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  1. #276
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Great thread. Thanks, nat!

  2. #277
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    Sorry for coming late to your wonderful stories and pictures I have a remark to the below building: visiting Bang Pa-In it first time almost 40 years ago I was said that this Chinese style residential hall (very nice for relaxing) was a gift to the King Rama V by Chinese merchants as a gratitude for his generosity to allow them making business in Thailand.


    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace

    Bang Pa-In Royal Palace also known as the Summer Palace, is a palace complex formerly used by the Thai kings. It lies beside the Chao Praya River in Bang Pa-In District, Pranakorn Sri Ayuthaya.

    King Prasart Tong from Ayuthaya period (approx. 1350-1767) constructed the original complex in 1632, but it fell into disuse and became overgrown in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, until King Mongkut (King Rama IV) began to restore the site in the mid-19th century. Most of the present buildings were constructed between 1872 and 1889 by King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V).


    4.Pra-Tee-Nung Wae-Hard Chumroon - Chinese style residential hall.

  3. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    In March 1935, King Prachatipok (King Rama VII) abdicated in favor of his 9-year-old nephew, Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej's older brother Prince Ananda Mahidol.

    The child-king and his siblings remained in Switzerland while two regents ruled the kingdom in his name. Ananda Mahidol returned to Thailand in 1938, but Bhumibol Adulyadej remained in Europe. The younger brother continued his studies in Switzerland until 1945, when he left the University of Lausanne at the end of World War II.
    What I have learned from some sources years ago - not sure whether it was correct: In the time when King Prachatipok abdicated it had not been known for quite long who will be the next king. There had been long discussions at the Royal court before the choice had been at last directed to the family living that time in Lausanne.

    And when Ananda Mahidol came to Thailand in 1938 - enthusiastic welcome by the population - whenever he was travelling he always insisted to be accompanied by his younger brother. Finally, both of them returned with the family to Switzerland where they stayed during the whole war years.

  4. #279
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    The Giant Swing is a religious structure formerly used in an old Brahminism ceremony.

    The place is sited in front of Wat Sutat in Pranakorn District, Bangkok.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-swing003-jpg


    It was recorded that the Giant Swing was constructed in 1784 in the reign of King Paputtayodfa Chulalok (Rama I; 1737-1809) in front of the Brahmin temple or called today as Tewasatan shrine.

    During the reign of King Paputtalerdla (Rama II; 1767-1824), the swing ceremony was discontinued as the swing had become structurally damaged by lightning.

    In 1920 (the reign of King Wachirawut (Rama VI; 1881-1925)), it was renovated and moved to its current location in order to prepare the former space for a gas plant construction.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-swing001-jpg


    The ceremony was again performed until 1935 when it was finally discontinued in the reign of King Prachatipok (Rama VII, 1893-1941) after several fatal accidents.

    The last renovations were done in 1959 and after many, many years of exposure to the weather the wooden pillars were showing signs of serious damage.

    A major reconstruction began in April 2005. Six teak tree trunks were used. Two of them used for the main structure of the swing. The remaining four used for support. The total height is 21.15 meters standing on a giant round white stone covered with red tile platform 10.50 meters in diameter. The swing was taken down in late October 2006. The work finally finished in December of the same year.


    The rebuilt swing was dedicated in royal ceremonies presided over by King Pumipol Adulyadej (Rama IX) in September 2007. The timbers of the original swing are preserved in the Bangkok National Museum.

    In 2005, the Giant Swing, together with Wat Suthat, was proposed as a future UNESCO World Heritage site.

    In the old days, the annual swinging ceremony known locally as "lo-ching-cha (pulling the swing (= ching cha)) began as according to an ancient Brahminism relating that after God Brahma created the world, he sent God Shiva to look after it.

    It is said that Goddess Uma was worried that the earth would meet its doom soon but God Shiva thought otherwise so a bet was on.

    The mighty Naga was asked to tie himself between the two giant trees rooting in a vast river. God Shiva then would stand on one foot on Naga's mid trunk. Then the Naga would swing himself back and forth. Even on one foot, God Shiva stood still without fall or even sway. That meant God Shiva won the bet and also meant that the earth God Brahma had created was safe.

    For the swinging ceremony, two giant poles represent two giant trees. The platform represents the river. The swing represents the mighty Naga and the Brahmin priest represents God Shiva.

