It rained heavily from early morning to midnight. The rainy season which startedfrom Water Festival, Myanmar New Year lasted about six months. The text book for primary pupils carries a topic entitled "Three season" which states that there are three seasons in Myanmar; rainy season, cold season and summer. The text also states that each season lasts for four months. Practically, it is true to say that the rainy season lasts for 6 months; cold season and summer season lastsfor 2 months each. The patient spirit of Myanmar people (although there are alsoshort-tempered people.) might be bred during such a long period of the rainy season.(K.K)
As you can see in this photo, buses in Mawlamyaing are different in design unlike those in Yangon. Because there are few buses in the town, they are always crowded. Buses in Yangon are not crowded in the afternoon but the buses in Mawlamyaing are over crowded with passengers the whole day.
This is Mt Zwekabin, landmark of Kayin State and Pha Drum is symbol of Kayin people. The top of the mountain is covered with clouds. On TV, we can very often watch troups performing Don Yein dances at the foot of the mountain. Because the mountain is very steep, climbing up is not easy. Climbing down is more difficult.
All the staff of Sanay Co. visited Venerable Thamanya Sayadaw (Presiding monk). The monk is 92 years old and it is said it is not very easy to see the monk. But, we were given a chance to meet the monk separately. There used to be rebels around there till last year. It was difficult for foreign visitors to enter the area then. But, the region has become peaceful thanks to the effort of the Sayadaw. There is nolonger clashes. The roads are being repaired with the donation. Meals are served free to the pilgrims to the place. Buddhists have ardent wish to see the monk once in their life time.
Starting from this month, no ticket reservation can be made at Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways for local. Air tickets can be bought one day ahead at the rate for local passengers. Nothing can be changed on their tickets. (eg. change of name, date, etc). If a local passerger wants to buy an air ticket at nearest rate for foreigners, he or she has to apply for permission to buy starting the reason for taking the flight under the letter head of his or her company. After getting approval of the air line, he or she can get a permission to book and buy an airticket. Therefore, please note this fact.
At the end of Buddhist lent, people pay respects to the elderly. And they send gifts to those who have something to do with their business. Ready-made gift baskets are sold in the shop. The price range starts from 10,000 kyats. You can put things of your choice in the basket bought from the shop.
The largest vegetables, flowers and fruits whole-sale market (Thirimingala) in Yangon. Goods from country side arrive at the market and retailers buy goods from the market and resell them at other markets. It is the one and only 24-hour market.
A Korean drama entitled "Pearl Tear"is being broadcast on Myawady TV. Action movies of ancient time and present time movies from Taiwan and Japanese dramas are popular among the viewers. The Korean movies has just been broadcast. It is said story, fashion, position of towns, etc are not different among the movies from Japan, Taiwan and Korea. I once watched the Korean movie, but the way the actress drew her eyebrows was not the same as Japanese actresses'. Moreover, the woman who play the role of the mother was impolitely sitting with one leg folded under one. Such way of sitting is Korean traditional way. But, there is no such way in Japan and Myanmar. It seemed to be popular among the viewers.(K.K)
Old leaves can be seen at the end of February before the spring is over. I see old leaves of the badum tree. They are as large as a fan. Although it is almost the end of the rainy season, the red leaves are falling down. The red-leaf-trees are eye catching ones among the green trees in Yangon. Recent view was piles of old leaves beside roads.(K.K)
I, the other day, reported that there was no longer electricity black out in Yangon. I thought it was very strange to see situations have suddenly changed. It was said electricity could be supplied sufficiently because repair of generators at Hlaw Kaa power plant has finished. But dailies carry motto of "efficient use of electricity". It says there are about 500,000 households using electricity in Yangon. Thus, saving a four-foot fluorescent lamp every day by each household amounts to saving power that is equal to the capacity a 20-megawatt power station can supply. Actually, the use of decoration lights and illuminations has been limited at restaurants and others places.(K.K)
