VOA Burmese Blog

April 14, 2010

A Happy New Year

Filed under: Burma/ Myanmar — voaburmese @ 7:29 pm

Happy Water Festival

South East Asians celebrate their New Year with a Water Festival- named Thingyan for Burmese and Sokran for Thais. The Water Festival usually begins in mid April and this year , Wednesday ( today) marks the beginning of the five day holiday.

As a religious nation, the Burmese go to monasteries and pagodas, to give their prayers and respect.

Modern Day Water Festival or Just Another Strip Show?

This water festival, Thingyan in Burma has been commercialized. Companies sponsor big parties with pop singers, dancers and DJs as people dance while water is thrown on them. Thingyan has become another annual event for the showcasing of power and wealth.  Extravagant parties are held by the elite. This year, Burmese General Than Shwe’s 19 year old grandson will be holding a big water festival in Rangoon.

The tradition of Thingyan has lost its meaning as more and more people celebrate the holiday to ” party” rather than to reminisce about the previous year and welcome the new year. Young professionals are calling Thingyan just a 5 day party scene. Music and alcohol go hand in hand with this new modern day water festival. Teens  are dancing as water is thrown on them, and some say that it is portrayed as another Western Wet T-Shirt Concert. As one Burmese blogger wrote, ” All those videos are a disgrace to Burmese New Year…the girls should really behave…no for the strip show.”

Girls dance on stage- wet from head to toe. Are these girls giving just another peep show? Is it portrayed to be a big Wet T -shirt contest? Is it stripping or just another New Year festival? Tell me your thoughts…

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