    After the ceremony, the Brahmins would swing, trying to grab a bag of coins placed on one of the pillars.

    It was said that fatal accident happened every year but the swingers did not mind. They believed that dying while performing the sacred ceremony would grant their afterlives in heaven.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-swing000-jpg

    Last edited by nathanielnong; 21-10-2020 at 09:52 AM.

  5. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Great thread. Thanks, nat!

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-thank-you-jpg

  6. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Sorry for coming late to your wonderful stories and pictures I have a remark to the below building: visiting Bang Pa-In it first time almost 40 years ago I was said that this Chinese style residential hall (very nice for relaxing) was a gift to the King Rama V by Chinese merchants as a gratitude for his generosity to allow them making business in Thailand.
    You are right. The palace was made from the money donated among the Hakka Siamese (the descendants of the Hakka Chinese). I missed the detail, sorry.

    Thanks for your kind remark.

    Ps The Hakka Siamese, we called them in Thai as "Chene (= Chinese) Kae (= Hakka)". They make wonderful 'kuay-tew' called in Thai as 'kuay-tew kae'.



    Memory Lane (In my own language)-11-jpg

  7. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    What I have learned from some sources years ago - not sure whether it was correct: In the time when King Prachatipok abdicated it had not been known for quite long who will be the next king. There had been long discussions at the Royal court before the choice had been at last directed to the family living that time in Lausanne.

    And when Ananda Mahidol came to Thailand in 1938 - enthusiastic welcome by the population - whenever he was travelling he always insisted to be accompanied by his younger brother. Finally, both of them returned with the family to Switzerland where they stayed during the whole war years.

    You are correct on this as well. I omitted the details because the line of succession in the Thai Royal family is very complicated and the readers here who are farang won't care to know this detail for sure. Well, I was wrong!

    King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) had a lot of Royal Consorts. Each one gave him several sons. King Prachatipok (Rama VII) was the youngest son born from the Supreme Royal Consort. He was King Wachirawut (Rama VI)'s younger brother.

    Theoretically, the next King after King Rama VI would be his own son but since King Rama VI produced no son so, the throne belonged to his younger brother, King Rama VII.

    King Rama VII did not have any offspring so once he abdicated, theoretically, the throne would belong to his younger brother. Since King Rama VII was the youngest from the Supreme Royal Consort, the line of succession skipped to the offspring born from the 1st Royal Consort who was the elder sister of the Supreme Royal Consort (who was the youngest of 3)

    It starts with the first son then down to his sons. When no more, the line of succession skipped to the second son then down to his sons... By then, all of them dead (both fathers and sons) until came Prince Mahidol Adulyadej (the 9th offspring and the 3rd or 4th son I am not sure) who was dead as well but he had 2 sons; King Ananda and his brother the future King Pumipol).

    (are you with me??)


    "it had not been known for quite long" --- It had been known because the line of succession has always been prepared. It took long because of the preparation. The future King Rama VIII was just a boy. List of the regents would be carefully made.

    This is fun but hard to type in letters, well.

    Anyway, I am happy to know a farang (or are you a Thai like me??) who is interested in our culture/tradition.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 21-10-2020 at 11:10 AM.

  8. #283
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    ^Actually, I commented on the expression: "Rama VII abdicated in favor of...". As I have learned, he just abdicated. In England, after few years there, when knowing about various squabbles in Bangkok that surely affected him as well but did not have intention to be involved. And actually, not in a good health.

    And what I have learned (from a book by Alec Waugh The Story of a City) there has been certain vacuum for some time. One very serious contender claiming his right was Chula, son of late Prince Chakrabongse, already in an adult age, living in England, however, his Russian mother was a problem. Then, only after some time, the idea was to sent a delegation to Switzerland...

  9. #284
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    ^ On topic, factual and interesting.

    Amazing.

  10. #285
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    Anyway, I am happy to know a farang (or are you a Thai like me??) who is interested in our culture/tradition.
    Actually, I am happy to know a Thai who is interested in (not only) Thai history. How come that you have been interested?

    In my experience - I could have said - I have yet to meet a Thai who knows a bit about their history, even while good educated. Now, I will no longer be able to say that. Perhaps, the problem in Thailand is when anything what touching the royals - and the history is always connected with royals - is very sensitive.

  11. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Actually, I am happy to know a Thai who is interested in (not only) Thai history. How come that you have been interested?

