Quiz about Etcetera Etcetera
Quiz about Etcetera Etcetera

Etcetera, Etcetera Trivia Quiz


Portgleep's challenge led me to Siam's King Mongkut (fictionalised in the movie "The King and I") whose superior intelligence and brusque manner caused his frequent use of 'etcetera, etcetera' to articulate what he couldn't be bothered saying.

A multiple-choice quiz by caramellor. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
caramellor
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
377,888
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
211
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Before he became king in 1851, which 'contemplative' Siamese tradition required of all men attaining the age of twenty did Mongkut follow?
Hint

Going overseas to study
Becoming a Buddhist monk
Working in the fields
Joining the army

2. What skulduggery was responsible for Mongkut's failure to become king when his father died in 1824?
Hint

He never wanted to be king
His people disliked him
The British disliked him
Court intrigue

3. Which extraordinary action (to the British, at least) did Mongkut take when he became king in 1851?
Hint

He walked through Bangkok naked
He recited the Ten Commandments
He sang "God Save the Queen"
He crowned his brother as second king, King Pinklao

4. Beginning in the early 1820s, before he became king, which two cultural revolutions did Mongkut initiate in Siam?
Hint

Embracing western history & reforming Christianity
Embracing western geographical knowledge & reforming Buddhism
Embracing western literature & reforming Islam
Embracing western science & reforming Judaism

5. As part of his westernisation projects, which 'thumping' traditional Siamese practice imposed on court nobles did King Mongkut abolish?
Hint

Meeting the king bare-footed
Meeting the king bare-chested
Meeting the king bare-headed
Meeting the king bare-legged

6. Which free trade treaty with the British Empire 'rang' revolutionary changes in Siam's economy and society during King Mongkut's reign?
Hint

Bowring Treaty
Bingham Treaty
Balfour Treaty
Broughton Treaty

7. Who was the English woman hired by King Mongkut to educate his children, particularly his heir Prince Chulalongkorn?
Hint

Anna Karenina
Anna Leonowens
Anna Magnani
Anna Sewell

8. After spending twenty-seven years as a celibate, how many wives and children did King Mongkut acquire during his reign? It's more than you think!
Hint

16 wives and 41 children
4 wives and 10 children
8 wives and 20 children
32 wives and 82 children

9. Which beasts of burden did King Mongkut offer to send to US President James Buchanan?
Hint

Buffaloes
Elephants
Donkeys
Mules

10. As well as changing the official Buddhist calendar, which 'hot' astronomical event did King Mongkut correctly predict would happen August 18, 1868?
Hint

Blue Moon
Lunar eclipse
Solar eclipse
Halley's Comet


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Before he became king in 1851, which 'contemplative' Siamese tradition required of all men attaining the age of twenty did Mongkut follow?

Answer: Becoming a Buddhist monk

King Mongkut (1804-1868) was the fourth monarch of Siam (Thailand) and ruled from 1851 to 1868. He became a Buddhist monk in 1824 and during this time he not only discovered Western knowledge but embraced it wholeheartedly. He studied Latin, English, geography, mathematics and astronomy and became friendly with Vicar Pallegoix of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bangkok.

Whilst admiring Christian morals and achievements, Mongkut's superior intelligence and brusque manner came through clearly in his well-known comment to Pallegoix: "What you teach people to do is admirable, but what you teach them to believe is foolish."
2. What skulduggery was responsible for Mongkut's failure to become king when his father died in 1824?

Answer: Court intrigue

In 1824, the same year in which Mongkut became a Buddhist monk, his father died. Mongkut should have been crowned the next king, but court intriguers chose instead Prince Nangklao - the son of a concubine rather than a queen. Mongkut did not oppose this breaking of tradition.

Instead, he devoted more of his time to promoting Western innovations in Siam for which he earned the nickname "The Father of Science and Technology" and the love of his people. And, far from being disliked by the British, Mongkut was seen as being the 'champion' of European civilization in the Siamese court, and it was due to British intervention that Mongkut finally became king in 1851, aged forty-seven.
3. Which extraordinary action (to the British, at least) did Mongkut take when he became king in 1851?

Answer: He crowned his brother as second king, King Pinklao

In 1851 Mongkut crowned his brother as second king, King Pinklao, and required his people to respect Pinklao as much as they respected him. To share his kingship with his brother may have been strange to the British (who have a history of murdering regal rivals) but it was a tradition already set in Siam.

In 1583 King Naresuan had crowned his brother Ekathotsarot in the same manner. No doubt, Mongkut wished to avoid further court intrigue and wanted someone else to deal with the numerous 'etceteras' involved in being king - allowing him more free time to expand his mind - but he did have enormous respect for Pinklao's attributes and had calculated astrologically that Pinklao was as much favoured by the 'stars' as he was.
4. Beginning in the early 1820s, before he became king, which two cultural revolutions did Mongkut initiate in Siam?

