Millions in Thailand celebrate Children's Day

Millions in Thailand celebrate Children's Day
Children got to meet military men at facilities and also Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at his officeon the second floor of Thai Khu Fah Building.
PHOTO: The Nation

Millions of children and their parents and guardians throughout the country celebrated the National Children's Day yesterday.

Public and private organisations as well as military facilities in all the provinces opened their doors for the eager young visitors who enjoyed food, performances, air shows, weaponry displays and educational exhibits.

At Government House, there were more than 15,000 visitors. Children met Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and 22 children were pre-selected to get to sit on his office seat on the second floor of Thai Khu Fah Building.

They included Muslim youngsters from the deep South, award-winning children and disabled youths. The prime minister was on hand for the occasion and children had photos taken with him.

Youths also participated in various activities organised by government and non-government agencies.

It was the second time this year Government House had been opened to children to experience the atmosphere and get the chance to met the prime minister and sit in his chair.

The outside of the building at the green yard in front of Santi Maitree building was filled with several statues of dinosaurs, which were brought from Khon Kaen's Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum and Kalasin's Sirindhorn Museum.

Some children showed their excitement at meeting a dinosaur by shaking its hand, while some cried thinking a scary Tyrannosaurus rex would have them for lunch.

The Government House grounds were packed with booths for young people to engage in academic and recreational activities.

They included a booth from Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in which youngsters learned about the cycle of water and garbage types. They won a doll for providing a correct answer to a question.

Some youths were attracted to the pretty nurses from Thai Army Field Service, who gave kids fake wounds and information on first aid.

Children enjoyed free ice creams and fruit juices, which they got from the Government Spokesman Bureau.

Some youths took the opportunity to get a dental check-up by the Faculty of Dentistry at Mahidol University. "I met the prime minister," a boy told his friends.

Peerapon Supa, a 13-year-old Pakayour ethnic student from Lamphun's Samakkee Srivichai School, visited Government House for the first time. He described it as huge and well decorated.

He said each room had its own colour and the colour defined the room usage, like green for conference.

"I sat on the Prime Minister's chair, but only for three seconds due to a long queue of others waiting for it," he said, adding Prime Minister Prayut asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up and he answered he wanted to become a policeman.

"The prime minister told me that he would wait to see me as a policeman," he said. "It was comfortable and big," Maryline Durier, 9, said after sitting in Prayut's chair.

Maryline, of Thai-French nationality, was also visiting Government House for the first time. She said everything was good and fun, and the building was big and well designed. She thought it looked pretty.

In Chon Buri province, thousands of children and their parents visited the Sattahip Naval Base, where they were allowed to board large warships such as HTMS Chakri Naruebet, HTMS Buddha Yotfah Chulalok and HTMS Buddha Lertla Nabhalai.

In Nakhon Ratchasima province, military aircraft including an F-16 jet fighter and weapons were displayed at the Wing 1 Airbase for several thousands of visitors yesterday.

Meanwhile, an accident occurred during the Children's Day celebration at Siam Paragon shopping mall.

A canvas tent collapsed following a strong wind and left 14 people injured, 12 of them children and two adults. They were sent to hospital. Police charged the organisers with carelessness leading to injuries.

The organisers CMO apologised for the incident and offered to "take the best care of the injured until they fully recover".

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