    In my experience - I could have said - I have yet to meet a Thai who knows a bit about their history, even while good educated. Now, I will no longer be able to say that. Perhaps, the problem in Thailand is when anything what touching the royals - and the history is always connected with royals - is very sensitive.

    Yeah.
    Yet, one might be surprised as to the number of everyday Thai souls, less the "educated" class, that have quite the insight on real ​Thai history -

  12. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    ^Actually, I commented on the expression: "Rama VII abdicated in favor of...". As I have learned, he just abdicated. In England, after few years there, when knowing about various squabbles in Bangkok that surely affected him as well but did not have intention to be involved. And actually, not in a good health.

    And what I have learned (from a book by Alec Waugh The Story of a City) there has been certain vacuum for some time. One very serious contender claiming his right was Chula, son of late Prince Chakrabongse, already in an adult age, living in England, however, his Russian mother was a problem. Then, only after some time, the idea was to sent a delegation to Switzerland...
    I understand your point. "Rama VII abdicated in favor of..." is just a figure of words.

    Only King Rama VII knew why he abdicated. The rest (even Alec Waugh himself) just know by searching, guessing or hearing from some sources. They will never know the truth because those who do have all ready been dead. Same as the case of King Rama VIII.

    I didn't mean to give lecture here. I just tell stories. There might be somewhere here and there a little bit swayed but the outcome is accurate.

    That's why I give my Heading as "Memory Lane (In My Own Language)".

    Thank you for your kind interest. I am really impressed.

  13. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Actually, I am happy to know a Thai who is interested in (not only) Thai history. How come that you have been interested?

    In my experience - I could have said - I have yet to meet a Thai who knows a bit about their history, even while good educated. Now, I will no longer be able to say that. Perhaps, the problem in Thailand is when anything what touching the royals - and the history is always connected with royals - is very sensitive.

    I have been a reader since I was a boy. I actually prefer to read articles much more than fictions (anyway, I love fantasy fictions the most. I read "the Lord of the rings" long before it was publicly known in Thailand).

    Average Thais (and 100% in the countryside; 'tang chang wat') don't know much because they don't like to read. It has been for a long time or at least before internet was born. Some of my friends are doctors (both Dr. and Ph.d.) but they know only in their fields, for example.

    That is so sad because "books" opens the world to you. I say "books" not "lines", "facebook" or "blog" or something alike because only (published) books are checked for accurateness. I am certain of that because before retirement, I used to write/translate published books.

    Reading expands my knowledge. Not only that I know a lot about Thai history. I know quite a lot about the world outside. Maybe not because of just reading, I watch a lot too; movies, documentaries and etc. and I also love to travel abroad (now, I really miss it!)

    I am reminded of one of my friends once used to say that I am one of a kind (Thai). Might be the reason that why I don't have many friends.

    Please stay with me and read various kinds of stories that happened in Thailand in the old days (but ignore my 'figure of words' and wrong grammar sometimes!)

    Thank you so much for your kind compliment.

    Last edited by nathanielnong; 23-10-2020 at 09:52 AM.

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    The first known serial killer in modern Thai history.

    Chinese Si Quey Sae Urng, born in 1927, was falsely referred to as "Si Quey" in the exhibition. The name part "Sae" indicates a Chinese clan name, in this case the family of Urng.

    As records say, Si Quey immigrated to Thailand shortly after the WWII. He was employed as a gardener in Noen Phra, 200 kilometers south of Bangkok.

    He was known to public for being a cannibal.

    Between 1954 and 1958, he was charged with the murder of seven children in Prachuab Keeree Kan, Nakhon Patom, Bangkok, and Rayong. When he was captured in 1958, he was trying to burn the body of an eight-year-old. He admitted he had killed the boy and taken out the heart, liver, and kidneys for later dining.

    After a trial that lasted only nine days, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. In the second instance, the appeal procedure ended with the death penalty. On 17 September 1959, he was executed by a firing squad.

    The Siriraj Medical School requested his body for anatomical studies. He was then embalmed and exhibited in the Siriraj Medical Museum with the label "cannibal" (at present time, taken out) as a deterrent to others.

    In the old days, parents and grandparents warned young children when it got dark to no longer be outside on the streets. "The child eater Si Quey (we say in Thai "See-Ouy") is coming to get you". --- and I got that very often!

