Next stop FRANCE
World Schools Championships
Fifteen Samui youngsters currently aged 7 to 13 have been officially invited by the French Bridge Federation to participate in this event. To demonstrate their skills in front of journalists and TV cameras from around the globe. Same place & same time as the World`s top bridge players compete for the famous
During the official 30 day mourning poeriod, an English polyglot decided to learn to recite and write the Thai national anthem in toto.
Did I succeed? Sceptics can come and challenge me to the ultimate test: To see if I can write the anthem without any help - and without making a mistake. The challengers merely have to pledge a donation to one of HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha`s charitable foundations. She is King Bhumibol`s eldest grandchild and the lady who sponsored the bridge Cup competition in October that made the achievements of my Samui bridge pupils possible.
The challenge is open for the unofficial one year period of mourning. To show Thais that foreign guests are also keen to ensure the late King's tireless`work for children is not forgotten.
Life returned to normal on 14 November. The official one month mourning period ended with a rousing event. On Sunday 13th, the entire country paid their respects to the king by singing the National Anthem at Public gatherings throughtout Thailand.
The Thai people went out of their way to ensure that their legendary warm welcome for foreign visitors was relatively unaffected by the passing of their king. Please come and help put the smile back on the faces of the 70 million thais who, without exception, still all feel like they have lost a member of their own family.
Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died on 12 October aged 88, was the world's longest-reigning monarch, having spent 70 years on the throne.
His passing was followed by an official 30 day mourning periodd..
Preparations are under way for King Rama 1X to be cremated towards the end of 2017. Probably in October. In the meantime, all Government officials and many other Thais are respecting a one year mourning period and wearing, for eaxmple, black or white clothing as a mark of respect...
Many Thais have never known another king and they feel his death personally, comparable to the loss of their own father or a family member.
In fact, as expats and foreigners in Thailand, likening this moment to that of a whole nation losing a member of their family can go someway in to trying to understand the grief the people of Thailand are feeling right now.
If you are a tourist just arrived in Thailand or even if you are a long time expat, at the very least you should at all times be respectful and mindful during this time.
Make sure you are dressing appropriately at all times.
The weekend following the announcement of the passing of HM the King, many bars and nightclubs in major tourist locations were closed. All are now open and operating normally and music is allowed...
What to say, (and more importantly) what not to say
This is something to take very seriously.
Thailand’s lese majeste laws are some of the strictest in the world and prohibit any insults or criticism of the monarchy.
If you are found to be insulting a member of the royal family, regardless of how innocent or jovial you think your comments are, you could be sent to jail for a very long time. Thailand’s lese majeste laws also apply to anything you post online or on social media, so please bare this in mind when making comments..
It is also advisable to refrain from entering into any conversation about politics now and over the coming months.
That said, as a foreigner in Thailand, don’t feel that you can not offer your condolences to Thai people, in fact this should be encouraged.
Trevor is and will be publishing several articles on a variety of bridge and chess topics. Here are the titles of the imminent publications:
LESSONS Samui`s youngsters can teach the adult bridge world.
Following the French example: ETHICS committees to cure indiscipline in clubs.
THAILAND: Land of smiles - and opportunities for aspiring bridge players
Why chess players make good bridge players and vice versa.
He has his views gained from six decades of experience playing both games, but he would like to incorporate yours in the features.
Mail him your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org)for inclusion on these and the following related questions:
Is it true that nowadays computers can even beat the chess World Champions?
In their genes? Why do Russians appear to be naturally good chess players?
Chess grandmasters would all make good bridge players. True or false?
Is discipline a problem?
Do you often feel intimidated at the bridge table?
Is there a minimum age and / or a minimum standard for playing in a regular tournament at your club?
What character qualities make a bridge champion?
When and why did you start playing bridge?
Playing bridge on the computer. Help or hindrance?