Friday, August 16, 2013

Soaking in Burmese and Thai cultures

After  close to a two-month stay here at Mae Sot, I am finally getting the feel at how Burmese and Thais live together.

Mae Sot is bustling city near the Burmese border. There is actually a bridge on the Moei River which connects Mae Sot to Burmese town Myawaddy.

I am staying at a Thai-managed residential building and go to a Burmese school as a volunteer teacher.

For me, this is awesome as I soak myself in two of the most enduring cultures in Southeast Asia. 

I now have Thai and Burmese friends. I am steadily learning the cultures and the languages.

This made Mae Sot a very special place. For this is the only place where one can soak in two cultures at the same time.

If you wish to see more photos of my stay here, please visit my other blog here.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Celebrating Ashalha Pja day

Last July 23 was a huge celebration for Buddhists all around the globe as they celebrated one of the most holiest days in the religion's calendar - the Asalha Pja Day ("Dhamma Day").

According to Wikipedia, "Asalha Puja means to pay homage to the Buddha on the full moon day of the 8th lunar month (approximately July). It commemorates the Buddha's first teaching: the turning of the wheel of the Dhamma (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) to the five ascetics at the Deer Park (Sarnath) near Benares city, India. Where Kondanna, the senior ascetic attained the first level of enlightenment (the Sotapanna level of mind purity).'
I was lucky to celebrate the day with some Burmese friends and students here at Mae Sot in Tak province of Thailand. The celebration was like a fiesta. People wore their best dresses for the event, prepared their offerings and pray to their Gods.

Here are of the photos which I took during the celebration. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mae Sot Sojourn

MAE SOT - Mae Sot in Thailand's Tak province will be my home for the next few months.

I will be teaching at the Democratic Party for New Society (DPNS) school, which was organized to educate young Burmese cadre who are working to bring genuine change in their country.

The students are taught basic English, Burmese history, computer literacy and political science, which I am teaching to 31 students from different parts of Burma.