Taweethapisek School, Bangkok

Saipanya School, Bangkok

By Taweethapisek School, Bangkok

Sunthorn Phu, Thailand’s greatest poet

Sunthorn Phu is Thailand's best-known poet. A commoner, he broke from tradition by writing in more ordinary language and about less elevated topics than previous writers. His most popular single work is the 30,000-line epic Phra Aphai Mani, which follows a Byronic hero in his romantic adventures throughout Thailand. Sunthorn's nine Nirats, which record his associations between memories and sites he visited, are also popular.
Part of Sunthorn's fame also rests on his colorful personal life. In his late teens, he was imprisoned for having an affair with a lady at court. In turn, he was then pardoned, married to the lady, and appointed court poet, before becoming an alcoholic, being left by his wife, and, around 1821, being jailed after a fight. He began Phra Aphai Mani in prison, and published it in installments over the next 20 years. He was out of favour during the reign of Rama III (1824 - 1851), whose writings he had once criticized. At one point he was driven by poverty to become a monk.
For his Bicentennial in 1986, Sunthorn Phu (1786 - 1855) was honoured by UNESCO as a great man as well as Thailand people's poet. This year also witnessed a nationwide celebration. A new edition of his works, translations, and biographical studies were published. Besides, the cultural fairs and entertainment attested to the esteem in which the poet was held.
Thailand celebrates Sunthorn Phu Day on June 26.

By Saipanya School, Bangkok

Kulnataporn Theeraratstit
Yardar Supharuksiri

When we talk about the important people in Thailand, the first person that we always think of is our king : His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. When you come to Thailand and go to see the cinema, before the movie begins, we always pay homage to the king. Moreover, on his birthday we always decorate everywhere with yellow flags or national flags and in the evening we will celebrate with many things for example skyrockets, parades, etc. We think Thai people can do every thing for the king, we do love him and we pay respect to him as our father.

Biography of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
His Majesty the King was born on Monday the 5th of December 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., being the third and youngest child of Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Mahidol of Songkla. His Majesty attended the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande, Chailly sur Lausanne. Later on he moved to the Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne from where he received his Bachelier ès lettres diploma. He then chose to enter Lausanne University to study science, but the sudden death of his elder brother, King Ananda Mahidol, in Bangkok on the 9th of June, 1946, changed the course of his life completely, for the Law of Succession bestowed on him the arduous but challenging function of the Thai Crown. As he had not finished his education, His Majesty decided to go back to Switzerland for another period of study, but this time in the subject of Political Science and Law in order to equip himself with the proper knowledge for government. Following the completion of his education in Switzerland in the early 1950s, His Majesty returned home to Thailand. In the years following, he began what has become his way of life - traveling throughout the year to the provinces and rural areas of the kingdom to visit his people, talk to them and, perhaps even more important, listen to them. He learns of their needs and their problems and then sets about trying to find a way of giving immediate help; later these problems are studied in depth to find a permanent solution or way of assistance.

Activities of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej
As foreign relations are always conducted on Head-of-Stale level, His Majesty exercises to the full his prerogative in dispatching and receiving envoys to and from friendly nations. His Majesty has visited over 25 countries in Asia, Australasia, Europe and America and has received visits from a similar number of Heads of States. Study of the details of these exchanges would show foreign relations conducted at their best, for they have been arranged not only to bind the Heads of State in close bonds of personal friendship but to create better knowledge and understanding between the two peoples.
Health is obviously another main concern of His Majesty, especially as his Royal father is regarded as the Father of the modern Thai Medical Profession. His Majesty's activities range far and wide into many spheres and many areas of health, staring with the reverse lack of medical personnel in provincial areas. He has personally observed this problem during his frequent trips to those areas. Since a long time, therefore, he has set up his personal medical units always to accompany him on these trips and to stay for quite a while to tend to the maladies of the people some of whom see a doctor or a dentist for the very first time on such an occasion. During the extended tours to visit people in rural and remote areas, His Majesty has instructed that clinics be established at the entrances to the grounds of the Royal Residences which are open to all at no cost. His Majesty's work in the field of health services for the rural populace is well supplemented by the special efforts of his equally dedicated Royal mother who, in spite of her advanced age, still spends half her time each year on trips to remote area as accompanied by a similar sort of personal medical team. Her Majesty the Queen being also the President of the Thai Red Cross, the two of them could identify the medical needs all the time and in all places, resulting in successive wards and laboratories being built in Bangkok and in outlying areas. In a more extensive manner, Their Majesties have been responsible for establishing all sorts of Funds and Foundations to assist in the specialized treatment and research into the causes of various illnesses especially those of an epidemic or endemic nature in Thailand.
You see, have you ever seen the king who does everything for his people like this ? For us, he is the best king forever.







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