Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yangon, Myanmar- More Observations

Reclining Buddha

Reclining Buddha with guide for scale

Fisherman and tourist boats

Fresh fish at open markets

Big market in Yangon

Fresh vegetables sold by lady with cosmetics

Street vendors

Heavy loads without automation
Yangon is a bustling city with so much to see and do. Chaukhtatgyi Paya or Reclining Buddha is a serene visiting spot. Almost all the people are Buddhists. Many people shop for food every day. Fresh vegetables and fish are available at open markets that farmer's families maintain. usually women are sitting around on the ground with their produce out in rows and rows. Then there are rows and rows of fish and other things as well. Everything is fresh, organic and not expensive.

The huge marketplace is filled with many stalls selling fabrics to make their traditional clothing. The “Longyi or Hta-mein” is one of the traditional dresses of Myanmar women. This skirt cloth or lower body wrapper was worn by women during the Konbaung Dynasty (1752–1855) as a wrap-around skirt, or sometimes as folded clothing material placed “tightly across the abdomen slightly left center of the waist”. In comparison, a Myanmar men wear the “Longyi or Pa Soe” around the hips; the men tie a knot in the front and women fold it and fix on the one side (right or left).

The woman pictured above who is selling the lettuce is wearing cosmetics which the Burmese find attractive. It is made from bark which is sold in an open market and boiled to make a paste which is put on the face to lighten the skin. It looks beige and is applied in circles on the cheeks, not blended in. It's a look! Beauty is definitely a cultural thing, right?

Watching the port and how things are done showed us how behind the times Myanmar really is. Unloading materials from a boat was all done by many men lining up and carrying heavy bags of materials. There is no automation available in any part of the process. Labor is cheap and the men work for a pittance.

Life is different here in many ways yet people are the same. We buy our food, looking for fresh, wholesome food. We wear cosmetics, trying to look our best. The details are refreshingly different.

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