After quite a long absence from Burma, for a good reason, I’m beginning to wish I were now there.
Finally, I’ve returned to Massachusetts for what may be an extended stay. The one good thing about being here, other than personal reasons, is the Internet. It’s pretty damned good compared to Burma and Laos.
Time here though brief has gone fast and with some things requiring attention I only now had a chance to dive into my trove of photos, video’s, notes, stories and articles I wrote never intending to publish, and soon to come, reading many emails to sort of bring me back into focus on my experiences.
Writing is not as easy as I wished it to be and it’s as challenging as I expected it to be. So many people and places and events and things and memories, coming back in specs and floods, have me in ways, lonesome. I know Yangon has changed and when I see it before reforms in photo’s and video I smile selfishly because I liked it so much that way. Some of the people I know are doing well and I see them on media. Many others, especially from 2010 to late 2012, I wonder where they are and what they’re doing.
by Daniel Opacki
The video below is one from a day I spent with my students from the Cultural Impact Studies Club in summer of 2010. We’d made several donations at different places and spent a few hours relaxing in Kandawgyi Park. It was overgrown then with random UC’s walking around checking on people and when they found us they hovered around and watched and listened to the songs conversations.
The song here is about a Mother’s sacrifice in the form of how a salmon make’s a long and treacherous journey to its birthplace to give its life for the many children spawned. Metaphorically, it’s about Aung San Suu Kyi (called Mother by millions of Burmese) and how she sacrificed her freedom for her people. At the time it was a favorite song of the times when it was illegal to use Suu Kyi’s name in song or prose.