Thai National Anthem and Nationality.
Thailand has one of the most homogeneous of races in the world with 95% being Thai Buddhist, about 4% are Muslim and the remaining 1% a mix of other races. This 95% accounts for a strong uniform set of values that keep the society closely aware of their culture and united.
The King of Thailand.
The key symbol of Nationality and unity is the King who is greatly revered.
The Thai natural sense of Nationality often starts with schooling and children are quickly taught to learn Thai and appreciate the uniqueness of Thai culture and sing the National anthem every morning before lessons start at 8 am. This is a parade ground style of Assembly with children standing in line as the Thai Flag is raised.
The National Anthem translation is as follows;
Thailand unites flesh and blood of Thais
Land of Thailand belongs to the Thais.
It has long maintained its sovereignty,
Because the Thais seek, and love, unity.
Thais are peace-loving, but fight with courage
They shall allow no one to rob them of freedom.
Sacrificing every drop of blood for the nation,
For the nation's safety, freedom and progress.
This is a fiercely patriotic anthem and one that every child takes to heart. There's no doubt in my mind that it is one of the key elements for building such a cohesive society.
6pm Thai National Anthem
At 6 pm every day the National Anthem is broadcast ed on all the main TV and radios stations.
Cinema Thai National Anthem
The Thai National Anthem is also broadcast-ed at the Cinema before a movie. Everyone, including westerners, are expected to stand respectfully.
Important to Show respect.
If you are a westerner and even a carefree backpacker travelling Thailand around, I advise you to show respect for the Thai National Anthem and Nationality. Thai people will get quite upset if you knowingly or unknowingly disrespect their sense of Thailand.
BTW. This also applies to the currency which has the Kings head on it, so please be careful how you treat the money.