Switching off color and sound

4The nation has gone black with the passing of our beloved King. Yes, I said “our” because he was the king of the country of my heart. Every day when the royal song plays at 8am and 6pm, I get a little emotional and thankful to live in such a beautiful, amazing country. I sympathize with the people of this great country. I mourn with the Thai people, the loss of a great man and most likely the end of an era.

8The nation has gone black. It is true. Within minutes of the official announcement (on Facebook, on Line, on What’s App), the profile pictures turned black. The cover photos became black or shades of grey. The colorful online companies: Google, Instagram, Line and others zapped out the color in their logos. Electronic advertisement has been switched off. Newspapers are printed and published in black and white.
11On the first day, we mostly looked at huge black screens – now the messaging has changed to black screens with condolences from companies and organizations. TV has gone grey, entertainment shows have been canceled. The skytrain entertainment system and the shopping centers have gone mute. No distracting advertising screens and loud music.

9And fashion has gone somber. Most people are wearing black or a combination of black and white. Or black ribbions on their clothes. There are almost no other colors in the masses of people entering the underground and the skytrain stations. The black clothes business is thriving, although with little appetite for profit.

1413Foreigners have been asked to respect and follow the same etiquette which we gladly do. After a week (the first of four) of dressing in black, doing laundry has become a lot easier – you just throw everything in the same load.

Some people are too poor to own black clothes – after all the nation and its people are usually playful, colorful and love patterns, ribbons and all kinds of fun stuff on clothes (and in life). Several banks announced to distribute black shirts for free to people who cannot afford them. In my office, we all went through our closets to give a shirt or two to our maid.12The general mourning period will continue until November 14, 2016.

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