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InDepth No.12, October 2015

one original song at a time Raymond & dj Valerie

more more more more

art fashion travel lifestyle

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


EDITOR Bob Percival



streets of yangon

44th Street - warehouses, half-built condos, and the wonderful Myanmar Deitta photography gallery


San Lin Tun Tet Ka Tho Soe Moe Naing Mimi Wu Bob Percival Chit Chan Cho Marie Starr Borbala Kalman Mon Thi Han R. E. Saw Keren Paul Mitch Albaniel Devi Weigold

COVER PHOTO Taken by Gerhard Jörén ( at the Myanma Shipwards

PHOTOGRAPHY & ARTWORK Gerhard Jörén Boris Le Montagner Hong Sar Salai Suanpi Marie Starr


PUBLISHER U Myo Aung (Permanent No.00315) InDepth MYANMORE Magazine 1st Floor, Annex Building, Strand Hotel, 92 Strand Road, Yangon

PRINTER Shwe Naing Ngan Press Permit No: 05745 No.90(C), Kabar Aye Pagoda Rd., Bahan Tsp., Yangon.

SALES 01 375 680 Contact us on





Art through the magnifying glass - examining old Burmese masters

An original San Shar Story - The Burmese Shelock Holmes


through the looking glass

Chit Chan Cho looks at Tinker Tailor, Seamstress Why?

14 cover story Raymond of the band The Idiots, and DJ Valerie, are hoping to save the m,usic industry, one song at a time



Marie Starr captures the remarkable stories and images of the annual Taungbyone Nat Pwe



R. E. Saw talks with the quite rebel artist Aung Moe Lwin about art and its industry

24 16


Burmese architect Mon Thi Han outlines her vision of a walkable Yangon

Socal enterprise

BusinessKind - an umbrealla that encourages and shelters Myanmar female garment workers









The Avenue's fashion collection of Badgley Mischka

Sha Yi Kachin Food, The District Coffee Lounge, Piano Bar & Grill

Chun Je Cho talks about the TRITONE luxury real estate project

Oktoberfest Yangon, 2015

DISCLAIMER No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from the Managing Director. All details are deemed correct at the time of print, the editor, employees and contributors can not be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions that might occur.


MYANMORE® is a registered brand under Lychee Ventures (Myanmar) Limited and the leading lifestyle platform in Yangon. In addition to InDepth®, MYANMORE® provides, city maps, a privilege card, the Weekly Guide, EnjoyIt® and KnowIt®. The mission is to create great content and experiences for visitors and residents of Yangon.


Find InDepth at Jasper House, Manhattan Fish Market, Chatime, Yoogane (Pearl Condo), Yangon Bakehouse, Summit Parkview Hotel, Pun Hlaing Golf Estate, Harley´s and many more places in Yangon. Have it distributed to your doorstep for only 3,000ks. Six months subscription for 18,000ks and a full year for 33,000ks.

6 WHAT’S ON events 8th October

The Ballroom, Strand Hotel - 92 Strand Rd, Kyauktada Tsp (Next to the British Embassy) | FROM 7:30 PM

Optimizing Facebook with "Audience Insights" |   8th October Activities Medical and Hospital Do you manage a Facebook page? Exhibition Medical MyanLearn the basics of Facebook's 'Audience Insights' & how the insights can be mar |  Business used to shape a content strategy to maximize reach and engagement. Taught in Myanmar language by the experts from international marketing agency Bates CHI & Partners. Free but register here: Phan Dee Yar - 561 Merchant Road, Yangon | FROM 6:00 PM

Open House for International Studies Program |   Educational Interested parents and students are invited. You can sit in classes, talk to the current students, discuss with the faculty, and get help with your application and personal statement. Open House happens every Thursday from 10am to 2pm in the CONNECT Institute at 3A Pansodan Business Tower. Open House Dates: On 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th in October. For more information: call 09 255959933, 09 255959944. CONNECT Institute - 3A Pansodan Business Tower, Corner of Anawrahta Rd and Pansodan St | 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Orchestra Gala: Bach – Mozart – Mendelssohn |  Art & Stage After years of intense workshops, thorough training and several minor concerts performed by the young musicians of the AOC Orchestra, the time has come to organise a bigger musical event where the Myanmar musicians will play together with international soloists and professionals.The soloists are the renowned pianist Oliver Kern from Hamburg and the extraordinary young violin talent Iskandar Widjaja from Berlin. The two will perform together with eight string players from the Thai Philharmonic Orchestra Bangkok, Sebastian Reimann and the mentioned Myanmar musicians under the baton of the conductor Gudni Emilsson from Tuebingen/Germany. Free tickets and seat reservation under ticket@yangon.

Medical Myanmar 2015 is the only specialized medical, hospital and pharmaceutical event in Myanmar. It supports and showcases the latest developments in the medical, hospital and pharmaceutical industry in Yangon by bringing together an international congregation of Medical & Healthcare equipment and services, Hospital Construction Technology and Pharmaceutical companies. and also its. More details at Tatmadaw Hall - U Wisara Rd (Next to Minder Ground), Dagon Tsp | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

9th October Mrs. India Worldwide 2015 |  Art & Stage First time in Myanmar, Mrs. India World Wide 2015 organised by Water Events Co.Ltd. Showing the glamour of Indian Beauty on Ramp with Ethnic Wear. Limited ticket available – $50 (Including Dinner Buffet). For Queries: 09-420187010, 09-73160662, 09974305000.

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

should: they are taking a slightly more hands on approach to their whisky. Part one will be the standard format, meaning tasting popular blended whiskies; while part two will be about trying to blend your own from a small selection of single-malts. Bring your lab coats and protective eye wear. This will be a thoroughly scientific evening! Reservations are available via The British Club: Please leave payment ($25) at The Club to confirm a place.

those in the service, repair and grooming industry. If you are in automotive parts and accessories sector, now is the opportune time to jump start your business in Myanmar by participating in MYANAUTO 2015. Contact Mr Richard Yew at: or Ms Saw at

The British Club - Gyoe Phyu St, Alan Pya Pagoda Rd | FROM 7:00 PM

10th October

9th - 10th October Oktoberfest Yangon |  Activities Oktoberfest Yangon is known for its Royal Bavarian Beer from Germany, but their exquisite German delicacies are at least as famous as their all-youcan-drink beer. This year they have the chefs of the Belmond Governor's Residence, the Savoy Hotel, the Horizon Lake View Resort and the first German restaurant in Yangon, 'Mahlzeit', to provide you with a German all-you-can-eat BBQ and buffet that you won't forget! Mr Oktoberfest Competition will be held on the evening of 9th October and Ms. Oktoberfest on the evening of 10th October. Buy your tickets at Inya Lake Hotel, Savoy Hotel, Strand Hotel, German Embassy and Belmond Governors’ Residence. Ticket price is US$35 per person (US$40 at the door).

