THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY

THE NATIONAL CHILDREN’S DAY



Meaning
 
                According to the dictionary of the Royal Institute (B.E. 2525) the meaning of “children” (the Thai word is “Dek”) is expressed in the following words:
                “Dek” means (refers to) youngsters, persons of early ages.
                “Dekchai” is the form of address used before the name of a boy                under 14
            years old.  
                “Dekying” is the form of address used before the name of a girl                under 14
            years old.
 
The History of the “Children’s Day”
 
                Children are regarded as significant personal resource of the nation. They are a powerful force in the development and stability of the nation. Hence, children should prepare themselves to be the strength of the nation by being industrious in their study and making use of their time to the full. They should behave themselves within the bounds of rules and regulations, be conscientious and responsible in their work, be firm in honesty, be kind and generous to others, dedicate, sacrifice and work for the public good, join hands to keep the country clean, and they should conserve natural resources and public properties. If all children are conscious of their own future as well as of the nation through their proper behaviour according to what is stated above, they will be considered as worthy children. The nation will then be prosperous, and peace and happiness will prevail forever.
 
                The idea in organising the national children’s day has been proposed to the Department of Public Welfare by Mr. V.M. Gulgani who was the representative of the International Organisation for Children’s Welfare. The objective of the organisation is to urge children as well as to stir the public to the awareness and consciousness of the significance of children. Therefore, the Children’s Day was organised on the first Monday of October, B.E. 2498. This has been in practice since B.E. 2506. Afterwards it was reconsidered that the second Saturday of January would be more suitable for the celebration of Children’s Day because it does not fall in the rainy season, and Saturday being a weekend day. There was not enough time to organise the Children’s Day in B.E. 2507. From B.E. 2508 the Children’s Day was organised on the second Saturday of January. This is still in practice at present.
 
                A committee had been established by the government to co-ordinate among the government, the state enterprise and the private agencies. It made plans to organise the Children’s Day in both, the rural and urban areas for all children both, in the formal and informal schooling system throughout the country. This is to instil in the children the consciousness of their own significance, to implant in them the sense of orderliness, of their rights and responsibilities toward themselves and the society, of their faithfulness to the Nation, the Religion, the Monarch and the Democratic Government with the King as the Head of the State.
 
                On every Children’s Day, His Majesty the King gives his royal advice, the Supreme Patriarch his moral teaching, and the prime minister his motto to all Thai children. The royal advice of His Majesty the King for the year B.E. 2528 was:
 
                “Every person has a duty to perform. Although you are still young, you have duty as young person, that is to study. This means that you children have to study to gain knowledge and to have skills in various work. You have to form yourselves to be sensitive, gentle and tender in your behaviour, thoughts and minds. You children have to be honest, happy, sensible and wise, so that you will grow up as capable and knowledgeable persons for the benefit of our nation.”
 
                The royal advice of His Majesty the King for the year B.E. 2529 is quoted here:
 
                “Children have to practise politeness and gentleness. Be patient, diligent, hard-working, generous and willing to help others. Keep                 doing and practising these until they have become a part of your             habits. Then you will grow up as good and beneficial persons, and have a steady and progressive life thereafter.”
 
 
 
The moral teachings given by the Supreme Patriarch in B.E. 2528 were :
 
                “Behave yourselves, be careful and do not be naughty.
                 Listen to what your elders teach you.
                 Do not perform any dishonest deeds.
                 Put the best interest in all your duties.
                 Do not complain, but be diligent.
                 Be always honest and orderly.
                 And let gratitude and kindness lead your life.”
 
The moral teachings given by the Supreme Patriarch in B.E. 2429 were:   
                “Postpone not           schooling                  but try hard
                 Nothing is                better than               having knowledge
                 It supports               everyone                  till one dies
                 As student               don’t become           rambler
                 For by such             one will face            lost in life
                 Lost for self             as well lost for         other guy
                 Shame prevails        midst kinwise          no return”   
 
                The mottoes for Children’s Day enunciated by the Prime Minister were: for the year B.E. 2528: Unity, Discipline, Seek virtue and for the year B.E. 2529: Favour Thai, Economise, Be honest and Practise virtue.
 
                It is very evident from the above discussion that the royal advice, the moral teachings and the mottoes given in all the Children’s Days are meant to lead and guide the children in a practical way. At present we need the help of good citizens to improve our economy, politics, society and military. If our children have a foundation to do good and shun evil from the beginning of their childhood, they will be a tremendous strength for our nation in the long run.
 
There are some suggestions for organising cultural activities on the National Children’s Day as follows :
Main Points :
 
                1. The roles and duties of the family members (parents,              grandparents, uncles and aunts), toward children.
                2. The roles and duties of children toward family members (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3. Suggestions and examples to organise the activities on the National Children’s Day (to disseminate knowledge and create understanding among the members of the family to play their roles towards one another).
 
1. The roles and duties of the family members (parents, grandparents,
     uncles and aunts) toward children :
 
                1.1 Be their good example.
                1.2 Give them love and warmth.
                1.3 Take good care, give good advice, instil and implant noble                         ways of life, and give instruction not to do evil and :
               
                                – To be respectful, obedient and polite to elders.
                                – To be industrious and responsible.
                                – To know how to save and spend money economically.
                                – To be orderly and behave properly.
                                – To follow the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
 
2. The roles and duties of children toward family members (parents,  
     grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                2.1 Give respect, be obedient and behave according to the teaching  
                  and advice of parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts.
                2.2 Show good manners toward parents, grandparents, uncles and 
                 aunts.
                2.3 Give help to grandparents, uncles and aunts in household
                 chores.
                2.4 Be grateful toward parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts,
                      etc.
   
3. Suggestions and examples to organise the activities on the National
     Children’s Day (to disseminate knowledge and create understanding   
     among the members of the family to play their roles towards one
     another).
 
 
                3.1 Organise seminar/ dialogue :
                                – The roles and duties of family members (parents,                                                           grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members                                (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.2 Campaign, propaganda, information :
                                – The roles and duties of family members (parents,                                                           grandparents, uncles and aunts) toward children.
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members                               (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.3 Conduct exhibition :
                                – The roles and duties of family members (parents        grandparents,
                        uncles and aunts) toward children.
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members          
                        (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.4 Demonstration-formation :
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members                                          (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.5 Recreation activities :
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members                                         (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.6 Do good for the public :
                                – The roles and duties of children toward family members                                         (parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts).
                3.7 Selection and competition :
                                –  Select children endowed with various gifts and talents, e.g.
                       artistry, poetry, acting, sports, recreational, etc.
                3.8 Confer honour to :
                                – Prominent children in various aspects.
                3.9 Other activities :
                                – Organise extra activities for children.
                                – Give rewards on this auspicious day to children of good                                
                       conduct.
                                – Other appropriate activities.