King’s passing spurs surge in acts of kindness
In the wake of the passing of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, many of his subjects are taking his teachings and examples even more to heart by donating food and black clothing to mourners and through other acts of good samaritanship as evidenced by what one local magazine called an upsurge in random acts of kindness.
“The passing of His Majesty has brought out the best in people,’’ wrote the BK magazine website, which reports on social and entertainment trends in the capital Bangkok. “All across the city, people are reporting random acts of kindness done in the memory of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.”
From free motorcycle taxi rides to free food and donations of mourning clothes to those who cannot afford them, the Thai people have been opening their hearts to each other in the spirit of giving – a spirit that defined King Bhumibol’s relationship with his people during his time on the throne. For more than three decades the King spent most of his time on the road traveling to poor and remote villages, at times hiking on foot and sleeping in tents, to deliver aid and opportunities to those in need.
ITV television station reported that impromptu dyeing centers have sprung up all around the city where those don’t own black clothing and can’t afford to buy new clothing can have any of their clothing dyed black for free. Others donate clothes to the stations to be dyed black and given to the poor.
“Vats of black dye were boiling non-stop as free dyeing stations were set up in central Bangkok by a tractor importing company. The stations will stay open until the end of the month and people can also donate old clothes to be dyed black,” ITV reported.
Others have been handing out free black ribbons for those without black clothing, as many people may not have enough black items to wear every day.
In the area around the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang, as well as in some other parts of the city, food trucks have gathered to dish out free fare to mourners, those with low incomes and anyone who is hungry. Wasan Tanchom owns a Thai omelet food truck and he has been serving up free omelets to people in the Sanam Luang area.
“Some people aren’t very wealthy, and the food around the Sanam Luang area is getting more expensive. We wanted to bring good food to them to give them energy to pay respect to our King and send him off for the last time,” Wasan told BK magazine.
A professional photographer named Boon A has been taking free portraits of mourners outside the Grand Palace, especially for those who have traveled long distances from upcountry to come to Bangkok.
He wrote on his Facebook page about one man who walked all the way from Petchaburi province to grieve for King at the Grand Palace. “There must be many more people like this guy, coming alone and wanting to keep a photograph in memory of the Rama 9 reign,” Boon A wrote.
Read more on acts of kindness: www.abc.net.au