We can see puppies very often after the rainy season. Because they are born when the rainy season is almost ended. When I came back from Japan on 22nd September, I found that two mother dogs have given birth to six puppies each at the semi-underground car parking lot of the building where my flat is. Five brown and black puppies have also been born under the restaurant in the park. Most of the puppies at the apartment building are white. They have begun to walk swaying side to side and their eyes have wide opened. The father dog died before they were born when a car ran over it. The white-haired puppies are brave and nice.(K.K)
There was a thunder storm the week before this week. Thunder is said to be a sign that the rainy season ends. There were a lot of rain last year after thunders.Considering the weather condition for a week, the rainy season seems to end completely.(K.K)
Insects have come out as usual as the rainy season almost comes to an end. Small mantises have entered the room. But, they are not many. There is place where the water pipe is leaking at the semi-under ground car parking at our apartment building. Some pipes are being installed for easy flow of water leaked. There is fungus growing there. Fungus is also on the tape which I don't happen to watch much. If such tapes with fungus are put into the player, it cannot be used. The tapes from Japan have been covered with fungus during the period of four years. I have almost no tapes which is kept as documentary. The reason for VCDs becoming in vogue in this country may be they are free from fungus.(K.K)
Foreign visitors to Bagan will be charged US$10 zone fee starting from 7th October 2002. The charge can be paid at the first pagoda one visits. With the receipt, he of she can visit remaining pagodas. Previously, visitors had to pay entrance fee US$ 2 at every famous pagoda.
Recently, the houses with corrugated iron sheets have increased. But, traditional houses have thatch roofs like the houses in country-side of Japan. When repairing the roof, people help each other. (by Goto Osami)
There are still women with tatoos on their faces, in the environs of Mindat. Reasons for wearing tatoos are different. Story handed down from generation to generation is this; ancient Myanmar monarchs took Chin girls as concubines at their palace. For this reason, Chin girls had their face tattooed in patterns. Wearing tatoo has decreased because government banned the tradition in 1980s. Most over-forty women can be seen with wearing tatoos. (by Goto Osami)
This is the egg used for prediction. Cracks appear when an egg with removed kenel is pressed with an iron rod placed near fire. Predictions are made looking at the cracks.(by Goto Osami)
This is the scene of lunyuu festival. (The festivals of placing the rock.) It is usually held individually. A big rock is conveyed to the top of the mountain with the help of a lot of villagers. Although the cost of entertaining the villagers is large, the host can earn great honour for holding the festival. Although there used to be worship of rock all over the world, it is very strange that such tradition still lasts to the present time. (by Goto Osami)
This week, we will carry stories about the village near Mindat in Chin State where we visited last April. Hill-side cultivation is practised here burning down the hill. We witnessed burning of the whole mountain during our visit. Then, cultivation starts. Later, the patches are left as they are. Ten years later, burning is done again. (by Goto Osami)
There are Indian spice shops in the middle block of Konzaydan Street where a lot of Indians live. Spices and tobaco for betel quid and spices for Biriyani are available there.
Air lines concerned have informed us that they cannot give any guarantee for seats for local passengers. We think the airlines --Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways-- have planned so because there are few air craft and a lot of foreign travellers.
Thidingyut Festival (end of Buddhist Lent) has been drawing near since the start of October. Significance of the festival is paying respects to the elderly with offertories and light festival__chinese laterns and candles are lit in front of every house.The festival is held to mark the return of Guataina Buddha to the world after giving sermon to Marya, his mother, at celestial abode. For the light festival, chinese laterns are being sold. It costs K 900 a latern.
October has coming. Yangon will covered with dark could today too. I went back to Japan over month. On my return from Japan I was surprised that there were not much electricity black out since mid-last month. Despite reduction of the number of gas-powered plants from 3 to 1 because of gas shortage, supply of electricity become good. Why was it so? It might be because the government has signed an agreement with TOTAL COMPANY for gas supply. Anyway, it is great we have 24-hour electricity supply.(K.K)
by Ma Khaing Khaing Aye, Kimura Kenichi & Nishigaki Mitsuru