sookie, you think anybody who disagrees with your personal beliefs hates Thailand, and hobby, for the last year you have vigorously supported the military and its royal sponsors and would goose step behind the red and yellow shirts if that would get rid of politicians you don't personally like, so I'll take your criticisms with a grain of salt.

By the way hobby, there is a huge difference between the western media(TV, radio, internet) where there is constant criticism of the powers at be, and Thailand, where people who criticize the powers at be are thrown in jail. If you can't tell the difference, you are more deluded than I thought.

hobby said...

Fonzi: Your the one goose stepping behind Thaksin & the red shirts, not me.

FYI, I see as much criticism of the junta in the Thai media, as I see criticism of the powers at be in western countries by western media.

If you are talking about criticism of the royals, I have expressed my opinion of lese majeste many times before.
(IMO, the charge should only be able to be made by the monarch)

Whilst I admit the junta have bungled much of the last year, I still think it's better than having Thaksin continue his personal plunder.

BTW, you talk about all those people supposedly being thrown in jail, but your hero, Thaksin, with his extra judicial killing sprees has proven to be far more ruthless than this military junta.

Fonzi said...

hobby-

You have really descended into the gutter and have started to lie.

I have never been a Thaksin supporter or a PPP supporter. And I dare you to find one blog entry where I have praised Thaksin or supported Thai Rak Thai.

And you have to be an idiot to think that the criticism of the junta in the Thai media has been equivalent to the criticism of George Bush in the West.

You have just proven to be utterly self-deluded.

Fonzi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stevie g said...

Fonzi, give yourself some honour by admitting that you're a blind Thaksin supporter, if not something worse. Everyone with a grain-sized brain know what you and this blog are all about.

Thais buy pink out of their own free wills, just like those who voted for your beloved Thaksin. No difference. Stop preaching democracy if you attack the collective national urge to buy a royal product whose proceeds go to the poor.

Your lame I-never-support-Thaksin denial only magnifies your continuous self-mockery.

How about finding me any of your blog entry that was remotely critical of Thaksin? Let us see what your best shot was when it comes to allegations or ills of the Thaksin era. Alleged tax evasion. CTX. Alleged extra-judicial killings. Friendly loans to the Burmese junta. The use of AMLO to intimidate the media. I could go on and on. Did you ever have anything to say on those? Your blog dates back a long time before the coup and to the time when Thaksin was in power, so let me see what you had against the powers-that-be of that time.

Don't hide behind your laughable who-says-I-support-Thaksin? rhetoric? Show me one entry or as many as you want, and we shall discuss.

hobby said...

Fonzi: There are basically two sides in the current Thai political divide, and IMO you choose to only criticize one - that is why I am commenting here.

As for Western & Thai media, we must be reading different media because the ones I read still seem to treat GWB & Co as having some credibility, which IMO is astounding after all that they have done.