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Royal crematorium opens for public viewing

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn opened the exhibition of the royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at Sanam Luang Thursday. It will be open every day from 7am to 10pm, until Nov 30. (Photos by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

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A special exhibition gives mourners one last chance to see late King's grand cremation rituals

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Reprising the royal ceremonies up close

Pichaya Svasti and Patpon Sabpaitoon

On Oct 26, several hundred thousand people witnessed an historic event – the royal cremation ceremony for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – right at Sanam Luang.

On show was the tremendous love which Thais and foreigners feel for the late King, coupled with displays of Thai traditional art and craftsmanship which left many viewers watching on TV and overseas wanting to pay a visit and sample these things for themselves.

That chance has now come as a special exhibition opens telling the story of the royal cremation ceremonies and the exquisite royal crematorium at Sanam Luang.

It was launched yesterday by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and is expected to accommodate 104,000 visitors a day until its closure at the end of this month.

The exhibition, including multimedia, models and modern technology such as holograms, touchscreens and QR code content, is open 7am-10pm daily during Nov 2-30.

A variety of entertainment similar to that performed on the royal cremation day will be staged in the compound from 6pm-10pm daily.

A highlight is the khon masked dance performance in front of the Phra Thinang Songtham (the pavilion for the royal family and VIP guests) on Saturday and Sunday evenings.

His Majesty the King allowed the exhibition to open after last week's royal cremation for King Bhumibol Adulyadej who passed away on Oct 13 last year. Once the exhibition ends, the royal crematorium will be removed from Sanam Luang.

After yesterday's opening ceremony, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn viewed the exhibition with keen interest, especially sections about King Bhumibol's development projects, soil improvement with the growth of vetiver grass, and commemorative items for temples, and a special section for the blind where they can touch models of the royal crematorium and decorative components.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told the princess the exhibition is part of the Thai people's loving memory of King Bhumibol which encourages them to follow in the late King's footsteps and express their gratitude toward him.

At the exhibition, eight groups of 300 visitors are allowed in for an hour a time at the royal crematorium compound and must leave within five minutes after hearing an alarm.

Visitors must produce their ID cards and pass security screening similar to that in place for last week's royal cremation.

As quotas have been allocated for the public, monks and physically disabled people each day, five screening checkpoints have been set up, including at Tha Chang, near the Mother Earth statue and in front of the Territorial Defence Department for the public, outside Thammasat University's Tha Phra Chan campus for monks, and behind the Ministry of Defence for the disabled.

In Sanam Luang, 10 tents have been installed for visitors to wait to enter the the exhibition.

Nine roads around Sanam Luang are closed to traffic until the end of this month while free buses are available on six routes in the city. Visitors must enter the area from the northern part of Sanam Luang and depart at the southern part near the Grand Palace. Upon arrival, they can survey the landscape, rice fields in the shape of the Thai number nine and a pond with the Chaipattana Aerator, designed by King Bhumibol. Walking further, they can see and walk around the royal crematorium.

Unfortunately, entry to the first and second floors of the royal crematorium, according to the original plan, has now been prohibited. However, visitors will be able to watch a special exhibition, including a section on the late King at the Phra Thinang Songtham and those on architecture and art for the royal funeral, crematorium and processions at seven other surrounding buildings.

The exhibition is accessible by wheelchair and also provides special guided tours for those with hearing impairment. Photography is permitted, but selfie photo-taking and live streaming are prohibited. Visitors must wear formal dress similar to the clothes required for those entering the Grand Palace and Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

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Vocabulary:

accessible : that can be reached, entered, used, seen, etc - ที่สามารถเข้าได้

accommodate : to provide a place for someone; to provide enough space for something or someone - จัดที่อยู่ให้, ให้ที่พักพิง, บรรจุ

aerator (noun): a device used for aeration, or mixing air with another substance, such as soil or water. - เครื่องมืออัดอากาศเข้าไปในน้ำหรือของเหลวอื่น ๆ

alarm : a loud noise or a signal that warns people or wakes them in the morning - สัญญาณ

allocate (verb): to officially give something to someone - จัดสรร, จัดแบ่ง

architecture : a particular style or way of designing buildings - สถาปัตยกรรม, รูปแบบการก่อสร้าง

arrival : when someone reaches where they are going (arrives) - ขาเข้า การเข้ามา

blind (adj): unable to see (Note: Nowadays we often use the term "visually-impaired" instead of "blind") - ตาบอด

campus (noun): the buildings of a university, college or business and the land around them - พื้นที่ที่เป็นที่ตั้งของมหาวิทยาลัย

ceremony (noun): a public or religious occasion that includes a series of formal or traditional actions - งานพิธี

checkpoint : a place where people are stopped and questioned and vehicles are examined, especially at a border between two countries - ด่านตรวจ

commemorative : a done in order to remember an important person or event - เป็นที่ระลึก

component : a part which combines with other parts to form something bigger - ส่วนประกอบ,ส่วนเสริม

compound : an area in which a group of buildings stands - บริเวณ

content : the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with - เนื้อหา,สาระ

coupled with : combined with and producing a particular effect - ประกอบกับ

craftsmanship : skill at making things - ฝีมือ

cremation : the burning of a dead body - การเผาศพ (งานพระราชทานเพลิงพระศพ)

crematorium : the place where a cremation takes place - เมรุ

decorative : decorated in a way that makes it attractive; intended to look attractive or pretty - ซึ่งใช้ตกแต่งหรือประดับประดา, ซึ่งตกแต่งแล้ว