Sule Shangri-La Hotel - 223 Sule Pagoda Rd (opposite Sakura Tower) | 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Inya Lake Hotel - 37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd | FROM 5:30 PM

Salsa Workshop |   Activities

9th - 11th October

Dj Teef & Riccardo live from Latino’s Bangkok will set the right mood for you and even will bring a few professionals to teach you. Union Bar is inviting all beginners and professional dancers to join them on the Dance floor. All Rum cocktails at $5! Union Bar - 42 Strand Rd (Same building as Red Cross by Strand Rd) | FROM 6:00 PM

Blended Whisky Night |  Activities The Yangon Whisky Club is really excited about this unique event on so they

MyanAuto 2015 |  Business This is the 3rd edition of the No.1 Event for Auto Parts, Accessories and Service & Repair Industry in Myanmar. The Myanmar market is entering an accelerated growth stage where the number of cars has grown exponentially as a result of new Government policy. Over 400,000 cars were registered within the last year alone as the import duties for motor vehicles were reduced. MYANAUTO 2015 is the event that will link you into new business opportunities by providing a platform for you to meet major auto parts and accessories distributors and agents and

Myanmar Event Park - Shin Saw Pu Rd, Sanchaung Tsp (near Myay Ni Gone City Mart) 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Salsa Weekend - Tropical Night |  Activities Union Bar is creating a real beach atmosphere : they are bringing in sand for the dance floor, palm trees, limbo dance, torches around the restaurant and much much more. Dj Teef & Riccardo will make sure to create great vibe and atmosphere. Watermelon cocktails at US$4! Please make sure to made your dinner reservation on time. Union Bar - 42 Strand Rd (Same building as Red Cross by Strand Rd) | FROM 6:00 PM

Xtreme Auto Drive 2015 |  Activities Xtreme Auto Drive is a unique leisure and entertainment event for the whole family. The event includes Gymkhana competition- a challenging test of drive skills and techniques in steering, slalom, braking and spinning. See the pro driver in action: Tin Sritral, a professional car race driver will be showcasing a series of thrilling drive maneuvers. Event Highlights: Stunt demo by professional Motorsport driver, Drive competition, Kids get to play with remote control cars, Models strut down the runway to show off the best features of the sponsors’ products, Cheerleaders will bring a festive atmosphere with their slick moves and catchy cheers and many more. You can even win attractive prizes with your entry tickets! Tickets on sale now at City Mart outlets (except Star City & Ayer Wun). MYANMORE Exclusive privilege: get your tickets at our office for 6000 Ks

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

instead of 7000 Ks! Myanmar Convention Center - Min Dhamma Rd (Close by Victoria Hospital) | 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Phan Dee Yar - 561 Merchant Rd, Yangon | 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

15th - 18th October

The Real Estate Conference 2015 |  Business

Italian Product Expo 2015 |  Business

The leading influencers and experts of Myanmar’s Real Estate Industry will meet to discuss its future path. Three speakers and eleven panel members, including the Ministry of Construction and the Yangon City Development Committee, will disseminate their professional research, share their knowledge and answer pressing questions. The Real Estate Conference 2015 will also provide networking opportunities complemented with snacks and drinks, and a unique Drone shot video of Yangon showing the cities development. For more information please visit:

The Italian Trade Expo 2015 will be held in Tatmadaw Exhibition Center, U Wisara Road, Yangon from October 15th – 18th. The brand new New Holland Italian Made Tractors will be showcased at the event. Customers and business partners are all cordially invited to discover the newest and best consumer goods and Industrial Products from Italy.

UMFCCI – Min Ye Kyaw Swar St (Near by Taw Win Shopping Center) | 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Music for Myanmar |  Art & Stage Music for Myanmar is a bridge between Myanmar and Italy. Matteo Setti Live with special guest appearance by Myanmar Celebrity Star Chan Chan. A special Italian evening with great music, for a wonderful cause. You can help hundreds of underprivileged children in Yangon by pre-buying your Music for Myanmar ticket now at US$65 per ticket. Take part in a unique Italian evening and enjoy great music, a Mediterranean set dinner, with free flow of wine, beer and soft drinks. All for a good cause! Tickets information at 01-544500 or Chatrium Hotel - 40, Natmauk Rd, Tamwe Tsp | FROM 6:30 PM

11th October 2015 Introduction to Digital Filmmaking |  Educational Learn about the 3 main stages of digital film production: pre-production, production and post-production. This workshop is designed for amateur filmmakers, video editors and photographers who want to transition to filmmaking. Free but register here http://

Tatmadaw Hall - U Wisara Rd (Next to Minder Ground), Dagon Tsp | 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

15th October 2015 Myanmar’s First Ever K-Pop Dance Battle |  Art & Stage Myanmar’s first ever K-Pop Dance Battle has arrived! BBQ Myanmar is hosting a K-Pop Dance Battle at Junction Mawtin on 15th October 2015. K-Pop is becoming more and more popular day by day in Myanmar and this is the battle that you might not want to miss as a K-Pop Fan!

WHAT’S ON 7 River Gallery II - Chindwin Chambers 33/35, 37th and 38th St (Next to Strand Hotel) | 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

24th October Yangon Rock Festival 2015 |  Art & Stage The biggest Rock Festival is coming to Yangon! Artists Line-Up: Emepror, S.I.R (Big Bag, Wanted, Idiots & Reason), Wai La (Runner). (The details have not been announced yet and will be revealed on 3rd October 2015. events/794423837347544/ People's Park Square - Pyay Rd (Inside Happy World Compound) | FROM 6:00 PM

28th - 31st October The Myanmar Wave Rider Cup & KTA Race Open is the first time kiteboard


Don't miss the MYANMORE Weekly Guide that comes out every Friday or get daily updates and complete listings on

only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Director: Ridley Scott, Writers: Drew Goddard (screenplay), Andy Weir (book), Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history. Director: Breck Eisner, Writers: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama, Stars: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood

17th October 1st November

River Gallery is hosting a solo exhibition for Zaw Win Pe, one of Myanmar’s most accomplished and renowned artists. The show, 'Beyond Landscapes', features the artist’s most recent experimental work with abstraction, in addition to his signature colourful depictions of the dramatic landscapes of Northern Myanmar. The exhibition traces his development as an artist, from early works of finely crafted figurative scenes from everyday life, through the later dramatic landscapes to his most recent experiments with abstraction.

Ngwe Saung Beach , Myanmar | ALL DAY

The Last Witch Hunter

Junction Mawtin - Corner of Lan Thit St and Anawrahta Rd, Lanmadaw Tsp FROM 10:00 AM

Beyond Landscapes |   Art & Stage

competition ever in Myanmar! Kiteboarding itself is very new to the country and the KTA is very excited to be working with the Myanmar Yachting Federation to introduce the sport and to give you all the opportunity to take part in such a unique event. The event is being hosted by the Ngwe Saung Yacht Club and Resort -which is the first yacht club to be established in the Bay of Bengal- from 28th Oct – 31st Oct 2015. The competition also falls over the Halloween weekend, so as well as all the action out on the water, you can expect an unforgettable Halloween closing party! More details at KTA Kiteboard Tour Asia +852 81917254.


An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Director: Denis Villeneuve, Writer: Taylor Sheridan, Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro

The Martian

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With


12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan. Director: Joe Wright, Writers: Jason Fuchs, J.M. Barrie (characters), Stars: Levi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund Review Credit to For complete cinema schedules on category/cinema/


  Photos by Hong Sar

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


44 street th

Bob Percival goes downtown looking at a street that's open for redevelopment and finds old warehouses, half-built condos, and the wonderful Myanmar Deitta documentary photography gallery.


