As King Rama IX had been head of state for more than 70 years very few Thai people has experienced life without him. He was a very loved King as he spent most of his time traveling around the country to meet Thai people. For example many Thai Master and Bachelor degree graduates have received their degree certificates from the King himself.
King Rama IX's main objective throughout his life was to help the Thai people in every way. He initiated many successful agriculture, social and infrastructure projects and he has also been the peacemaker in times of unrest.
Many foreigners believe that the Thai people's love for their King has been all forced acting but our experience and feeling is that the love is real. When we received the message of the King's passing both teacher and students were too upset to continue our evening classes and in the following days both teachers and students shared their sorrow. We cried and didn't feel like singing, playing music and laughing like we usually do.
The whole of Thailand has turned into mourning. For one month parties and festivals are cancelled or toned down, people wear only black or white clothes and all Thai TV-channels show documentaries about the King. To our foreign students it is an interesting experience to be part of a community that comes together in mourning to such an extent and very few believe a similar thing could happen in their home countries.