Things I learnt during my few days in Myanmar

What did I learn from traveling? This is one question I always post to myself. I want to learn many new things everyday that would improve me as a human being. Traveling for me is not just going around, but instead its a way of learning and experiencing life.

Traveling to other exotic countries was different and traveling to Myanmar was different. I have been to Bhutan before, which is one of the most isolated places in the world. But, Myanmar was a bigger mystery to me. I have not heard much about it or nor read anything about it. I just wanted to go and see whats there in the limited time I had.

But, just after four nights in that country, I have managed to learn few things since my first day in Myanmar.

1. Women can also be National heros
If you know the recent past of Myanmar, there is one person who grabs all the attention – Aung San Suu Kyi. Call me male chauvinist, but I never taught women can be national heros. Since I came to know about this woman’s incredible story and her fight for democracy, I have been longing to know more and no wonder I got addicted to reading her biographies.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

2. Longyi is cool
Probably the coolest and easiest thing to wear, longyi is worn by most of the men, starting from politicians to taxi drivers. Longyi is different from it’s Indian lungi, in a way that both the ends are stitched to form a cylindrical dress in the Burmese version. Maybe, it’s easier to unwrap a longyi while using a squat toilet and could be very efficient in those small toilets.

Rickshaw driver wearing lyongi

Rickshaw driver wearing lyongi

3. No money need not mean no happiness
We from the developing and developed nations, blindly assume the myth that happiness can be found only with money and increase in salaries. There are lot of things to learn from Burmese. I have never seen a person complain, about his financial situation. They are happy in what they have and despite being poor they are very charitable.

4. Fake it to make it
Journalists – not allowed, photographers – not allowed, media – not allowed. That’s what other travelers advised. The government is just going to reject your visa without any second taught, if you belong to any of the professions above. In case, if you actually belong to the media sector, you just got to fake your profession to make it to Myanmar.

5. Incredibly respectful and compassionate
I have never seen any other people who respect their guests like the Burmese do. I felt they are incredibly hospitable, even if he was just a taxi driver. Whenever the Burmese hand over anything(food or money), they slightly bow and with their right hand pass them on while holding the right elbow with their left hand. This shows us how compassionate the Burmese are.

Kids praying before a meal

Kids praying before a meal

6. Prayers
Prayers were never a part of my life before. But since my first day in Myanmar, I have learnt to pray and I have a feeling now that prayers should be an integral part of everyone’s life. Prayers should also not be exaggerated in this context, but its just thanking the almighty for giving us a wonderful life. The monks and other people here, start their day with prayers and before every time they have the meals.

Photo Source –
Aung San Suu Kyi – http://www.flickr.com/photos/aktivioslo/7381905276/
Rickshaw driver wearing lyongi – http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlc-hk/3455044995/
Kids praying before a meal – http://www.flickr.com/photos/kudumomo/8511531937/

Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala

Karthik Reddy has been traveling around the world since completing his M.B.A in 2012. He is passionate about photography, trying out new food, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures and explore places solo.

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