4th Street is a street that could have been the planned future of Yangon but probably won’t be. Situated in the quarter between the Secretariat and Rangoon River this area is especially vulnerable to redevelopment. Hopefully with the urgent support and assistance of the Yangon Heritage Trust and the Yangon City Development Committee, the precinct area still has a chance to be revitalised in a way that cultural and architectural heritage will be preserved. On the adjacent corners of 44th Street and Strand Road you can see the alternatives to development. On the western corner is a beautiful early 1900s one-storey government warehouse/ factory, only partly used and organically decorated with wet-season moss and ferns. It could easily be revitalized into artist/commercial space using the existing structure. On the eastern corner the demolition of existing structures has already happened, and in their place stands a half-completed concrete carapace of what will one day be a seven-story condominium. Work has stopped, probably due to the economic slowdown, and a vast expanse of blue plastic netting flutters haphazardly in the morning breeze. The lower block consists mainly of the quintessential confusion of downtown architecture and street life. There is a predominance of three-storey apartments from the late 1920s onwards, covered with the blue and orange mushrooming of satellite dishes, and a chaos of clothes-washing hanging into, and over the street, from long bamboo poles. Amidst all of this is the small Sree Krishna Temple (No. 24) attended to by a local worshipper who lives next door. He welcomes me into its quite, meditative space. The street is full of those small unique things that I love about downtown: steep concrete stairways climbing as if

up a mountain into unknown dark spaces, the incredibly ordered array of blue plastic water pipes that lead down to the old water pumps at the bottom, the plastic rope lines hanging down from the balconies above, ready to draw up food and tea in plastic bags or the morning newspaper, and as well, the occasional front garden of pot plants for those who care to have a small green space of their own. There are some nice buildings here: 1923 three-storey block with large apartments, one on each storey, a luxury of the 1920s (31); a fully restored 1915 building repainted in cream colours (50) (a sign of what could be); and of course the jewel of the street, a revitalised 1915 three story building/ warehouse that is now the home of Myanmar Deitta, a not-for-profit civil society organisation committed to developing documentary photography in Yangon (49). This is a great model of what thoughtful and sensitive development is capable of. Further up the street there is an interesting 1938 style apartment (51) and larger 1922 apartments (55). On the corner of Merchant Street there is a great outside teashop to sit down and refresh and shade yourself from the hot Yangon sun. 44th Street is surprisingly short, consisting only of another upper block that ends after only 150 metres, when it runs into fenced off land belonging to the Ministry of Health. Here the street is quite, having no flow-through traffic. The buildings are an unplanned mixture of 1920s, 1950s and 1990s apartments. Right at the end is an office packed with local people; it is the premises of the Criminal & Civil Case Help Centre (ph: 095019155). Walk back down 4thh Street and try to envision what Yangon might look like in another twenty years, its an interesting exercise in imagination. And don’t forget to call in On Myanmar Deitta and take a look at their latest exhibition of local photographers.

10 ART

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

Maung Hsin Let, 1895. Gouache on linen and photographic prints of faces. Approx, 120cm x 100cm.

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

ART 11

Art Through the Lens of a Magnifying Glass:

in Details Lies the Answer By Borbála Kálmán


he Myanmar art scene can easily be considered the dream field of an art historian for holding succulent chapters to research; interestingly, it may also turn out to be a real headache. The ominous headache is however a positive aspect in this case as it equals to solving 'cases', puzzling out problems and unknotting theories. It usually supposes fervent devotion to get to the bottom of a matter, especially as for finding some source material but the delightful results, when discovered, worth it. In a way, these ‘cases’ simply become detective stories … with a focus on art. Decode a master’s technique, decipher a hidden meaning in a painting or unravel the possible reasons of a given formal riddle might position the artwork in an entirely different way and even resolve questions well beyond – think just about long forgotten customs, traditions, historical events to detect from painted details, or architectural impasses, social contexts and relations revealed by a unique composition. Case-Study: When Photography Conquered the Scene In Myanmar Painting – From Worship to Self-Imaging, one of the rare books on Myanmar art history (edited by Ma Thanegi, 2006), one of the reproductions just doesn’t let the viewer step further. It is a rather austere and rigid portrait at first glance. A man on a horse in front of a landscape. The dynamically composed picture holds several intriguing details, but the most obvious one is the face of the equestrian. Turning the page, the same goes for the people that are depicted on this second work. The author of the paintings dated 1895 is Maung Hsin Let. What is really striking about these historical pieces is the physiognomy of the featured people. Contrary to the painted details of the entire canvas, the faces are actually photographs, integrated into the painting. The National Museum of Yangon on its fifth and last floor conserves some similar works in its collection. But why would a high-esteemed painter replace the most important detail by a photograph?

Photography started to infiltrate into Myanmar’s former territory through different adventurous travellers, some of them on duty and documenting their every days, some of them building a professional career based on this new technique born around the 1840s. The first was most probably Captain Linnaeus Tripe who, as a pioneer British photographer, has documented archaeological sites, monuments and landscapes all over the territory form 1852 onwards. This period followed only with a decade the invention of photography itself, making these documents outstanding early birds. Photography-based postcards spread a few decades after only, especially thanks to the work of Felice Beato who arrived to Mandalay after the British annexed Upper Burma in 1885. During the last decade of the 19th century, several photography studios emerged next to his, especially in Rangoon, set up in many cases by Japanese and Indian photographers. The new studio photography genre soon became “en vogue”, spreading life scenes, traditional elements of Burmah all over the world and of course on a local level. Noel F. Singer, while drawing the “journey of photography in Burmah” between 1855-1925 mentions a quote by traveller and writer Walter del Mar saying that “would be photographers (were warned) not to point the camera at a Burmese girl, as she believed that he instrument was capable of allowing the viewer to see her without her clothes” – referring to the model girls dressed up in elegant suits for the postcards to be widely sold through the studios. These postcards became highly fashionable items before seeing a growing number of individuals having their own portraits made. After the fashion of painted portraits came the photographed portraits. But isn’t it possible that both 'trends' happened parallel? A Trace to Follow Ma Thanegi, one of the writers of Myanmar Painting and a researcher herself mentions: “Nothing is known of painter Saya Maung Hsin Let apart from the two obviously commissioned family portraits painted in 1895, ac-

Maung Hsin Let, 1895. Gouache on linen and photographic prints of faces. Approx, 120cm x 100cm.

cording to the date of old newspapers used to pack the painting at the back. The wealthy noble or merchant whose family is the subject seemed to like 'modern' and western things such as a dog of foreign breed [or] a tricycle for his son. […] It is not known if the subject ordered it or if it was the inspiration of the painter to glue photos of relevant faces on the paintings instead of using brush and paint.” It’s true that painted photography with the purpose of colouring and retouching the defaults was a widely spread technique: those for instance mentioned in Andrew Ranard’s book on the history of Myanmar art, were coloured with paint after the negative’s enlargement with some added details to improve the result. It is also for sure a fascinating point of photography to be discovered but it wouldn’t explain this highly obvious use of photography in Maung Hsin Let’s case. What was the reason of mixing so unusually these media for paintings of such importance? Perhaps the painter was too far away to depict the commissioners personally? Perhaps he felt he did not had the capacity of painting so detailed faces (which cannot be as it would question his entire talent)? Or, what if for a reason a less talented student had to finish the work(s) and that was the only way to cope with the

task? Portrait painting, quoting Ranard, became ‘the rage’ under Kings Mindon and Thibaw; having works hung on walls without them being of religious topic was quite revolutionary. There is a lack of available traces discovered until now hence the most likely reason to think of this choice is that Maung Hsin Let wished to remain as closer to reality as possible and chose an unusual method in order to “document” a person’s identity. Portrait being not imbedded before in Myanmar traditions, what else a portrait could be for than give a “true” reflection of reality? These portraits, unlike their painted companions have the strange characteristic to show an “objective” depiction of a person’s face. Painted portraits, even the most realistic ones are all subjective translations of reality through the eyes, the technical knowledge, the ideas of an artist. Photography is not “objective”, but it’s a sort of calqued image of reality and remains a more adequate medium for documentation. Its impact on painting is unquestionable and also its highly exclusive aspect makes it a special ‘spice’ in the cultural sphere back at the end of the 19th century. It must have been a very attractive medium to use, even for painters.  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

THE SCORPION'S TRAITOR san shar - the burmese sherlock holmes Episode Two: San Lin Tun takes us into the world of famous detective San Shar in 1930’s Rangoon, with his translation of Shwe U-Daung’s Thiksabauk Kinmyigauk (The Scorpion’s Traitor).


ostman Lar La Khan has suddenly disappeared on his mail run. On investigating, San Shar finds that all of Lar La Khan’s deliveries have been made but he has not been seen again since heading towards a house, in Hteetan Street in Kyi Myin Taing, which is supposedly haunted by a poltergeist. The owner of this house, an Indian named Muhammed, tells San Shar that he has recently rented another house nearby, and San Shar notes that the key to the vacant house has been surreptitiously wax-molded by someone. Muhammed gives San Shar the keys to the house to investigate. Ko Thain Maung, San’s Shar’s Dr. Watson, tell the story …

I: "I have no idea." Shar: " Look at his English. What do you think of his usage?" I: " His usage is grammatical and it can be said that he knows English very well." Shar: "Moreover, look at his choice of words, which are formal. These kind of words are not used by Myanmar men, not even in real English men." I: " Oh, I know it. I think he is a Babu Indian who likes to use big words." Shar: "Absolutely right." I: " Then, you mean a Babu Indian. Could it be the Post Office Master, Chandayar?"

