Expats in Thailand mourn the death of King Bhumibol

Published:  17 Oct at 6 PM
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The death last Thursday of the Thai King has plunged the nation into mourning, with many expats suffering along with their Thai friends and colleagues.

Some expats are in pain because they admired and appreciated everything the King was to his subjects and his love for them, and others are unhappy as they see their Thai friends and colleagues crying for the loss of a beloved monarch. This monumental world event has shaken the kingdom to its roots, even although the inevitable had been expected for a while.

One expat living and working in Bangkok told the media he’d been surprised at the number of his expat friends, as well as himself, who were devastated as they’d felt strong affection for the King and appreciation of all he’d done for his people. Another heard the tragic news whilst watching a TV news programme with a friend, and immediately her heart went out to the many thousands of Thai citizens who’d assembled outside the hospital to pray for the King’s recovery as well as for the millions who were soon to assemble to watch the procession carrying his body to the Grand Palace.

She’s felt melancholy and sad since the announcement, saying the reaction of local Thai friends has confirmed to her exactly how vital the King was to Thailand and its people. A Thai/German expat who’s lived in Thailand for five years said he has always felt a strong connection to the Thai people and their love and respect for their King, who was, he added, a true King of the people, rare in this day and age.

Another long-term expat American said she had always been aware of how much the King was loved by his people, and is now wearing black and mourning his loss as she now regards Thailand as her home. Many expats in the northern city of Chiang Mai are also wearing black, in respect both for the suffering of the Thai people and grief for the passing of a unique, precious human being who loved his country and whose people loved him.
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