Stickers allowing entry to ceremonial grounds become treasured souvenirs among Thais

Stickers allowing entry to ceremonial grounds become treasured souvenirs among Thais
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

BANGKOK - Stickers allowing mourners to pass through to the inner area of Bangkok's Sanam Luang ceremonial grounds to observe the Royal Cremation ceremonies for HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej have become collector's items for many people in memory of the beloved monarch.

Bearing each person's registration number, the stickers - which come in different designs depending on which screening point people pass through - have become souvenirs for people attending the historic event.

"I intend to keep this sticker and will laminate it because it identifies that I, once in my life and for the last time, am at this place at this time in the last days of the farewell to HM King Rama IX. I'm one of the loyal Thai subjects that has a chance to be here," said Theerayuth Kanchanaphetch, 39.

"Each visitor passing through a screening point will get a sticker placed on his or her left chest. Mine is number 15458," he said.

Theerayuth came from Songkhla's Hat Yai district early Tuesday morning and spent the night camping under Phra Pinklao Bridge amid the rain. He woke at 3am to wait in a queue to access a visitor-screening point - two hours before the checkpoint was opened, then passed into the inner area where he sat in front of the National Museum at 7am.

Nakhon Si Thammarat resident Sathaporn Meelai, 43, said she and her daughter had arrived in Bangkok at noon on Tuesday and stayed overnight under Phra Pinklao Bridge.

She was given a sticker with the number 14899 while her daughter received number 14898. After passing into the area, she carefully peeled off the sticker and attached it to her Thai national ID card as she was afraid she would lose it.

"I will keep this sticker for the rest of my life as a souvenir of my attendance at the Royal Cremation ceremonies for HM the late King," she said.

Rayong resident Aree Tothong, 70, who also stayed under the bridge amid the downpour on Tuesday night, said she was determined to attend the ceremonies after three previous three trips to pay respects to HM the late King's Royal Urn inside the Grand Palace's Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime event that I must attend. I had to pin my sticker number 14155 on to my chest to ensure it wouldn't go missing. I intend to keep this item for the rest of my life to remember HM the late King. I want to keep it so my children and grandchildren know that I was born in the reign of King Rama IX and I live through two reigns," she said.

Photo: The Nation/Asia News Network
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