depart : to leave - ออกจาก

development : the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc - การพัฒนา

disabled : having a condition, especially a physical one, that limits your activities in some way - พิการ

encourage : to cause someone to want to do something - กระตุ้น ให้การสนับสนุน

event : a planned public or social occasion - งานสังคม

exhibition : a public show where art or other interesting things are put so that people can go and look at them - นิทรรศการ งานแสดง

exquisite : very beautiful; delicate - สวยงาม, วิจิตร, งดงาม, อ่อนช้อย

follow in the footsteps : do something that another person has done in the past -

formal dress : wearing special formal clothes such as a suit, jacket and tie or tuxedo or special dress for a special event of occasion - แต่งตัวอย่างเป็นทางการ

funeral : a ceremony that takes place after someone dies - งานศพ

Grand Palace (noun): the official residence of the Kings of Siam (and later Thailand) where important ceremonies are held - พระบรมมหาราชวัง

gratitude : a feeling of being grateful to someone because they have given you something or have done something for you - ความรู้สึกขอบคุณ

guided tour : a tour of someplace given by a guide who brings you to places and explains them to you -

highlight (noun): the most exciting, impressive, or interesting part of an event - จุดเด่น, จุดสำคัญ, เหตุการณ์สำคัญ,

historic : of historical importance - ที่สำคัญในประวัติศาสตร์

hologram (noun): a special type of picture in which the objects seem to be three-dimensional (= solid rather than flat) - ภาพสามมิติ, ฮอโลแกรม

ID card : identification card; an official card or a document that can prove who you are - บัตรประชาชน

impairment (noun): something that is wrong with a person so they cannot function or live life normally - การสูญเสียสมรรถภาพ

improvement : when something gets better or when you make it better - การปรับปรุง, การทำให้ดีขึ้น

install : to put a piece of equipment somewhere and make it ready for use - ติดตั้ง

keen : very interested in an activity - สนใจอย่างยิ่ง

landscape : the appearance and characteristics of an area of land - ภูมิประเทศ, ภูมิทัศน์

late : dead - ที่ล่วงลับไปแล้ว

launch (verb): to start something - เริ่มต้น, เปิดโครงการ, เริ่มทำ

masked : wearing something to cover part or all of your face in order to hide who you are - ซึ่งสวมหน้ากาก

memory (noun): something that you remember from the past; the ability to remember information, experiences and people - ความจำ

Ministry of Defence : the ministry that oversees a country’s armed forces - กระทรวงกลาโหม

multimedia : using video, sound, and other methods of communication, especially in computers - ซึ่งใช้สื่อหลายชนิดในคอมพิวเตอร์

original : existing at the beginning of a particular period, process or activity - เดิม, ซึ่งเป็นแบบฉบับ

passed away (verb): died - จากไป (ตาย),เสียชีวิต, มรณภาพ

pavilion : a building or tent at a special ceremony, exhibition or show - พลับพลา, ปะรำ, ศาลา

physically : in a way that is connected with a person's body rather than their mind - ด้านร่างกาย, เกี่ยวกับร่างกาย

pond : a small area of still water, especially one that is artificial - บ่อน้ำ, สระน้ำ

processions : lines of people who are all walking or travelling in the same direction, especially in a formal way as part of a religious ceremony or public celebration - ขบวนที่เคลื่อนไป

prohibited (adj): not allowed; to banned - ถูกห้าม

project : a planned piece of work that is designed to find information about something, to produce something new, or to improve something - โครงการ

quota : an amount of something that someone is officially allowed to have or do - โควตา

reprise : to repeat something; to do something again - ปฏิบัติอีก

route : the roads used to go from one place to another - เส้นทาง

sample : to experience something for a short time to see what it is like - ได้รับประสบการณ์, ประสบกับ

screening : the testing or examining of a large number of people or things for disease, faults, illegal objects, etc - การตรวจ

section : any of the parts into which something is divided - ส่วน

security : protection; systems providing for safety from attack, harm, or damage - ระบบรักษาความปลอดภัย

similar : like somebody/something but not exactly the same - คล้ายกัน

soil : the substance on the surface of the Earth in which plants grow - ดิน

stage : to arrange - จัดตั้ง

statue : a human or animal image that is made of stone, wood, metal, etc. - รูปปั้น

streaming : playing a video continuously from the start rather than needing to wait until the whole of the material has been downloaded -

surrounding : all around a place - บริเวณรอบๆ

survey : to make an examination of something to find out about its condition - สำรวจ

Temple of the Emerald Buddha : - วัดพระแก้ว

the public : people in general - ประชาชน, สาธารณชน, มหาชน

touchscreen (adj): a screen on a computer, tablet, phone, etc. which allows you to give instructions to the computer by touching areas on it - จอสัมผัส

traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา

tremendous : very good; very much - ที่ดี ที่มากมหาศาล

variety (noun): many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย

vetiver grass (noun): a type of grass that helps to stabilise soil and protects it against erosion, the gradual loss of soil from rain, wind, etc - หญ้าแฝก

VIP : very important person - บุคคลสำคัญ

wheelchair : a special chair with wheels, used by people who cannot walk because of illness, an accident, etc - เก้าอี้รถเข็นสำหรับคนป่วยหรือคนพิการ

witness (verb): to see something happen - มองเห็น, เป็นพยาน

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