In Myanmar it is not uncommon to see women engaging in physically demanding activities and displaying their strength and perseverance. Having tried to carry these wooden sticks myself I can assure you that it looks a lot easier than it actually is.
Many different things can be said about Yangon and opinions may differ, but I think everyone agrees on one thing: it is dirty! With mouthwatering street food spread across the city this creates a somewhat unappetizing juxtaposition.
With its people myopically throwing their trash all over the place, littering is a major issue in Yangon. Also, urinating in public areas seems like normal practice. It has been said that “If you don’t dare to urinate on the roadside, people here know that you are not a Yangon resident”.
The inhabitants of Yangon do not have the mentality to take care of the environment as much as we do. However, before anyone can start changing the mentality of an entire city, we need to ruminate on the design of the current system. The prerequisites for a clean city are simply not available; the waste collection system has not been developed properly and there is a lack of garbage bins.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like anything is going to change anytime soon. So for now, we are just compelled to enjoy the lovely street food of Yangon right next to exuberant piles of garbage.
Did you know that Myanmar is the most religious Buddhist country in the world and has the highest proportion of monks and nuns, with somewhere between 80 and 90 percent of the population practicing Buddhism? (Davis Lazar, Monks of Burma). This photo shows a monk praying to honor the teachings of Buddha at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.