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-01-jpg

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-02-jpg


    Last edited by nathanielnong; 23-10-2020 at 10:04 AM.

  15. #290
    Thailand Expat lom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    On 17 September 1959, he was executed by a firing squad.
    Cremated and buried almost 61 years later (July 2020).

  16. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by lom View Post
    Cremated and buried almost 61 years later (July 2020).

    Yes, by the request of his relatives who also asked the officers at the hospital to take the "cannibal" label off.

    Thanks.

  17. #292
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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanielnong View Post
    The rest (even Alec Waugh himself) just know by searching, guessing or hearing from some sources.
    Alec Waugh had spent some time in Thailand in 50s, getting a knowledge - as he claimed - from circle of royal extended family.

    Good reading about King Rama VII and his time in England can be found in book issued few years ago Siamese Memoirs - The Life & Times of Pimsai Swasti - a lady who had been staying as a child with the extended family in England, later murdered in Bangkok under strange circumstances. Few years ago I placed here few pictures from her book - actually written by her son - A walk from the 14th October Memorial to Chinatown

  18. #293
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Alec Waugh had spent some time in Thailand in 50s, getting a knowledge - as he claimed - from circle of royal extended family.

    Good reading about King Rama VII and his time in England can be found in book issued few years ago Siamese Memoirs - The Life & Times of Pimsai Swasti - a lady who had been staying as a child with the extended family in England, later murdered in Bangkok under strange circumstances. Few years ago I placed here few pictures from her book - actually written by her son - A walk from the 14th October Memorial to Chinatown

    Thank you. I have checked your link. The lady, Pimsai Swasti, had a tragic ending. I could not help digging more and found that she was a descendant from a royal family. She shared the same family tree with Queen Rampai Pannee, King Rama VII's.

    What I don't understand is why she chose to write her surname (maiden name) as only "Svasti". Her full surname was "Svastivatana" which was derived from her first ancestor who was the brother of the "Capsizing Boat" Queen in the reign of King Rama V.

    Anyway, her tragic death reminds me of someone's. Now, I am inspired to compile a story.

    Thanks...

  19. #294
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    ^Yes, very strange death, perhaps a conspiracy theory can be assumed?

    In her story - it was compiled from her diaries years after her death - it's interesting to read how the young Miss, returning after the war to Thailand, had to learn all Thai customs - she did not get when left very young. Even when brought up in England by Thai people in quite Hi-So circles, she did not know all the nuances of Hi-So circles in Thailand in 50s, taught all by her grandmother.

    And another interesting matter - you presented here recently the funeral arrangements of numerous royal persons - nothing like that was performed when the widow of Rama VII returned after the war to Thailand, bringing his ashes back from England.

  20. #295
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    ^Incidentally, a statue of Rama VII Prachadiphok (who I quite respect among others) I was given once years ago at a ceremony (as usually happens in Thailand), sitting now on a shelf among other memorabilias of my wife...

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-img_20201023_191326_compress83-jpg

  21. #296
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    [QUOTE=Klondyke;4177067]^Yes, very strange death, perhaps a conspiracy theory can be assumed?

    What I found out is she was murdered by her own gardener, only that and no more detail. If I can opine, this is a simple case; “kill and steal”. The lady being one of the royalties means generally to public that she was rich.

    About King Rama VII, he had a sad life. Being the youngest and having about 5-6 brothers before him, he did not expect to take the throne. So, he was not prepared and once he took the throne, he had to pay the price for what his big brother (King Rama VI) had done.

    The reign of King Rama VI was said to be very extravagant. When he died, Siam almost faced the state of bankruptcy. When King Rama VII took the throne, he tried very hard to revive but it was too late. People had had enough of it and that caused the Siamese Revolution of 1932 (which reminds me of the French Revolution that overthrew King Louis XVI in the 18th century. Lucky that ours was softer) which resulting the great change from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy and the abdication of King Rama VII later on.

    King Rama VII was the one and only king that did not die in his homeland like the others. So, there was no Royal Funeral, Royal Cremation or anything. He came back home in a small Royal Urn with his beloved wife, Queen Rampai Pannee. He was only 47 and his reign lasted only 9 years.


    Memory Lane (In my own language)-queen_rambhai_barni_and_king_ramaviis_ashes-jpg

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-rama_vii_and_queen_rambai-jpg
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 26-10-2020 at 09:06 AM.