Then, Maung San Shar borrowed the key from him, and left Mohammed’s house. When we reached Hteetan in Kyi Myin Taing, we unlocked the lock and went into the two-storey house that was deserted for such a long time that dirt lay so thick on the floor, and conspicuous footprints were visible. Maung San Shar left me near the door and discreetly checked them. Shar: "They are the footprints of two persons, Ko Thein Maung. But one of the footwear didn't leave much impression. This is the kind of footwear most Hindus wear that has a curl-up tip. It seems like the footprint of Lar La Khan the postman. The other one wears a shoe, which has the size of about eight and half. Regarding his broad stride and large shoe size, he must be imposing and muscular. His footprint shows that he might have walked in and out two or three times. For the postman-wallah, only the way-in footprint can be found. There is no way-out footprint for him. Come on, Ko Thein Maung, come inside." Then, we went together into the house and scanned all four directions, but we found nothing except a ladder that led upstairs. Under the ladder, we found a

Cover of 'The Memoirs and Records of Shwe U-Daung'.

diary that was picked up by Maung San Shar. There was a thick layer of dirt under it, but there was little dirt on the diary itself, so he deducted that the book was dropped here not that long ago. Saying this, he turned the pages of the book and looked at them. The diary was leather-bound so that it was probably worth 3 Ks; any ordinary person would not usually buy and use such a diary. We saw that the daily writing was in English and there appeared to be no secret meaning in it. Just his normal routine was mentioned, nothing extraordinary could be found. After looking thoroughly inside and outside of the book, Maung San Shar said, Shar:" Well, Ko Thein Maung. Tell me about the owner of this diary, as much as you know."

I: "The owner seems to spend lavishly." Shar: "Ok, next?" I: " Considering his tidy handwriting, he is an orderly man. Moreover, he is a short-tempered one." Shar: "Why do you say so?" I: " From the writing, at this point, something got him furious and he pressed the pen nip and drew so that the paper became a little bit pierced." Shar: " Excellent. Any other?" I: " I can't think further." Shar: "He used a Waterman fountain nib. The ink is the product of Stephan Company. He has got very weak eyesight. But these things are not that important. There is one important fact. What do you think his nationality is?"

Shar: " It can't be. You've seen him. Chandayar isn't that much literate. And he is only about five foot and six inches tall. This man has a height of about five foot and ten inches. So, just put the book aside and let's find Lar La Khan. We went upstairs and found two bedrooms, of which one room was closed. We tried to push the door, but it didn't open, so Maung San Shar and I used the habitual way, which was bumping our shoulders against it with all our strength, and it yielded. The postman-wallah sat propped against the wall in the corner of the room. His eyes were bulging and his body was bloating, se we deduced that he must have died about three days ago. Inspecting the body, Maung San Shar did not find any slashes or wounds, but he did find ligature marks around the neck. He had died of chocking by rope.  g

To be continued ... Shwe U-Daung (1889-1973) was a pro-Burmese writer and translator, who in the 1930s adapted many of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, placing them in the setting of the author’s Rangoon, in a time of nationalist fervour, high crime rate and social unrest. The Scorpion's Traitor was an original story, not an adaptation.

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


Tinker Tailor, Seamstress Why? By Chit Chan Cho


he room was dank and dismal, as though it was designed singularly to depress any anticipative feelings the new arrivals brought in. Before long, the tailor shuffled in looking like the last thorn on a cactus and after the polite exchanges of youare-fat-now and finished-eating-s, he delivered – quite possibly – his very last words. “Ah yes. Now that puts me in mind. I think I lost your fabric. Oh yes, I lost your fabric. Come back another time.” He muttered each word as though it hurt him in some tender spot and ended it with a gurgling laugh. To this day one cannot be too sure whether it was the succinct speech or the laugh that struck the knell, but few would disagree that the Madam-your-carriage-awaits-look afterwards did but little to endear him. Nature took its course, therefore the lady proceeded to burst like a bomb and needless to say, she went back there again. Women. Ready-to-wear clothes are rampant in the shopfronts in Myanmar but bespoke is very much a necessity still. Traditional costumes demand clothes to be made to an inch of the skin and mass production is not very keen on adjusting to every irregularity of any such person. Therefore such persons who would tolerate your peculiar proportions would have to be tolerated. Tailors and seamstresses are at times lovingly referred to as ‘King of the Universe’. The words ‘Setkyar Min’ could be split to change the meaning slightly. Just as therapists can turn into the rapists, King of the Universe is now Machine Long-taking King. Do not be misled into thinking that turning over a piece of work two years late is their only besetting sin. They have many more stored and would conjure an especial variation just for you. To document only their

faults would be injudicious but one can hardly expect the burnt souls to be extolling their virtues. Apart from their ability to twist time to prolong a week into a year, some if not most (let us excuse the dabblers and the novices) are endowed with a grave degree of duplicity. Yet it is with no malice nor bloodthirsty intent that they create these fond feelings in their customers; it possibly just comes with the trade. There definitely was no ambition to harm when they offered back a freshly pressed top that they bald-facedly did not alter, nor when they mistook one’s lithesome figure for that of a portly neighbour, and constructed accordingly. At times, they have more at heart in the customer’s interest, much to the despair of the latter. Designs flubbed for grander schemes, skirts dangling with interesting things and coats misshapen with a decided purpose. The customers were possibly in dire need of much enlightenment and there can be little doubt that

many fashion disasters were averted due to their timely intervention. However, some would demur and confirm that these interventions were the very root of such cataclysms. But it is their duty to save you from yourself, a personal messiah for your fashionable cause. They might be burdened with a repertoire of dissatisfaction to a sad extent but these Machine royalties bear their own tales. They have their reasons and excuses and a coffer full of wonky requests, not including the insulting insinuations directed at them. Customers are secured in their belief that the seamstresses have much to benefit from the extra scraps of fabric that would result from their scanty yards. They would further test the practitioner’s prowess by expecting wondrous by-products from the scraps, if only to deny the tailors the imagined benefits. Accusations of pilfering aside, there is the very real danger of being asked for the impossible. How does one blast a customer for requesting to make them thinner by a ton and younger by an aeon? Although some magic is weaved in to grant such wishes, there is little else they could do short of part-

