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Myanmar: Doing Things Their Own Way

Perry Jackman

            When I arrived in Myanmar, I had no idea what to expect. After reading the port to port article, all I knew was that Myanmar was under a military dictatorship and that it was trying to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. After spending several days in Myanmar, I have found that Myanmar to be more vernacular than transnational, but I also noticed that it is trying to keep up witth the rest of the world in their own way.

            While I went to Yangon, I did notice that it was the least westernized place we have been to. The most westernized thing was the advertisments.  All of advertisements were in Burmese and had Burmese models, however the picture seemed to like westernized ones. There were a lot sexy advertisements  and all of the models were wearing western clothing. I also saw restaurants that seemed to be restaurant in the Westernized world, but not quite. For example, I saw a Tokyo Fried Chicken. I don't know about you, but I asscoiate Japan with sushi and chop sticks, not fried chicken. To the naked eye, it looked like a KFC, but that would be too westernized, so Burma has come up with Tokyo Fried Chicken. I also went to the Shwedagon Pagoda and noticed people wearing Burmese traditional clothing like long skirts, but I also noticed many wearing westernized clothing. I saw a lot of t-shirts with American cartoons on it. The picture I included shows a boy with a British soccer player on it. While I was in Burma's biggest city, I only found three examples of the outside world. Even though they have been isolated from the rest of the world, it seems that they are  Even though I saw some transnational examples, I found more vernacular examples.

            When I went to Bagan, I found many vernacular examples and I did not find one thing that was transnational. Bagan is known for being land of a thousand pagodas. All they have is traditional pagodas that are hundreds of years old. Instead of seeing of seeing tall buildings, you would see ancient pagoadas. At night, you would see bright lights from the city, the only light I would see was from the moon. Bagan was untouched from the outside world, which was a beautiful thing to see.  Bagan also  had hundreds of little village communities. The

homes in village were about as big as my cabin on the ship. The houses had dirt floors and  bamboo beds and no electricity. The village people lived  a simpler way of life. They were also the nicest people I have ever met. They would take your hand and lead me to their homes give me their child to hold and feed me. They were so trusting, I feel that I would never find this in a westernized city. These people were living a simple kind of life.  It seemed that they did need the technology or big cities. They were happy just the way they were.

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