Friday, 30 August 2013

Rhythms of the Burmese Day: Afternoon

In this excerpt from the book, we look at typical rhythms throughout the day that one may find in Myanmar. Following is part of the entry that occurs for "afternoon":

Afternoon

During this time work is tending to wind down. As the Burmese are known to say, “Nan neq lin hma, eiq meq meq," meaning that “after daybreak, and one is dreaming,” the sense being that one has waited too long to begin his labor. There are no standard siesta hours, although many locals seem to have a special talent for falling asleep under just about any condition, and after lunch tends to be a common time as it is also the hottest period of the day. As the afternoon rolls around, you may see security guards, caretakers, and others with less intensively demanding jobs start to snooze in their chairs as the sun reaches its peak. Markets and businesses will continue their final push until around 4pm, when the work begins to taper off and people prepare for the crowded trip back to their home, made longer in some of the urban areas by the recent heavy construction taking place on city roads and highways. Most try to get their final shower in before dusk, as some hold the belief that it can be dangerous-- and even fatal-- to bathe later than this (an even more widely held belief is that one should never bathe after being out in the hot sun).


“In the tropics the border between day and night is sharp; as soon as the sun drops below the horizon it becomes pitch-dark.” Michio Takeyama, Harp of Burma
Sunset comes over the sunflower fields at Ingyinbin, Upper Burma, near the home of Webu Sayadaw