Appearance Comments as a Greeting in Villages

Returning to some villages in Yinmabin Township, I had forgotten how much Burmese people verbally note your physical appearance. Almost everytime someone sees you, they make some comment about how you look. Things range from exclamations of “You’re fat,” “You’re less fat than before,” “You have pimples,” (my face broke out a ton while I … More Appearance Comments as a Greeting in Villages

Democratization Only for the Bamar

As many know, starting in 2011, Myanmar began its democratization process. Since then many sanctions have been lifted and the country has seen improvements in social and economic development (albeit slower than anticipated). However, much of this improvement has only been realized for the Bamar majority, especially those living in the southern region of the … More Democratization Only for the Bamar

Weight, Age, and Race in Myanmar–Small Talk

This has been something that I’ve been meaning to write about as it’s something that impacts me daily living in Myanmar. Here, discussions or observations about someone’s weight, age, and race are common place. They actually are topics of small talk with just about anyone–friends, strangers, taxi drivers, my students. From growing up in the … More Weight, Age, and Race in Myanmar–Small Talk