August 27, 13, Yangon, Myanmar,
What will come of you Yangon in 5 to 10 years, when I come back? What would come of you after the invasion of the said “ economic development” program?
In the name of “government ambitious program to reduce poverty and spur rural development”, to create more job opportunities for people from rural areas as well as urban workers, to support the development of the economy and boost foreign and domestic investments, what will you look like?
Today, my last day in Myanmar, strolling around the North, West and East of Yangon; enjoying the uniqueness, the authenticity, people’s welcoming smiley faces and their kindness.
I’m wandering: will development strip the country off of it’s spirit, will it give it another stamp, other character and make it just another city in the world. Will the sarangs be replaced by mini skirts and Jeans and hanging pants under under-wear…
What will come of your people tomorrow Myanmar? Will they still appreciate meeting a foreigner stopping to talk to them and give them a tour of the city out of generosity, or will they become city people running the streets to catch the time and make more money and will not stop to help a person falling next to them, cause they’re so mentally occupied thinking how to get more money.
Will they still have the book stands full of Burmese books that I see everyone enjoy stopping looking for something that interest them like they are looking for a treasure.
Will those stand still have Burmese books, cause I already see some of those stands replaced the Burmese books by the self-improvement books and the how to get rich and healthy and how to win friends.
I walk and see tea shops filled by people after work and also parks chatting laughing and looking at each other not destructed by any electronic gadgets.
In few years, will those same people sitting in same coffee shops and parks have their heads down looking at their cellphones’ screens texting, getting up-date of their friends’ Facebook status and forgetting that their friends are actually around them in same table.
Myanmar, will I come tomorrow and be able to get my Myanmar tea in every corner for just 70cents or will I only find Starbucks and 7eleven to sell me a cappuccino for 4$.
Will you still produce in your country or will it become to just import made in China and have the people who are working today getting a miserable government help check that may not even be available and get them to beg for piece of bread?
People of Mynamar will still care about the cream that you put in your face today as a sign of beauty or will you replace it with by Nivea at the start and after l’Oreal and Clarins….
In 5 to 10 years I will be back and I hope that you will keep some of your authenticity, I hope some of your coming up generation will still appreciate wearing the sarang everywhere and appreciate the local music and the traditional food.
Today in Myanmar Times, the news: Rice firms wary of foreign competition, Telenor has signed initial agreements with 3 firms to develop its mobile phones network in Myanmar, The government plans to allow more foreign news agencies to open bureaus in Myanmar soon, The government will offer low-interest credit with “high interest” loan from a Chinese bank, after parliament approved the loan despite opposition ($100million loan), loan worth more than $7.2million offered to residents of Nay Pyi Taw township … Myanmar seek financial assistance from other international sources because it needs between $619million and $3.09 billion to extend the loan scheme across the country. ……….
It sounds familiar!
Myanmar, you’re running away from socialism but you are joining new scheme of socialism covered in a capitalist cloths, you will look the same as another country trying to relying on others’ money to develop. But will you get developed? Or will you just sell your soul to whoever is given you money today?
What will you be in 2018 onward I will know when I come back to see you.
Rendez-vous in 2018 for an up-date!