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Mandalay Diary 6th Jun 2001

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Mandalay Diary 1st May 2001
Myanmar, The Paradise of Amazing Pagodas
by Chin Terao

At first, I would like to present about amazing pagodas, which can be found in Myanmar.

Myanmar is not rich in material physically. The social status, transportation, communication and distribution of goods are very low.

However, in the contrast, the pagodas in Myanmar are very elegant, bright and colourful. They are so great that we think that all riches of Myanmar gather here. In the real life, too, Myanmar gathers here. In the real life, too, Myanmar is pious and they often give away their properties. They are delighted at giving away one portion of yearly income.

I would like to tell them that they should invest for this world a little more than that portion. Besides, belief in religion overwhelms the spirit and life of people. They have kindness, which cannot be considered in Japan and other Asia countries.

Myanmar is a country in which the hearts of its people and pagodas are cotton although it outer part is wearing polo shirt.

All of the sacred depository and shrine are simply called 'Pagoda'. Pilgrims will be welcomed by the various attractions, which will be mentioned in the following. There are many sorts of images, pavilions and edifice in a compound at the center of which a steeple is built.

In this country where resort and recreation center are scarce, young couples make appointments at the pagoda. Therefore pagodas are not only religious building but also recreation centers. These places are very valuable.

Now! Let's see amazing pagodas of Paradise, Myanmar.

Mai La Mu Pagoda, Yangon

It is the weakest pagoda among the famous pagodas of Yangon. It has the circumstances, which is like a park rather than a pagoda. It means that it is like a historical garden of Buddha. In the compound, a great image of Buddha, pagodas in the various shape, statues of men and animals, and many awful places can be seen.

It was the first pagoda as soon as we arrived Myanmar. It was so amazing that we could not choose the right words to illustrate its figure. The cart, which carried the gold leaves, was the most amazing thing.

As soon as we entered the fence of the pagoda firstly we met an image. The upper part was in the post of meditation and the lower part was in the post of lying. It was very strange. It was said that the builder's mind has changed at middle of building this image. It was tire some to see the image. Read mats covered the pagoda behind it because it was being stuck with gold leaves. Painting with lime and sticking new gold leaves were performed every specific year. The time I visited was dry season. It was very suitable to mend the pagoda. In the later time, too, the scene like those was seen.

When we turned behind the pagoda covered by reed mats, we saw a huge image. Around the image, there were status of men and animals. Among them, a man was very fashionable. He was good looking.

At a place, people gathered as a group. We enter the crowed. We saw a small container like a boat shaking to and for ascending along a rope to the upper part of the pagoda, which was being mended. When I asked them, they replied that they were donation gold leaves to the pagoda.

The donor himself had to pull the rope so that the container would arrive the place where the gold leaves were stuck. It was very useful system. I thought I should practice it. Immediately, I went and bought a packet of gold leaf.

'Here is gold leaf'.
I put it in the small boat-like container.

All of the donors altogether pulled the rope. Both men and children participated as if they were playing a sport. I also took part. It could not be said that it was childish. It was very cheerful.

My gold leaf was climbing up the pagoda. It was taken out by a man who was standing at the middle of a window, which was situated on the upper part of the pagoda. Only the container returned. At this time, I thrilled with joy when I thought that my gold leaf would be shining on the marvelous pagoda.

We reached the innermost part of the fence through the shop of gift, that of fortuneteller, pavilions and edifice. At that place, there was a 50m long concrete crocodile on which fruits were put. In the body of crocodile, many pictures reflecting the past time were painted. I thought they were made of wood. I could not remember it.

It was at the mouth of crocodile where small rooms were divided and images were hung in those rooms.

Please look and see this strange pagoda, as soon as you arrived Yangon.

© Chin Terao