First of the Month

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I would like to enter December with a short overview of some exciting events in November in anticipation for the coming month, the last of 2012.

Perhaps most newsworthy was Barack Obama’s visit on the 19th. For a mere 6 hours he was in Yangon and in that time he visited Shwedagon, met with Thein Sein, went to ASSK’s house and gave a very compelling speech at Yangon University. From what my sources told me, he used the name Myanmar in public and Burma in front of ASSK. Old habits die hard.

The full moon on the 28th of November brought in strange passions and energy. Buddhism teaches from the lunar calendar and celebrates momentous occasions which occurred on the full moon of Buddha’s life, including his attaining Nirvana. On days like these, one must enhance spiritual development, purchase clothing and materials for monks and meditate. This will train the brain to be less susceptible to the powers of the moon.

So much for that. In one weekend there was a fight, an egg in the face, a razor sharp performance and, most importantly, a violent crackdown on protestors who have been in active opposition of a copper mine for over 3 months. Never mind the ongoing violence in the Rhakhine state. Becoming a democracy is no peaceful process and people are scared, angry and hurt. Where do we go from here?

Personally I hope the Artists begin to write and address these issues more and more. It is not an end to the corruption or violence and it is not a spiritual cry for help; art is simply a voice. And with many, things might start to look up.

Tonight I am on my way to a charity concert for HIV awareness. This is good. The entrance is also free, which seems strange. However the association of the sponsors (one of whom is New Zero art space) tells me that there might be something good to come of November’s moon: the art community in Yangon is taking responsibility to build awareness.

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