The 12 of August is the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit of Thailand. In honour of the Queen, this day is also recognised as National Mother’s Day. Queen Sirikit’s story is not one exclusively of privilege. It is a story of romance, self-discipline, courage, motherhood, devotion and, above all, support for her husband and service to the people of Thailand. Care and compassion is the central focus of Queen Sirikit’s life. The Thai people have a deep reverence for their monarchy, as well as mothers, so this is a very important day of celebration for Thai people both at home and worldwide.
Thailand enjoys a rich history and culture. Although sometimes engaged in conflicts with neighbouring rulers, over centuries Thailand’s monarchy helped the nation maintain its political autonomy. Thailand developed a complex, beautiful society with many distinctive traditions; today over 67 million people reside in Thailand. Motherhood remains an important value in Thai culture, as does respect for the beauty and importance of the natural world.
Recently, Thailand gained international media attention due to the efforts of Sangduen “Lek” Chailert. Born in a small village in rural northern Thailand, as a child this remarkable Thai woman grew to respect and appreciate the loveliness of the countryside and its plants and animal life. Her family cared for an elephant, and she developed a strong interest in elephant conservation. Lek Chailert during her career founded an organisation to help Thailand’s elephants, the Save Elephant Foundation. She also helped launch a preserve on 250 acres where rescued elephants can live in natural family groups. Her efforts have earned the gratitude of conservationists and won international acclaim.
The bond between a baby elephant and its mother can be correctly described as the closest of any animal on earth. If it is a female baby, she will typically remain together with her mother right into her own adulthood and will likely never once be separate from her until the mother dies in old age. Male baby elephants also stay similarly close to their mothers when they are young. But in their case, this bond is not for a lifetime. When a adolescent male reaches puberty – around the age of 12, he will eventually be excluded from the family group and become a a solitary bull elephant.
Earlier this year, a touching report surfaced from the Elephant Nature Park. It reminds the world of the universal importance of mothers, even nonhuman ones. The personnel at the elephant preserve traveled 62 miles, to reunite a young elephant with her mother, now living in the park. They had been separated for over three years. In the heartwarming video of their reunion, the two elephants are clearly delighted to be reunited. They immediately resumed their family group in the natural setting of the Park.
To mark Mother’s Day in Thailand, people decorate yards and homes. Many display portraits of the Queen, to honour her as the official representative of Motherhood. Some Thai households light candles, as well. At night, beautiful fireworks displays will illuminate the sky not only over Bangkok, but throughout the nation, and public buildings everywhere will be bathed in celebratory, festive floodlights.
Following is the Mother’s Day song ‘Mae’ by Loso’. For Thais living and working around the world, this phrase rings true “From such a time and distance, I miss my home. From myself to my caring Mother, in this great city so far from our home, I miss you more and more.” Do you have Thai friends or family that you would like to acknowledge on this special occasion? Sending them fresh flowers would certainly show you care.
Mother’s Day in Thailand: 12 August is the birthday of Queen Sirikit of Thailand. In her honour the day is recognised as Mother’s Day.