Thursday, 23 January 2014

"Tough Lot, Us"

“Visitors often see things in Myanmar that are totally at odds with what they have read in the international media and they want to understand what’s going on. When meeting people who no doubt have difficult lives, travelers find they are humorous, warm, proud, and dignified, spending what little they have on religious institutions. It is a conundrum, which some inhabitants of wealthy nations can’t understand. Perhaps visitors don’t see that we in Myanmar have an inner core of strength, which doesn’t veer toward aggression but is rooted in the equanimity with which they face reality. We neither give in nor give up: we have the ability, acquired through our religious beliefs, to refuse to let life get us down. Tough lot, us.

One elderly tourist asked me, in all sincerity and bewilderment, how, since the people he saw were obviously poor, could they look so happy? I tried to explain, but I doubt if he understood, the concept that anybody could be happy with such a huge lack of wealth.” 

Defiled on the Ayeyarwaddy, Ma Thanegi

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