Thursday, 27 January 2011
Thailand is a country that lies in the heart of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the North by Burma and Laos, to the East by Laos and Cambodia, to the South by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia and to the West by the Andaman Sea and the Southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries are shared with Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the Southeast. Thailand also shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the Southwest.
The country is a kingdom, a Constitutional monarchy with King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world’s longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history. The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion and the Defender of all Faiths.
The largest city in Thailand is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country’s centre of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities.
Thailand is the world’s 50th largest country in terms of total area, with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi) and the 20th most-populous country, with approximately 66 million people. About 75 percent of the population is ethnically Thai, 14 percent is of Chinese origin and three percent is ethnically Malay; the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes.
There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand. Thailand has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries. The country’s official language is Thai. Its primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95 percent of all Thais.
Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to well-known tourist destinations such as Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui and exports contributing significantly to the economy.
Memorial to honour Paul the Octopus
How has the world been treating you? You must have settled down in your new class and friends.
World Cup Cricket fever is fast catching up on us with 22 days to the start of the tournament.
Do you remember the World Cup Football tournament held in South Africa last year where Spain beat the Netherlands? Then I am sure you would remember Paul the Octopus.
You might wonder what an Octopus had to do with football or soccer.
Paul the Octopus gained worldwide fame and attention for correctly predicting the results of vital world cup matches. This Octopus was described as an oracle.
Paul the Octopus correctly predicted that Germany would lose the semifinal and the Spain would be crowned World Cup champs.
But sadly this famous Octopus died a few months ago and now Germany has erected a memorial to honour Paul the Octopus. We live in a strange world, don’t we!
Bye for now. Have fun.
READ A BOOK WITH ME ...:
Once upon a time, o my best beloved...
Are you fond of reading short stories? This week let’s read a wonderful short story collection called ‘Just So Stories’, by a very popular English writer named Rudyard Kipling who is the author of the famous Jungle Book as well.
Kipling was born to his English parents, at Bombay, India in 1865. In 1871, his parents took him to England. However, he again came back to India and worked there as a journalist from 1882-1889, during which time he has produced many a poem, story and sketch.
Just So Stories, first published in 1902 will tell you amazing stories in his unique and most wonderful language, about the beginnings of the animal and human world.
If you want to know how the whale got his throat, how the camel got his hump, how the first letter was made and how the alphabet was made Just So Stories is just the right book for you to read.
Of course there could be other books and stories which tell you similar stories and you may have your own tales of animals and people that you would like to share with us. However, I feel reading this collection will probably be a novel experience to you (I may be wrong, so don’t forget to read the book and prove it to me if you think I’m wrong) because Kipling has a unique style of telling his tales and his stories are accompanied with very interesting sketches and nice poems too.
On the back cover of the Penguin Popular Classics publication of the book, it’s said that Just so Stories was Kipling’s own favourite among all his books. Of all the stories in this collection, my favourites are How the First Letter was Written and How the Alphabet was Made, the enchanting tales of little Taffy, a very intelligent small girl and her loving father and mother. In fact, these are two of the best stories I’ve ever read in my entire life and I will always and always and always remember little Taffy, her father and mother and their memourable adventures.
I would also like to remind my friends that some of these books should be available in public and children’s libraries, maybe your school library. You can also ask around from your friends and exchange books with each other. No matter how tempting all these stories are we will think twice before asking our parents-elders to buy all these books for us, because books are quite expensive these days.
Cheers to all, Gayathri