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I think it was my first week in China when Thai King Bhumibol passed away. The entire Thai community on campus is in mourning. I knew that he was sick, for my roommate is Thai. The day before his death, all  Thai students wore something yellow to class. It was kind of like sending support to the Thai King on his sick bed, which later became his death bed. It is absolutely the very first time in my life that I see people actually sad over the death of their leader. Wow. Who knew?

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Some of the Thai students posing for a picture in front of the college library. Picture courtesy of my classmate’s Facebook page.

After the death of the Thai King, all the Thai students wore black clothes to class.

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The late Thai King, King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Black clothing is a given when someone dies, I just didn’t know how long they would have to wear that color. Well, since he was their king, they will need to wear black for an entire year. Every single government employee will have to wear black to work, if they don’t wear a uniform.

The Thai students held their own memorial service to honor the Thai King. A few days after his death, they cooked delicious food and handed it out to people. Imagine how bummed out I was when I was too late. I ended up going out to a Thai restaurant to eat instead. That’s the only thing that doesn’t upset my stomach.

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Thai students handing out free lunches to honor their late King. Photo courtesy of my classmate’s Facebook page.

I know absolutely nothing about the Thai King except for his name and that he was loved. Very loved. My roommate got so upset when I asked her to tell me about him. She said it was hard for her to talk about her King, for she might start crying. It really peaked my interest to find out more about this great Thai King. I still haven’t had the time to do my research, but I will… as soon as my midterms are behind me.

May their marvelous King rest in peace. After seventy years on the job, I think he really deserves a good rest.

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Memorial service in honor of the late Thai King. Photo courtesy of my friend’s Facebook page.