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Monday, May 06, 2013

Faces of Burma

Burma has possibly some of the sweetest people in South East Asia. They have retained their broad smiles in spite of being locked from the rest of the world for many decades. They will stare at you, but only with a pleasing bewildered look because they don’t see much apart from their own kind. I got the opportunity to photograph many of them in their own environment and doing their thing as I traveled across the country from the south to the north. Here goes the photo series on the people of Myanmar.

Burmese Girl with Thanaka on her face at Bago, Burma
Young Myitkyina girls with Thanaka on their facesThe Burmese women/girls like to wear Thanaka on their faces. It is believed that this makes their skin soft while keeping them cool and protecting them from sun burn.
Burmese Cigar Making Factory in Inle Lake, Burma Myanmar girls do a lot of work in the local cheroot industry.

A Longyi for the woman being preparedOld Burmese Woman weaving the ubiquitous Burmese Longyi for the Burmese women.

A Burmese Kid selling fast moving items on the Yangon-Dalla FerryA poor Burmese boy makes his living by selling cigarettes, gum, facial tissue, lighters and other small items on the Yangon – Dalla Ferry. In spite of his hardships, he can afford to sport a smile.

Inle Tribal Woman smiles as she gets off the boat
Paho Tribal Women smiles as she is helped off a boat at Inle Lake. Paho tribe is one of the many tribes living in the large Shan state of Myanmar.

A Twante, Burma Pottery man at workWith increased mechanization, hand-made pottery is seeing a slow death all over the world. But, there are still pockets in Burma where this art is being preserved and used as a livelihood.

Buddhist Monk reads a newspaper at Yangon's ferry terminalBuddhist Monks can be seen everywhere. Unlike other countries, Buddhism is followed with more fervor in Burma. Right from the morning alms ceremony to not eating food after the only meal, the Buddhist monks seem to do all the right things.

Inle FishermenThanks to its large rivers and big lakes, Myanmar is very rich in fishes. Its Inle Lake with undergrowth requires a different type of fishing with large fishing nets and an awkward way of disturbing the water with the feet.

My Motorcycle Taxi driver to Myitsone, Burma

The Myanmar Tri Shaw and its ownerMany people like them make a living out of taking passengers on a motorcycle/tri shaw in Myanmar. They are lucky if they make anywhere close to 15,000 kyat or about USD 18 per day. The tri shaws make significantly lesser money per day.

Myitkyina kids and their anticsMyanmar kids are very affectionate and smart. With the right education and healthcare, they will do great things for their country. But, right now, they live in poverty with very basic education.
A kid from Myitkyina, MyanmarAn inquisitive and stylish kid from the slums of Myitkyina, Myanmar.

Enjoying Falooda, a cool drink in Inle's marketsEven though street food in Myanmar is not as hygienic as the other South East Asian countries, it is still very popular with the locals as it offers a much cheaper option when compared to the restaurants, which work out to be expensive for the locals who live on a meager income.



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