Standing for the Thai National Anthem
The school day across Thailand starts in much the same way. At exactly 8 a.m. the Thai flag is raised and the students all sing the national anthem. Any students arriving late at the front of the school have to stop walking and stand to attention. The same goes for the policeman on duty in front of the school who will often stop the traffic for this if a minor road. The flag then comes down at the end of the day at 6 p.m. Obviously the students have gone home by that time. But commuters at places like the BTS Skytrain all come to a standstill at 6 p.m. when the national anthem is played. If you are out and about in Thailand at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. you are expected to stop and stand still for the national anthem. This is not to be confused with the Royal Anthem that is played at the start of movies and sporting events like boxing matches. Contrary to popular opinion, it is not illegal to remain seated, however, it is only good manners to stand. Let the Thais fight their own battles.
2 thoughts on “Standing for the Thai National Anthem”
I always make a point of standing to attention if in a public space. But it can be embarrassing – in Lotus the other day I was the only person standing still. The locals’ comments ranged from “what a good fallang” to “are you unwell? You’re blocking the aisle”. I guess shopping takes priority in some cases!
Where it is annoying is when one is running round Lumpini park, and they blare it out at 6pm. Its hilarious watching them all suddenly stop and stand motionless while they all try to catch their breath.