Pay re­spects to late Thai king

Kuwait Times - - LIFESTYLE -

While tens of thou­sands of mourn­ers have paid their re­spects to Thai­land’s late king at Bangkok’s Grand Palace, where his body is be­ing kept be­fore cre­ma­tion, a dif­fer­ent kind of vis­i­tor ap­peared in front of the palace gates Tues­day. Some 200 ma­houts lead­ing nine, spe­cially cho­sen white ele­phants and two white-painted ele­phants ar­rived at the palace from around the coun­try. The tusked giants and their rid­ers kneeled in front of the palace gates in a sign of re­spect for King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej, who died last month at age 88 af­ter reign­ing for 70 years, while the royal an­them was played on a lone trum­pet.

Mourn­ers wait­ing to en­ter the palace cried as they wit­nessed the ele­phants’ pros­trat­ing. In Thai­land, the white ele­phant is re­garded as sa­cred and a sym­bol of royal power, ac­cord­ing to the Thai Ele­phant Con­ser­va­tion Cen­ter. The white ele­phant was on Thai­land’s na­tional flag un­til 1917, but the sym­bol is still found on the en­sign of the Royal Thai Navy. His­tor­i­cally, the sta­tuses of kings were eval­u­ated by the num­ber of white ele­phants in their pos­ses­sion. It­ti­pan Kao­la­mai, man­ager of the Royal Ele­phant Kraal and Vil­lage in Ayut­thaya prov­ince, said nine ele­phants in Tues­day’s pro­ces­sion were white and two were painted, pre­sum­ably to main­tain con­form­ity. He said one of the two spray-painted ele­phants car­ried a por­trait of Bhu­mi­bol on its back and the other car­ried a drum­mer. — AP

Ma­houts lead 11 white ele­phants to kneel in front of the Grand Palace in honor of Thai­land’s King Bhu­mi­bol Adulyadej in Bangkok, Thai­land, Tues­day. — AP pho­tos

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.