Sawasdee torn chao (good morning) all!
Everyday without fail, at 8am and 6pm something rather peculiar happens in Bangkok. To a new-in-town guest, this might seem extreme – but for Thais who have grown up here, its second nature to act the way we do when we hear this certain song. The Thai Anthem!
The national anthem is played everyday at 8am and 6pm. Every radio station, television channel, and public place will play the anthem at this time. Its quite a sight to see if you’ve ever been to a crowded public place like a park or train station. Once the Anthem begins, everyone stops what they’re doing immediately and stands to show respect. This means that if you’re currently buying food, or bending down to tie your shoe laces – you seize your actions and stand still for a minute or two without hesitation. Even inn Thai public schools, students line up every morning at 8am to sing to the anthem while raising up the Thai flag to show respect.
As a tourist, it could be quite a shock to see a sudden standstill. When you hear 3 beeps that are usually given as a warning before the national anthem starts – be prepared to stand still until the end of the song to show your respect. It is considered quite rude to walk through, or continue your activity when the whole community is displaying their patriotism.
You can make a point to see this all in action! We suggest you to be at the Siam BTS station (A 5-minute walk from Chao Hostel to the National Stadium BTS, and one train stop to Siam). We recommend observing the 6pm anthem during the rush hour – it really is quite a sight to see!
Photo: Chiangrai Times