How to Learn the Name
by Ron Chester ★ Monday, August 12, 2019

Now for a story about that Ceremonial Name. After four visits to Thailand over a period of more than two years, I learned of this ceremonial name while reading a travel article on the city. I was reading in bed late one evening and I turned to Supattra and informed her of my new discovery, with a pretended air of Aren't I soooo smart? Within seconds she began to recite the name out loud for me, in a beautiful light way that sounded more like singing than reciting. I still had my laptop open to the article (she couldn't see it, so she wasn't cheating) and I followed along and confirmed that she got it all right, 100% correct. Wow!

Then she told me why it sounded like she was singing. Because she was.

Asanee–Wasan is a popular and well-known rock band, formed by two brother's, Asanee "Pom" and Wasan "Toe" Chotikul. When my wife was still a teenager they had a hit song that put the Bangkok ceremonial name to verse in a song. Just like we learned the lyrics to our favorite songs as kids, she and her generation learned the lyrics to this song. But the lyrics consisted only in the recitation of the complete ceremonial name!

It's a beautiful song. Listen to it here, play it on repeat and maybe you'll end up knowing the complete name like she did and like the little girl in this video.  If the pronunciation isn't clear enough for you, listen to this version.

I especially love the fact that the recorded song begins with the crow of a rooster. That is the first sound I heard in the early morning from my bed in a hotel in the ancient part of Chiang Mai, on my very first morning in Thailand. That sound is a good memory for me!