Friday, December 5, 2008

Father's Day

Today is the birthday of HM the King, and as he is regarded as the father of the nation it is also the official Father's Day in Thailand. Related to this is the custom to call notable persons "Father of something", depending on which field they had the accomplishments. Though this is not limited to Thailand, I have come across it most often for Thai personalities.

Since this blog is about the Thai administration, the first one I have to mention is Prince Damrong Rajanubhab. He is called "Father of Thai administration", as during his time as the first Interior Minister he created the administrative subdivisions still in use today. But in fact this is not the only field in which he is regarded as the "father". The second one is "Father of Thai history", as after his resignation as minister in 1915 he concentrated on his passion, even though he was never formally educated as an historian. His only major work still in print in any English translation is the book "Our Wars with the Burmese", but only first of two volumes, the second never got translated. The other book "Monuments of The Buddha in Siam" sadly is long out of print. A few shorter contributions were published by the Siam Society in their Journal. But his is not just the father of two fields - he also is called Father of the education system and the health system, as both fields were originally part of the portfolio of the Interior Ministry, and have developed a lot during the reforms at the turn of the century.

The following is just a random and probably very incomplete list of other personalities with the field of their "fathership", some I knew before while other I just found with Google now.


Anonymous said...

The photo shows king Rama V. (Chulalongkorn). Maybe you should make a notice of it?


Andy said...

Oups... Which photo :-) I have removed it...