Pirate in the Land of Smiles – Bangkok, Thailand Trip #3a

February 6, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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The lights went off. Image faded away. I had my gadget ready all this while on standby mode. The little red light on it suddenly looked so bright. Not before long, as if programmed to an automated mode, everyone stood up without being told to. Being first-timer, Itchyfingers also did so. Soon, image reappeared. I knew this was the moment I had been waiting for. Feeling nervous as it was the first time I was doing this, I looked around before raising my gadget discreetly, and pointed at the image. Damn…my gadget looked blindingly glaring now! What if I was caught? So I had to hold it slightly lower…There were too many mountains in front of us…I must try to overcome these obstacles to reach my goal…

Still not sure what Itchyfingers was up to?

Itchyfingers had turned to piracy in the Land of Smiles! To be more precise, Itchyfingers was secretly filming in the theatre in Bangkok… :O!

So, what made the law-abiding (locally or overseas) Itchyfingers, break the law?

Everyone knows how much the ordinary Thai people love their King, Bhumibol Adulyadej. A special anthem, called the Royal Anthem, honoring the king is played on many public occasions to express the respect and love that the Thai people have for their monarch. One such public places is the movie theatre. Everytime you go to the theatre, they will play the Royal Anthem before the start of the actual movie. Everyone, including foreigners and tourists, is expected to raise from his seat to pay respect to the King. I read that if you do not do so, you will surely be reprimanded by the otherwise mild-mannered Thai people. It was even reported that in April, 2008, a Thai citizen had to face criminal charges of “Lèse majesté” (the crime of violating majesty, an offense against the dignity of a reigning sovereign or against a state) for failing to stand for the playing of the Royal Anthem at a movie theatre in Bangkok. Despite the fact that we had visited Thailand several times, this was the first time we ever watched a movie there. So I was looking forward to seeing the Anthem being played with all the audience standing up…

So when the lights went off and everyone stood up, I raised my camera to shoot. Initially I was worried that the bright light from the LCD screen would attract attention from fellow movie-goers, and get a scolding from them. So I didn’t dare to hold it too high. As there were taller Caucasians in front of us, my view was blocked and I couldn’t get a clear picture. I guessed those pirated movies you ever watched on disks had this same problem too…haha..However, I got bolder as the song went on cos no one seemed to be too bothered. So I raised my camera higher, and at the same time, remembered that I could zoom in with this camera while shooting in the video mode.

The visual, together with the music, was actually quite touching. It really showed how much the Thai people love and respect their King. The clip ended with the line, “Long Life The King!” in both Thai and English, which unfortunately, was partially blocked on my video clip. Later, I found on this site, a translation of the Royal Anthem:

“We, Your Majesty’s loyal subjects,
Pay homage with deep-felt veneration,
To the supreme Protector of the Realm,
The mightiest of monarchs complete with transcendent virtues,
Under whose benevolent rule, we, Your subjects,
Receive protection and happiness,
Prosperity and peace;
And we wish that whatsoever Your Majesty may desire,
The same may be fulfilled.”

This is the result of my maiden attempt in piracy…hahah…

I find the tune very soothing… 🙂

Next time you are in Thailand, try to catch a movie, and experience for yourself this touching moment! 🙂

Also see related posts:
> Children of Heaven – Bangkok, Thailand trip #2a
> Have a Break…Take a Nap – Bangkok, Thailand trip #1a


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