ing the red sea and tinkering with time. Efforts have been made and sometimes pleasant surprises give all the earmarks of the right stuff, but one can never tell when doing such-and-such will make so-and-so happy. Other more earthly demands range from wanting shaping without darts to expecting structure from gossamer gauze. There is simply no limit when fiendish brains are bent on formulating lofty schemes. Seamstresses sometimes display a voluble dearth of enthusiasm for the ideas of customers and it is most understandably so. Although the allegations of laziness would linger, which it always will when promises are not met, there was the issue of ‘cost-effectiveness’. Even if the idea was as right and tight as a newly fitted glove, the customer would not wish to foot a bill a foot long to achieve such a result. Therefore, instead of doing violence to their feelings with a prickly negotiation on affordability, it was better to slaughter any such budding notions. Rushed works are another bane in their existence. After juggling a multitude of orders and squeezing in a rushed piece they could ill-afford, they are met with the intelligence that the customer felt a lesser rush on the collection day. As luck would have it, not all the customers share the same degree of untimeliness, therefore it smoothened operations, acting as a stone in the furnace. This was presented as a very plausible reason for their tardiness apart from the other, which is to never refuse an order. Whatever the reason proposed, emotions will run high when collection day turns up empty, especially after a delay of a lifetime and more. Complaints of sizes varying and further alterations on such a day would create a cycle of viciousness that would end when the customer decided to give up on life or the tailors theirs. There will be vows to never cast a shadow in front of the shop, but time and necessity are not too friendly on such oaths. Before long, one will wait again for the shuffling steps of the tailor simply to be told to wait again. People.  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

one original song at a time Raymond of The Idiots, and DJ Valerie, break from their night owl schedules to dish with Mimi Wu on the fall of the music industry and how they hope to save it, one original song at a time.


meet Raymond and Valerie at 1:30 PM for our interview. Mind you, this is when most people have finished their lunches, but we are sitting down for breakfast. It is hours before Raymond usually wakes up and hours after Valerie has come home from practicing her DJ sets. To say both are sleep deficient is an understatement, but surprisingly I do not witness a single yawn. Perhaps that is why these two are Tuborg Funbassadors, a program that “engages local hip artists from different music genres (rock, hip hop, DJ) to work with them to create music, arts, and fun activities to connect with Myanmar youth,” said Phyo Min Soe, the Danish brewing company’s Brand Manager. They have the energy to keep going. Or perhaps it’s because Raymond knows that after this is done, he can go back to sleep for several hours before he meets his band mates to “record with my band and chill with my band and record with my band” and so on. Raymond represents the heavy rock genre as the lead singer and multi-talented instrument player of The Idiots, famous among Burmese youth. Together, they have been in the business for a decade, but music runs in Raymond’s blood. His mom, who he calls a teacher and partner, was a singer turned music tutor and his dad was a famous composer in Myanmar. “She sang at hotel parties, clubs, and some restaurants to make a living. I was always beside her while she was working. So that's the main point, that I had enough experiences with live music bands and recordings. I grew up with hundreds of English songs that she sang.”

As his mentor, “she taught me music notes and how to sing harmony, and she also taught me well about my behaviours and how to survive.” Raymond began singing professionally with his mom’s harmony group in eighth grade and eventually moved onto playing covers. “I formed a band in 10th grade in high school, then I made it into The Idiots along the way,” he said. “My guitarist is my roommate since 7th grade; he’s a bookworm kid with glasses. And my bassist is not my roommate but from the same batch in school.” Unlike his mom, who was “doing old school stuff”, The Idiots have a Linkin Park vibe, “screaming and loud thumping stuff”, he sums up. With a completely different sound is Valerie, one of a few female DJs in Myanmar, who gets her kicks from electronic dance music (EDM). “It makes me so hyper,” she breathes. “I’ve never had a plan to DJ professionally, but I always loved EDM. When I go out, when I see people spinning, I’m really interested in watching them.” Valerie began honing her skill when she was 16, shadowing DJ Ye Ko from Brave Bar in Yangon. “I never learned how to play, I just ask random questions about it and they just teach me.” Aside from her gig with Tuborg, DJing is strictly Valerie’s hobby, though one that takes up a lot of time. “We’ll go to a private club for DJs only, around 9 or 10 PM. There are some oth-

DJ Valerie & Raymond,  Photo by Gerhard Jörén at Myanma Shipwards

er DJs there who have been in the industry for so long. We just chill, listen to how the other one plays, and give comments where we should practice more. If I go there, I come back at 7 AM.” Raymond is also self-taught. For his band, “I’m the vocal and play guitar and write songs. And I play drums, bass, everything when I do demos. I didn’t have a teacher; I bought a book from a guitar store and read it and self taught.” His time apprenticing with his mother has expanded his repertoire beyond singing and playing instruments. “I do sound engineer, I’m a vocal guide …

I never learned how to play, I just ask random questions about it and they just teach me.

everything that makes a sound,” laughs Raymond. The Idiots may be his own personal choice of music to perform, but Raymond composes a wide range of music from funk to R&B, jazz to dance (“you

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

COVER STORY 15 tried to reach him and showed him our demos. We’re still with him now as a producer.” With a new album coming out before the end of the year, Raymond and his band mates start recording at 7 or 8 PM, sleeping at 10 or 11 AM. “I’m more creative at night because nobody calls you at night, there’s nobody to meet.”

I’m the vocal and play guitar and write songs. And I play drums, bass, everything when I do demos. I didn’t have a teacher; I bought a book from a guitar store and read it and self taught. Despite the growing acceptance of heavy rock music, Raymond says not much has changed in the music industry from his mom’s time. Most artists in Myanmar sing along with a CD, karaoke style with the same pop-beats and piano accompaniments. “Everybody sings cover songs, they don’t have their original songs. We don’t have copyright laws in Myanmar. You can be put in prison for copying CDs but for only one month, so people will keep copying and take that risk. They don’t see piracy as a crime.” Valerie backed him up. “Original songs take a lot of time. Artists see the profit and take the risk of violating copyrights.” name it, I write it”). Even his sister has jumped on the bandwagon as a pop rock singer under the name La Pyae Gabyar, and of course, Raymond has been helping her compose music. It is only natural that he composed the main frame of the music and lyrics for the Tuborg collaboration. “I named it ‘New Experience’. The lyrics are about starving for new experiences, to have fun with friends and people around the world, to chill because Tuborg is a brand that has an image about youths, fun, and experiences.” He continued, “My band played it, but Hlwan Paing, a famous rapper and third

Funbassador wrote his own rap part, and Valerie did her DJ part. We are going to do at least three versions of the song, combining our different tastes of music. The ambassadorship has been a fun partnership and a lucky break for Valerie. “I’m really happy to work as ambassador long term. It’s the only thing that I’ll go for professionally. What I believe is that I love the music and I love the time when I’m spinning. I don’t have to become a club DJ or be known by everyone, as long as I can play and have fun, I can enjoy it. But if I become successful and get to the stage where people know me, I’d be happy, too.”

Raymond knows firsthand that making it in the music industry can be difficult, and it was a small remark by famous rock star Lay Phyu that drove Raymond to chase his passion and launch The Idiots into the mainstream market. “It took us three or four years before becoming mainstream. We were playing free concerts and sharing our demos. It was very hard for me because producers didn’t accept loud, screaming music. At first, nobody listened to loud music, no loud drums, no loud guitars, just easy music.” “Lay Phyu said at an interview that he liked us and when I heard about that, I

“Most of the mainstream artists don’t really know about notes, they don’t know about music. They know about auto tunes,” laments Raymond. But “these days, people are starting to write more original songs and performing more kinds of music like hip hop, dance, metal, rock. It’s changing because it’s boring to listen to the same old shit.” Though Raymond is frustrated with the slow evolvement in the music industry, he is passionate about staying in the game simply because he hopes to change it. “We’re trying to make it different. We want to give people something new, something better, something creative.”  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

Pavement area outside Yangon General Hospital, allowing wide spaces for pedestrian movement