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    Some important scenes that happened in the reign of King Rama VII


    Plaek Piboonsongkram (1897-1964)


    was a Field Marshal locally known as Marshal Poh (P.). He was a Thai military officer and politician who served as the 3rd Prime Minister of Thailand and also a dictator from 1938 to 1944 and 1948 to 1957. He is the longest serving Prime Minister of Thailand to-date at 15 years and one month.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-01-jpg


    In 1932, Poh was one of the leaders of the Royal Siamese Army branch of the People's Party, a political organization that staged a coup d'etat which overthrew the absolute monarchy in Siam and replaced it with a constitutional monarchy (the reign of King Prachatipok (Rama VII)). This incident was known to public as the Siamese Revolution of 1932.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-02-00-jpg
    Memory Lane (In my own language)-02-jpg


    Poh, at the time a lieutenant colonel, quickly rose to prominence in the military known as a "man-on-horseback". The 1932 coup was followed by the nationalization of some companies and increasing state control of the economy.

    The following year, Poh and allied military officers successfully crushed the rebellion, a royalist revolt, led by Prince Boworndet.

    While King Rama VII was not involved in the rebellion, it marked the beginning of a slide which ended in his abdication and replacement by King Ananta Mahidol (Rama VIII) in 1935. Since the new King was still a boy studying in Switzerland thus, a group of regents was appointed by the parliament.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-03-jpg
    King Prachatipok (King Rama VII) hands over the first ever constitution on Dec 10, 1932 following a coup by Khana Rassadorn Party on June 24


    In the meantime, together with the Minister of Propaganda, Poh built a leadership cult in 1938 and thereafter, photographs of PM Poh were to be found everywhere and those of the abdicated King Rama VII were banned. His quotes appeared in newspapers, were plastered on billboards, and were repeated over the radio.

    Poh immediately prioritized Thai nationalism to the point of ultra-nationalism. To support this policy he launched a series of major reforms known as the Thai Cultural Revolution to increase the pace of modernization in Thailand such as:

    - Traditional officer uniforms were changed to those worn in the west.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-04-jpg


    - Every officer would greet "Sawadee Krub/Ka" to each other when they first meet.

    - "Siam" as having been the official name of the country since the beginning was changed to "Thailand" in June 24th, 1939. Its people, thus, were also called Thai instead of Siamese.

    - New Year Day which originally according to traditional Chakri Dynasty was on April 1st of every year was changed to January 1st like those regularly used in the west. The change happened in 1941 so, that made 1940 in Thailand contain only 9 months.

    Moreover, a series of cultural mandates was issued. These mandates encouraged all Thai people to perform new things such as:

    To salute the national flag in public places at a certain time

    To acknowledge the new national anthem

    To use the standardized Thai language not regional dialects or languages

    To eat with a set of fork and spoon rather than with hands as was customary in Thai culture at the time.

    To stop chewing betel quid (maak) whether in or outdoors, disobedience would be fined and/or imprisoned.

    To adopt Western attire (including shoes) instead traditional clothing styles

    For women, to stop wearing "jongkrabane" and wear "sarong" instead and, for working women, to wear dresses and hats plus shoes when being outdoors. Disobedience would be fined and/or imprisoned.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-05-jpg

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-06-jpg

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-07-jpg

    A propaganda which was named in Thai as “Mala (= hat) Num (= lead) Thai”, in this one show the urge for women not only to wear dresses and hats but shoes also a must.


    Poh saw these policies not only necessary but an interest of progressiveness to change Thailand in the minds of foreigners from an undeveloped country into a civilized and modern one.

    .... to be continued.
    Last edited by nathanielnong; 26-10-2020 at 09:17 AM.

  23. #298
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    Fascinating and very entertaining, thank you.

  24. #299
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    Good stuff Nong Nong. As always, looking forward to the next installment. My time here dates from the Thanom/Prapass era. Sarit was still widely discussed but Pibulsongkram had faded out of memory. I despised him anyway as he seems to have been responsible for young girls not going around bare breasted anymore. I thought his Por Por initials must have stood for party-pooper. There was another guy used to come up in conversation a lot - Pao Sriyanond, a Police General who was powerful enough to challenge the Army. Do you have some info on him?

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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    Fascinating and very entertaining, thank you.

    Memory Lane (In my own language)-thank-you-jpg

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