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Good deeds mark HM The King’s birthday

BANGKOK: Yellow-clad Thais will express their loyalty and best wishes to His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun on his 66th birthday today (July 28) as volunteers enlisted under the royally initiated jit-arsa project engage in activities for the common good nationwide.

culture
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 28 July 2018, 10:34AM


His Majesty The King presides over a merit-making ceremony yesterday (July 27) to mark Asarnha Bucha Day at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, inside the Grand Palace complex. He was accompanied by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana.  Photo: Royal Household Bureau

His Majesty The King presides over a merit-making ceremony yesterday (July 27) to mark Asarnha Bucha Day at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, inside the Grand Palace complex. He was accompanied by HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha and HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana.  Photo: Royal Household Bureau

The project, highlighted by the catchy tagline of “We Do Good From the Heart”, has been an indispensable part of many recent events and has captured the attention of the public.

The Sala Sahathai Samakhom Pavilion inside the Grand Palace yesterday opened its doors for the public to sign well-wishing messages for His Majesty and will remain open until Sunday.

Jit-arsa, or the spirit of volunteering, has been embraced by several provinces across the country to commemorate the King's birthday.

In the northeastern province of Buri Ram, provincial governor Anusorn Kaewkangwan yesterday presided over the launch of activities to help prevent the spread of dengue fever by eliminating mosquito breeding areas through draining stagnant ponds as well as clearing weeds and water hyacinth clogging waterways to prevent flooding.

In Udon Thani in the Northeast, provincial governor Watthana Phutthichart led more than 2,500 volunteers to improve the surrounding landscape of a drainage canal along a local railway.

In the South, Surat Thani Governor Witchawuth Jinto yesterday led more than 4,000 yellow-clad volunteers in collecting rubbish, cleaning roads and planting “Yellow Star” trees to mark the King’s birthday.

The Yellow Star tree is the symbolic tree of King Rama X and the yellow colour represents Monday, the day the King was born.

In Bangkok, the Bangkok Post interviewed some people to find out how they are celebrating the King’s birthday this weekend.

“I plan to take my wife and my son to Bang Saen beach [in Chon Buri] as soon as my shift ends today. I think it will be a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the nice weather outside of the city where it is quieter and more beautiful,” said Amnaj Kidhen, 38, a private driver.

“To follow the path of the late King and in homage to King Rama X, I plan to spend the day in Bang Saen with my son doing charity work to give back to the community. We will pick up rubbish along the seafront. I believe this is a great way to celebrate His Majesty’s birthday,” Mr Amnaj said.

Others are spending time taking care of their elders in the city and lending a helping hand in their own way.

Thitiwat Ongsangkoon, 23, a business process consultant decided to help his aunt before undertaking a spot of gardening.

“I spend a lot of hours in the office on weekdays and sometimes it even interrupts my weekends. Therefore, on the King’s birthday, I have decided to spend time with my family and take my aunt to the hospital for a checkup,” Mr Thitiwat said.

“On the other hand, it is a great time to do good for the community in some way. As the traffic is so heavy over the holiday, instead of trying to take my family tree-planting, which I enjoy, I plan to gather people to help me furbish our rooftop garden. I think it is important to keep the community green amid all this urbanisation.

HM The King continues his father’s legacy

HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn has followed in the footsteps of his late father, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, on several paths including sports.

His Majesty was once known as the ‘Football Prince’ but is now renowned for his involvement in cycling.

King Rama X has also had shown keen interest in other sports since he was young.

The King’s love for sports is obviously in his blood through his late father, a great athlete and patron of sports who passed away two years ago.

His Majesty learned horseback riding when he was about 11 years old and soon became a capable rider.

While studying in Thailand and abroad, he played several sports with friends including football, rugby and rowing.

His Majesty also competed in sailing with King Bhumibol and sister Princess Ubolratana when they were staying at Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin.

His father and sister were joint champions in a sailing event at the 1967 Southeast Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games, now the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

A fine footballer, His Majesty first played as a forward and later became a centre-back at Chitralada School, Milfield School in England and the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Australia.

Because of his ability in the sport, he earned the nickname, the ‘Football Prince’.

An annual football tournament is being held for more than two decades in honour of His Majesty – the Mor Vor Kor Cup.

Mor Vor Kor are the initials of his name – Maha Vajiralongkorn.

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He is also the patron of the Amateur Muay Thai Association of Thailand.

The King, as a representative of his father or on his own, has presided over the opening ceremonies of several international sporting events including the 2007 SEA Games in Nakhon Ratchasima and the World University Games in Bangkok in the same year.

However, he is now an avid cyclist.

When he was the Crown Prince, he presided over the hugely popular Bike for Mom and Bike for Dad events in 2015 in honour of his parents.

The events attracted a large number of participants in every province across Thailand.

He graced these events not only to celebrate his parents' birthdays but also to encourage the Thai people to exercise for good health.

In fact, the King has long been a major supporter of Thai cycling.

“We have enjoyed success thanks to enormous support from [then] HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn,” Gen Decha Hemkrasri, president of the Cycling Association of Thailand (CAT), once said.

The King has played a key role in the growth of the sport in the Kingdom, according to Decha.

He has been donating trophies for winners of the Thailand Championships since 2000, Decha said.

“Thanks to his support, the sport is now popular throughout the country and the association has more athletes,” Decha said.

An example of his love for cycling was seen three years ago when he initiated the Bike for Mom and Bike for Dad events.

“The two events will remain in the hearts of the Thai people,” Gen Decha said.

Fittingly, His Majesty's daughters, Her Royal Highness Princess Bajrakitiyabha and Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana, also love sports.

HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha took part in the Bike for Mom and Bike for Dad events, while HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana joined the Bike for Dad event.

 

HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha also likes running and horseback riding, among other sports.

HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana is more serious about sports. She has taken part in the Asian Games and SEA Games either as a badminton player or an equestrian rider.

As a shuttler, the Princess won gold in the women’s team event at the 2005 SEA Games.

The down-to-earth Princess, who stayed at the athletes’ village during the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, prefers to be treated like other participants during international tournaments.

“They treat me like friends, a normal rider,” the Princess said during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, where she completed in an equestrian event.

“If they treat me as a princess I would not be here, I'd be at another stable, with beautiful decorations.”

“We must also not forget the King’s support for living sustainably,” he added.

 

Read original stories here and here.

 

 

 

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