From His Majesty’s Hand

This picture did not really matter much to me until recently. First of all, I have just officially graduated a Master Degree here in Australia but decided not to attend the ceremony and it came to realisation that it would not happen to me again.

The young lad on the right is me and the other one is King Bhumiphol. I am old enough to had a chance of the lifetime to receive Bachelor Degree straight from the King of Thailand. Back then, he only performed this duty for the graduates from top two universities in Thailand—Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University, where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (Film and Photography).

That was probably the first time I wore a suit. Imagine how hot it would be in around March in Bangkok and, on top of that, we had chaotic photo sessions in the morning. When we all in the University’s main auditorium, the sweat slowly evaporated inside. Once the King arrived the hall and the chancellor reported, all graduates were called one by one. And imagine doing a repetitive actions for hours without a break.

Now, I could not find where that actual piece of paper is.

2 thoughts on “From His Majesty’s Hand”

  1. The problem with ceremonies like this is that too many of the recipients then feel they are part of the elite class. This is why the vernacular media reporting on the red-shirt/yellow-shirt political situation has been so biased.

    I’m tired to talking to Thai journalists who forget their roots and imagine they are part of the elite because they received their degree in a ceremony such as this and are too busy still creaming their pants over it.

    They forget what the real role of a journalist is and put to much emphasis on who handed them their degree. Unlike in the West where journalists gain their credentials on newspapers and have the basic precepts of journalism and the role of a journalist instilled in them by others who have been down the path before them and have wiser and more experienced eyes.

    Do you think the King remembers an of the thousands of people he hands degrees to? Or do you think it’s more about building support for the institution?

    In any event, congratulations and I hope your lecturers instilled in you the true precepts of what being a journalist is all about, what the role of a journalist in society really is and that you have not forgotten the original reasons why you chose this hallowed profession to enter.

    1. @John You comment triggers my thoughts and thank you for that. There were about 200 graduated from the Faculty that year and I assume only a handful of us really became journalists by profession. I cannot tell for any other graduates. It was strange to me when I actually studied filmmaking not really a journalism but it is tagged for the rest of my life.

      I also believe that most graduates come out of the uni are crashed by the real world, especially, from the idealistic like Thammasat University.

      The King would not remember us, but hey, we do not remember his speech in end either. I think we are even.

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