  Photos by Hong Sar

Walkable Cities: Downtown Yangon By Mon Thi Han


owntown Yangon is a thriving hub of commercial and residential spaces. However, the long-term livelihood and livability of this historic core is threatened by its own burgeoning commercial activities. From about seven in the morning till nine in the evening, the downtown bustles with activities beyond its physical capacity. Downtown is desperately commerce driven. The streets have only one goal and that is to insist the users slow down, to flow along in the street’s rhythm and engage in its various commerce. Undeniably, downtown Yangon is a major area of livelihood for many middle and low-income communities. The area itself is comparable to an open

market. It is not only a space of extensive economic activities but also a venue of economical material access for many people. One could find a palm tree broom at 200 Ks, five sewing needles for 100 Ks and five yards of fabric from Thailand at a mere price of 6000 Ks among many others. Despite being a mixed-use area, no balance is struck between commerce and living. According to a research paper published in May 2014, the population density of downtown Yangon is 90,000 per square miles. Out of the total working population of Yangon, about 40 percent work in the downtown Central Business District. The area, with all its shops, amenities

Street pavements can be wide enough to allow multiple users free access

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

and human activities is as convenient as it is discomforting to the everyday user. On any given walk, it is rare that one will ever be the sole occupant within a metre periphery of the pavement. Living in downtown is more a struggle to avoid being hit, or tripping on unforeseen objects, than a safe and pleasurable experience. The businesses and street hawkers thrive, largely due to the intense flow of pedestrian traffic. However a compromise between commerce and maintaining good quality of life has never been an issue that has been well thought of.

ago. Her business is good and she now is selling rice and food dishes. Tired of fighting for a space on the pavement herself, she says, “I am willing to move to another place if they provide proper spaces for hawkers. But of course, on the pavement is much more flexible in terms of how much space I could occupy.” Ma Kyi Kyi thinks that if given proper spaces for hawkers, the pavements would be less dirty, and more convenient livable for those who share the space.

DESIGN 17 bustling activities often come to a slow hum after nine in the evening when the hawkers close their stalls. It is also a time when hundreds of street cleaners go about their business, cleaning up the mess left behind by the mass of people using the streets during the day. Bins are emptied and gleaned for reusable products, and some leftover food from the hawkers is swept up. The night community has a life of its own. The most significant reduction in densi-

According to researchers, the grid design of city planning is one of the best spatial formations in assisting ease of pedestrian movement. Yet the downtown grid of Yangon, which was laid in the 1850s, is today one of the least pedestrian friendly. With street nameplates buried behind new signboards, broken drain covers that one could still fall into, incomplete pavements, chaotic hawker stalls that one has to navigate, and numerous oth-

Among the makeup of hawkers, many also live in the area. There are many stories of heritage and history embedded and buried under the bustling activities. Diverse stories of human life often fail to surface under the patina of progress and contemporary life that has covered most of the downtown. When probed further, one realises that people have deep roots in the area. Some have been living and doing business in the same area since their grandparent’s time and are happily conducting the same business. One of the major interests of the conservationists today is to retain the street life and economic vitality of downtown. However, it is uncertain how the balancing act of retaining street life and attaining a better quality of living standard can be achieved, especially when the city’s physical limitations are straining under pressure. Among the street hawkers, there are a whole array of stallholders with varying financial conditions. Some very poor, their only source of income coming from their small mobile stalls. For these people, it is their only means of financial survival. There are also more established hawkers, who come into town with trucks, and set up with proper tables and chairs often occupying large areas of the pavements, even spilling into the traffic parking lanes. These are established businesses existing on the border of street hawking. Some of these vendors are capable of running a small restaurant, but are not interested in doing so. For them, street hawking is more viable and requires less financial commitment and risk. Ma Kyi Kyi, originally from Myaung Mya, is one of them. She started selling salads in downtown over 10 years

It's always about cars and business. Here an old tree is being supported and water being offered to passer-bys

If mass transit and bus systems are introduced, will they be enough to make a big change in the woes of downtown density living, improve the quality of life and accessibility for its pedestrians? Pedestrians are integral to solving the congestion issue. For example, in Singapore, people are very insistent on crossing the roads from zebra crossings. It is by law punishable for those who cross elsewhere. Here in Yangon, we tend to have opportunistic mentality, and make poor choices on personal safety. Though traffic police have been warning people who cross from in undesignated area in some parts of town, it is not sufficient to stop pedestrian from doing so. Lack of infrastructural continuity for pedestrians is a major problem that causes reckless pedestrian behavior. Downtown spaces have rhythms and times of high and low activities. The

Downtown spaces have rhythms and times of high and low activities. The bustling activities often come to a slow hum after nine in the evening when the hawkers close their stalls.

ty is noticeable during weekends. Night time, early morning and Sundays are the most viable times for the residents to reclaim the streets and enjoy the heart of the city without the chaos and congestion. However, there is no single best time to walk. Each entree into walking the city presents a different experience and challenge.

er walking challenges, it is easy to why the heart of the city is not equipped easy pedestrian use. Often the pavements around institutions, such as hospitals, schools, monastic compounds are the most underused. Within downtown, there is an urban belt of such institutional precincts, especially around Yangon General Hospital and along Bo Gyoke Aung San Road. Uncharacteristically, these pavements, though less crowded and more abundant in space, do not attract pedestrians. For the pedestrian who wants to avoid traffic or for downtown joggers and exercisers, these pavements are the only alternative options available for use other than commerce. It is critical that downtown Yangon regains and maintains its ability to be a walkable urban entity. A precinct where both pedestrians and street-sellers can share a livable and vibrant space, uncontested..  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

The Pilgrimage of the Taungbyone Nat Pwe By Marie Starr

  Photo by Boris Le Montagner

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015




very year in the week leading up to the August full moon, a small town in upper Burma is transformed. Thousands of pilgrims descend upon Taungbyone, a small town 20km north of Mandalay, to pay their respects to two famous spirit brothers or nats, named Ko Taw Gyi and Ko Taw Lay. A large portion of the attendees are members of Myanmar’s LGBT community. Usually marginalised members of society, they gather to celebrate, freely express themselves and most importantly worship the nats. The nats are said to be the spirits of those who died a violent or gruesome death, and the worship of them has existed in Myanmar since before Buddhism. Taking a motortaxi for the thirty minute drive between Mandalay and Taungbyone is a good way to avoid the traffic. Arriving early in the morning, the

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

crowds get thicker and thicker as we approach the entrance to the temporary festival site. Thousands, families included, have already ascended the scene, setting off a vibrant festive atmosphere. Vendors sell food from trays balanced on their heads, colourful hand-painted childrens’ hats and gaudy plastic gold Taunbyone chains are everywhere. As the day goes on, the numbers increase and as the temperature rises it become more frenetic.

Spirit mediums, usually men made up in women’s traditional clothes and layered in makeup, are plied with whiskey, cigarettes and money which they accept as offerings on behalf of the nats.

Working your way through the crowd, you eventually reach the main pagoda of Taungbyone town. Outside, a procession of pilgrims in their finery circle the pagoda seven times in an anti-clockwise direction, singing and chanting. You are encouraged to join in. Inside the pagoda is another intense scene. Hundreds or worshippers are inside delivering offerings of money and blessed branches, to

what is the main shrine of Taungbyone. A live video feed of the shrine shows people packing tightly together towards the front, intent on making the offering that is to bring them good luck for the

following year. Live music is blaring from one corner of the temple, a crowd of young men dance rambunctiously in the centre. On the other side, the air is thick with bunches of blessed branches being thrown into the air onto a heaving ledge which holds statues of the two celebrated spirits. As the afternoon wears on, wandering around the festival grounds, we are drawn towards music blaring from a makeshift tent in which a ritual of sorts is taking place. Spirit mediums, usually men made up in women’s traditional clothes and layered in makeup, are plied with whiskey, cigarettes and money which they accept as offerings on behalf of the nats. They dance, drink and smoke until they reach a trancelike state. Traditional instruments eek out shrill rhythmic melodies, gongs and drums ring out a beat and the hot air

Twins watching the Taungbyone Nat Pwe celebrations.  