Answer: Embracing western geographical knowledge & reforming Buddhism

Traditional Siamese Buddhist records described the earth as being flat, so geography and religion were very much entwined in Siamese culture and Mongkut set about changing them both. He created a new Buddhist sect which taught that "true Buddhism was supposed to refrain from worldly matters and confine itself to spiritual and moral affairs." This maybe shows where his 'etcetera, etcetera' originated! He considered himself to be totally above the petty details of life and just wanted to get on with things. So, after he came to power in 1851, his country more quickly embraced modernisation. Mongkut hired many English and American missionaries to teach the English language in his country, and he also set about reforming the Siamese army by hiring Western mercenaries to train the troops in Western style fighting.

However, he maintained the absolute supremacy of Buddhism in Siam by restoring various temples and initiating a full moon festival to celebrate Buddha's main principles.
5. As part of his westernisation projects, which 'thumping' traditional Siamese practice imposed on court nobles did King Mongkut abolish?

Answer: Meeting the king bare-chested

In 1852, King Mongkut ordered the court nobles to wear shirts in his presence. Previously, court nobles had to meet the king bare-chested in order to prove that they were not hiding any weapons - NOT to thump their bare chests in obeisance. :) This traditional bare-chested Siamese practice was criticized by Westerners as 'barbaric' and, being the enlightened person he was, Mongkut put an end to it soon after assuming power.
6. Which free trade treaty with the British Empire 'rang' revolutionary changes in Siam's economy and society during King Mongkut's reign?

Answer: Bowring Treaty

In 1854, King Mongkut faced 'liberal' international laws when John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong representing Queen Victoria, arrived in Siam for the purpose of negotiating a treaty by which the 'Royal Storage' would be abolished. The Royal Storage was essentially a monopoly collecting taxation from foreign traders and forbidding the Siamese people from trading directly with foreigners. With free trade, the Royal Storage was dealt a severe blow but the common people profited and King Mongkut approved of this. Following the Bowring Treaty, more treaties were made with other powers and the resultant economic and social revolution led to the introduction of coinage in 1860. Rice milling and sugar production were the first industries in Siam, and with them came improvements in infrastructure.
7. Who was the English woman hired by King Mongkut to educate his children, particularly his heir Prince Chulalongkorn?

Answer: Anna Leonowens

In 1862, an English woman named Anna Leonowens was hired by King Mongkut to educate his children. Her influence on Prince Chulalongkorn and her relationship with King Mongkut was much embellished in both her autobiography, the book "Anna and the King of Siam" by Margaret Landon and subsequent musicals and movies. Such was the disrespect shown towards King Mongkut in these 'entertainments' - and the romanticising and fictionalising of historical events - that they were initially banned in Thailand.
8. After spending twenty-seven years as a celibate, how many wives and children did King Mongkut acquire during his reign? It's more than you think!

Answer: 32 wives and 82 children

King Mongkut's 'promiscuity' was totally misunderstood by the prim and proper English schoolmistress Anna Leonowens. He saw it as his 'royal duty' to provide his country with heirs and to bestow honour upon women eager to become his wife. Anna, of course, saw this as a form of slavery and in her autobiography claims to have influenced Prince Chulalongkorn to abolish slavery in Siam by telling him the story of "Uncle Tom's Cabin". To equate Negro slavery with multiple wives and the traditional voluntary servitude of the Buddhist Siamese common people was clearly wrong. Also, in contrast to how Mongkut's story was fictionalised, he had improved women's rights in Siam.

Many royal concubines had been released to find their own husbands, and he had banned forced marriages of any description as well as the practice of selling one's wife to pay debts.
9. Which beasts of burden did King Mongkut offer to send to US President James Buchanan?

Answer: Elephants

Clearly, King Mongkut thought that the USA was very unfortunate not to have native elephants and, being the person he was, offered the President as many as he wanted. By the time King Mongkut's letter with the elephant offer reached its destination, President Buchanan had been succeeded by President Lincoln who politely declined, explaining that American steam engines already performed as 'beasts of burden' and that the American climate was unsuitable for elephants.

Interestingly, Mongkut's great-grandson, King Bhumibol of Thailand, referred to the elephant incident during his state visit to the USA in 1960.
10. As well as changing the official Buddhist calendar, which 'hot' astronomical event did King Mongkut correctly predict would happen August 18, 1868?

Answer: Solar eclipse

King Mongkut was a master at both indigenous astrology and Western astronomy and mathematics. His calculations for the solar eclipse at Wakor were made using both the Thai system of time measurement as well as the Western measurement of longitude and latitude.

He changed the Buddhist calendar because, in his eyes, it was flawed and he berated his court astrologers for being negligent and stupid! He correctly determined not only the date of the solar eclipse but also where it could be best viewed in his country (Wakor village in Prachuap Khiri Khan province, south of Hua Hin).

It was on this expedition to view the eclipse that King Mongkut became ill with malaria and died six weeks later, aged sixty-four. It's strange that he did not foresee his own demise, but perhaps he did - considering it one of those 'etceteras' that weren't worth articulating in his particular understanding of Buddhist philosophy.
Source: Author caramellor

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