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BellaOnline's Thai Food Editor

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December 5 2006 Thai Food Newsletter


Many years we as a family have been in Thailand on this very special day Decemeber 5, that of great celebration and a public holiday. This year December 5th marks the 79th birthday of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
He is the world's longest reigning monarch. The King was born in Boston, Massachusetts where his father studied medicine at Harvard University. In my mind that makes him an American as well as the King of Thailand. No wonder I feel Thailand is my second home.
One thing very few outside of Thailand know about this amazing Monach
is that he is a marvelous musician, The King of Swing, having started
playing the Saxophone in Switzerland during his college days. He has
written a total of 48 compositions - some with fox-trot and waltz
rhythms, others patriotic, and a few alma maters for Thai
universities.
"The king's style is Dixieland or New Orleans style, like Sidney
Bechet when he plays the soprano saxophone," said Manrat
Srikaranonda, a pianist who has played with the king for more than
half a century. Benny Carter was also a royal favorite, he said.
After ascending the throne, Bhumibol formed a band to play with him
at the palace and set up a new public radio station on which the 14-
member band broadcast live performances each Friday for many years.
To hear the King on saxophone just click here to one of my favourite
of all Thai restaurants Once Upon a Time:
http://www.onceuponatimeinthailand.com/
Thais have a special fondness for their king whom they credit with
guiding them through an era of massive change. King Bhumibol's reign
has witnessed revolutions, rapid modernization and financial crisis.
Today is also celebrated all over Thailand as Father's Day, as the
King is Father of all Thai people. Many children present their
fathers with canna lilies a distant relative of the ginger plant.
On 5 December, buildings and homes all over the country are
elaborately adorned with flags and portraits of the King in the
colour yellow which denotes the monarchy and the day on which the
king was born.
Around the Grand Palace and Ratchadamnoen Avenue areas of Bangkok,
thousands of vividly colored marigolds decorate the streets. On the
evening of the holiday itself, the streets around Ratchadamnoen and
Sanam Luang are closed to traffic and thousands of people take to the
streets. There are many hrines placed in public buildings
commemorating the Kings birthday.
Spectacular fireworks displays are held, especially over the River
Phyra and much celebrating and fun is had by all. Perhaps the King is dining on such as Miang Kam as my long time friend Kasma Loha-unchit taught us to make:

http://thaifoodandtravel.com/recipes/mkum.html

Mary-Anne Durkee, Thai Food Editor
http://ThaiFood.bellaonline.com
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Mary-Anne Durkee, Thai Food Editor
http://ThaiFood.bellaonline.com




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