Photos by Marie Starr

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


Tatooing of a Nat Medium. The tattoo artists spend a part of the year on the road travelling from festival to festival.

is thick with smoke and incense. The crowd sitting around the edges watches the performance with seriousness. It is a surreal scene to witness, and while observing from the sides is entertaining enough, you may also be called to

the centre to share a dance and drink some whiskey. Another interesting part of the Taungbyone is seeing the lives of the travelling festival people who live on the

road moving from festival to festival. Kyaw Thu Ya, 54, is a tattoo artist who has a studio in Yangon spends a portion of each year on the road with his mobile tattoo studio following various festivals including Taungbyone and ending with

the Tazaungdaing Festival (Festival of Lights) in Taunggyi. He has been attending Taungbyone for fourteen years. When asked what changes he has seen in the festival over the years he says, “Every year more chouq (the Burmese term broadly used for members of the LGBT community) come to attend the festival.” A ride on the human-powered ferris wheel, common at many festivals around Myanmar, makes for a thrilling experience, especially in the evening as the sun sets. It gives a good perspective of the size of the festival. It is enthralling to watch the young men scampering up the spokes of the giant wheel in flipflops and tight jeans, cigarette in mouth and using their weight to turn the wheel. Some perform effortless back-flips and other tricks in the air before casually dropping off the wheel at ground level.

Wicker Shop, one of the many stalls offering local products for sale at the festival.

Two days is enough to see and experience everything at Taungbyone Nat Festival. Things die down at about 10 PM and you can take a motortaxi or pick-up back to Mandalay. It truly is a thrilling experience, and though not for the feint hearted, shows yet another side of Myanmar’s wonderfully spirited and unique culture.  g

22 ART

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

The Quiet Rebel Aung Moe Lwin By R. E. Saw

Aung Moe Lwin, View from Below. Oil on canvas, 4' x 3'

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

ART 23


hey asked me to wait at the lobby, and the staff came up every few minutes to check up on me like I was going to steal something”, Aung Moe Lwin recounted, on the treatment he recently received at a luxury hotel near Sule Pagoda. He was waiting for his foreign buyer to discuss his paintings. It is easy to see this as snobbery and bad service but it must be said that Aung Moe Lwin loves to wear his tattered shirts with occasional paints splattered on them. This is not the first time he has received such a reactio. He graciously declares that he will not change his fashion sense. You cannot be a person of mild convictions to survive as an artist in this country. Aung Moe Lwin is polite, soft-spoken and so thin that you sense a whiff of strong wind could sweep him away. His friend says this is because he keeps adding more layers of paints on his artworks rather than eating. He smiles sheepishly at this. He squints his eyes a lot when he speaks which at first can be mistakenly perceived as a gesture of disapproval. His wife explains that in fact the oil paints are affecting his eyes and she has been making him take medications for it. He smiles at this too. The kind of smile which suggests he probably would never took those said meds and might need to hide the evidence. The artworks of a person with such a disobedient tendency cannot be presumed to anything but safe either.

Artist Aung Moe Lwin at his studio near Dalah

tionable professionalism – he once had to buy fruits for an artist who refused to leave the house and kept painting the one piece fruit he had at home. I was around this time that Aung Moe Lwin decided to start painting.. “Many of the younger, newer artists like myself have had to copy the style of popular artists’ works to be able to sell. Because I have had to sell these paintings, I can spot which are the crowd’s favourites. I was very tired of seeing the same subjects over and over in the

People either really love or hate my work. There has been no in-between

same choices of colors, and I wanted mine to be different. For my art, I paint what I want. You can scour around the

“People either really love or hate my work. There has been no in-between”, Aung Moe Lwin explains very proudly. He loves painting landscapes with luscious green colours. He explains,, “They are pleasing to your eyes and I want people who buy my works to enjoy looking at them for a long time”. He describes his work as a mix of contemporary and Impressionist styles, and confesses that he is not the kind of artist who can draw portraits. Although Aung Moe Lwin has been painting for almost a decade, he is virtually unknown in the art circles, as he does not put up his works in any gallery. He used to sell paintings of other artists’ in Bogyoke Market and this makes him well versed in the local art market and what he sees as the ugly side of the business. He also refuses to call himself an artist, ‘Bagyi Sayar’. “I am self-taught and everyone can draw or paint”, he quips. When selling art he had to deal with customers and their extreme demands, as well as the artists with their eccentric quirks and ques-

  Photos by Hong Sar

entire country and you will not find a painting like mine for I have no teacher, and so no influences. I am also foolish so I would rather starve than scrimp on the paints. These layers are what makes my art”. Although dubbed as “too raw” and “reckless” by many, Aung Moe Lwin’s self-proclaimed foolishness has been attracting equally adventurous buyers, and his paintings are being sought after by many foreign buyers. When this writer first met him a year ago, Aung Moe Lwin was a quiet shop assistant at a small shop in the Bogyoke Market. Although his paintings were the main selling pieces at the shop, he would mischievously pretend he did not know the artist when buyers enquired about his artworks. Since leaving the shop he has gone on paint full time. It is possible for interested buyers to find his work. He has chosen to put up some of his works at The Art Venture, a soon-to-be-launched lifestyle shop in Golden Valley which will offer men’s fashion as well as unique, contemporary art. “I am also in talk with a few gallery owners but I am being cautious right now”, he adds.

Aung Moe Lwin. Oil on canvas (detail).

After the interview, a regular buyer came to Aung Moe Lwin’s house and bought four of his paintings. Within an hour after I had left his house he called me, saying, “My wife wants to know if you have reached home safely.” After thanking him for such a gesture, I asked if he had his lunch, he whispered back, “I can’t eat because I still get so excited when someone actually buys my painting”.  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

Weathering Life Under BusinessKind Myanmar’s Umbrella By Mimi Wu

Through intelligent and kind mentoring, BusinessKind has established social businesses that make affordable products for poor communities by poor communities and supporting over 2,300 female garment workers transitioning from village life to industrial life.

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


n the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, Dr. Helen Gunthorpe was granted a one-time donation to start her own non-profit. Though charity service was needed shortly after a crisis, it did not alleviate chronic poverty. Rather, she said, small local businesses did the best job at bringing dignity and sustained hope to poor communities. BusinessKind Myanmar was born that year. The nonprofit creates small social businesses to support poor communities mostly living in Hlaing Thar Yar but as far away as the Ayeyarwady Division. Gunthorpe was firm that the products and services produced should improve the living conditions of poor people; they would not be making trinkets exported to rich countries. BusinessKind’s first and signature business is GoodSleep, which started in July 2008 to produce affordable bed nets that protect against malaria and dengue fever. Since then, GoodSleep has sold over 50,000 bed nets and has donated over 18,000 bed nets to poor Myanmar families in crisis. It is now the largest selling bed net company in Myanmar, producing 52 bed nets made each day by hand for sale at all CityMart Holding stores around the country. The factory employs a mere 17 staff, who sew the bed nets, control quality, cut bed nets into specific sizes, and market the product. One lone man makes deliveries. “GoodSleep became a sustainable neutral profit business after one year of operating. Profits generated are used to grow GoodSleep, increase employee benefits, lower bed net prices, and donate more bed nets to families in crisis” (BusinessKind website). BusinessKind followed their success with GoodNight in April 2010, which sells mosquito repellant citronella candles. Made and packaged by three women at their Hlaing Thar Yar factory, the operation is admittedly small, but BusinessKind is developing new products, such as a floating candle in four different floral scents. Only by developing new, interesting products and expanding or developing new businesses will BusinessKind achieve financial independence free from their heavy reliance on grants. Business sustainability is also crucial for the sustainability of their staffs’ lives. BusinessKind makes a point of em-

ploying poor, HIV-positive women. These groups have a notoriously difficult challenge of finding and holding onto jobs. BusinessKind Director Than Dar Ko explained that HIV-positive people can become ill for weeks, even months. In a traditional factory, these workers would be fired from their job for missing even one or two days of work, making it even more difficult to survive. At all BusinessKind social enterprises, they support these women with pay, even if workers are absent for two months. Due to their poorer health, the women work strict eight-hour days on Mondays through Fridays without overtime with only one Saturday worked each month.

