December 5 is the birthday of HM Bhumiphol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand. Known in the West as Rama IX (the ninth king of the Chakri dynasty), he is considered to be the father of all Thai people. It is because of this that his birthday is celebrated in the kingdom as Father’s Day (similarly, the Queen’s birthday on 12th August is Mother’s Day). I I find it rather interesting that very few Thai people that I’ve talked with seem to be aware that their king was actually born in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Today also happens to be my birthday so I have a nice holiday complete with fireworks and candlelight ceremonies. Very lucky, indeed!