Two Comments

The views expressed here are the author's. They do not reflect those of CUSO International.
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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Morning Commute

Many if not most drivers in Yangon have either a pagoda-like ornament on their dashboard or a picture of a monk hanging from their rear view mirror.  Many also have a small garland of flowers hanging from their mirror.  They are sold by street vendors who walk between the cars waiting for a red light.  There is strong votive element in these flowers.

The young, say 30-old, taxi driver this morning took his immersion in Buddhism quite a bit further.  He played music with female voices under a recitation by a male voice, while the LCD screen in his console showed religious images:  a Buddha, Pagodas, and even a map of world religions, centred on what it still called Burma.  He sang along with the female voices.

Coming back from a weekend in Bangkok to renew my Myanmar visa, Yangon and my taxi driver’s immersion in Buddhism strike me as precious.  If Bangkok’s shopping malls around the occasional Wat or palace areYangon’s future, you’d wish for some more of Myanmar’s isolation from the world.  But is that not just nostalgia?

1 comment:

  1. You can not deprive countries their progress because of your own longings to scenes of the past. They will go through the same learning curve we went through. Good or bad. Only in retrospective it is easy to see the mistakes we made. It is like bringing up kids! You try to protect them from mistakes we and our parents made, but they do it again. Only in technical issues we seem willing to learn from the past.

    See you soon!