BUSINESS 25 about reproductive health, simple but healthy cooking for the many women who left home at a young age and never learned to cook for themselves, business skills, and a variety of vocational training, such as soap making. Is TPL advocating for their members’ work rights? First, BusinessKind strongly rejects the idea that all garment factories are sweatshops. In fact, the majority of Myanmar’s nearly 200

when you are outside striking and not working, the factory won’t pay. They didn’t know this. The next day, the TPL members went back to work. The problem was that the strikers wanted a salary increase. This company has three sites, and the company increased the salary for one site but not others. This is because the first site opened before the other ones [so the workers at the first site were more tenured]. The workers didn’t understand this.”

BusinessKind staff are only a drop in the pool of 300,000 Myanmar female factory workers that have been mobilized since Myanmar’s garment industry has reawakened. Though currently unable to expand their staffing needs, BusinessKind sought to extend their reach and initiated Thone Pan Hla (TPL), Myanmar’s first and only women garment workers association, in August 2014. TPL membership costs a modest 400 Kyats and provides members access to TPL services, such as GoodJob, the community’s center for garment factory job training, posting, vetting, and peer mentoring. “These women are very young, starting at age 16, and come from the village. They have never worked at a factory, so they don’t know how to use the big sewing machines. They have three to five days of training at GoodJob’s factory,” explained Than Dar Ko. Members also have access to Sunday Café services at SwissHouse, a house in Hlaing Thar Yar bought by BusinessKind in 2013 with a grant by a generous Swiss donor. “Women work from 7:30 AM to 7 PM. They work, sleep at a hostel or with family, get money. Their life is at the factory the whole day. They get Sunday off, so they come to Sunday Café to meet their friends from different factories, and they share information [about their factories]. We have a library and a TV. Sometimes they do karaoke. Some people wash big items like their mosquito net in our washing machine or mend their own clothes.” From 9 to 11 AM, roughly 25 to 30 women meet at Sunday Café to learn

Than Dar Ko in the BusinessKind factory studio.

We are doing design, many different clothes and different designs ... the brain is also working

garment factories offer steady and fair jobs. Certainly changes can still be made and TPL can help liaise between workers and employers when misunderstandings arise. However, as Gunthorpe explained, TPL must develop better-informed leaders who have the women’s long-term welfare in mind before it is ready to be used as a change platform inside factories. Staying away from ill-informed worker rights activists is a big challenge in this industry. At times, strikes occur because workers do not have all the facts and cause major disruptions in the sustainability of a factory and employment. Than Dar Ko relayed, “There was a strike over pay for three weeks. TPL members were also there, so [the factory] manager called me to negotiate. I said, OK I’ll try. I told the women

  Photos by Hong Sar

BusinessKind is increasing its support to TPL by hiring members for BusinessKind’s new social business KindStitch. KindStitch recently brought on a newly graduated fashion designer from Italy to train the first two staff, one of whom is deaf. Together, they launched the first piece, “a class dress with Kachin weaving material from Myait Kyi Nar.” The goal is to sell the dresses internationally with all profits used to support TPL operating costs. Than Dar Ko has noticed how excited TPL members are about this new social business. “Now [at their current jobs] there’s no creative thinking, no growing, no thinking. We are doing design, many different clothes and different designs. So their brain is also working; there is creative thinking.” BusinessKind has set out to train and educate these young women, providing life skills like how to cook to how to design and make your own clothes. They want to empower women to learn and expand their skills. “Some people, their life is very narrow, they never think like this. I always encourage them to learn more. Your future is your dream. What you dream, you can go there.”  g


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

Badgley Mischka at The Avenue By Mimi Wu

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015



or years, we were a Russian woman,” said Mark Badgley in a Reddit 'Ask Me Anything' chat post, in July 2014. James Mischka added, “Years ago, Mark's mom went into Bergdorf Goodman looking at the clothes, and was told by the saleslady that they were from a ‘Fabulous Russian Woman Designer, Badgley Mischka.’ And we were kind of mortified, but we corrected her real fast.” The fabulous description was spot on. Badgley Mischka specialises in luxuriously elegant gowns that never miss a red carpet or society event on the best-dressed women. The designers, though, are an American husband and husband duo, who met at Parsons School of Design in New York City and founded Badgley Mischka in 1988. After both graduating in 1985, Badgley worked as a design assistant for Jackie Rogers and Donna Karan, while Mischka spent a year in Paris at Yves Saint Laurent before moving back to New York to work for Willi Smith’s menswear line. Wanting to own their own company and recognizing their similar aesthetic, they quickly launched their own label three years later with US$25,000 worth of loans from their families. The eponymous label recalls the dazzling 1940s Hollywood era for a sophisticated, feminine, and often elaborately embellished style.

In Yangon, The Avenue store, located near the intersection of Kabaraye Pagoda Road and Nat Mauk Road, offers the Badgley Mischka gowns and every season has a new collection. The most stunning of the collection – and truly, one of the best in the store – is a full-length, illusion neckline gown with tulle capped sleeves and top button closure and an all-over floral sequin print. Large flowers of red and pink with purple accents and green leaves are sewn, sequin by sequin, upon a black canvas. Using semi-matte sequins to remove the high shine and reflection allows the piece to remain feminine, soft, and sophisticated. It is finished with a black velvet belt.

"Our philosophy is, 'One zip and you're glamorous,'" told Badgley to Janice Min of People magazine in 1996. It is a philosophy has stayed the course these nearly ten years.

In a similar style is an eggplant coloured, T-shirt sleeve gown with a shimmering lace top and illusion neckline. Its bottom half is a cascade of soft ruffles in silk organza for a demure, pretty piece.

From Chrissy Teigen to Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet to Taylor Swift, women of all ages and shapes adore Badgley Mischka’s refined couture.

Another standout is the royal blue strapless gown with a stamped black floral design.Ruffles from the peplum top slowly spiral towards the base of the mermaid

skirt. Chic and dramatic in a high sheen fabric.

fairs. Get fitted in their design for your next event at The Avenue.

Three of the collection available employ the same one shoulder cut with a side slit hidden within the piece’s flowing ruffles. The gowns come in red and blue in silk organza for a crisp and stiff material with a smooth finish. The leopard print comes in silk georgette, a type of sheer crepe fabric with a similar feel to silk organza. Defining the waist in the solid colours is a threesome of sequined and beaded flowers in a similar color palette, adorning only one side to add a touch of glamour. In the leopard print, beads, rhinestones, and flat metal embellishments make the belt, which wraps around the waist.

Badgley Mischka sells for 1,385,000 Ks. The Avenue offers complimentary fitting alterations.

The final gown is a bright red racer back gown that falls softly along the curves of your body without clinging to it. The back is a single, wide strip of fabric with ruffled pleating that start at the shoulders and narrows towards the lower back. Badgley Mischka’s gowns hearken back to old world glamour meant for balls, galas, and red carpet af-

The Avenue No. 18A, Kohmin Kohchin Road, Bahan Township, Yangon. Ph: 01-860-3337, 01-545-929


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

A Great Introduction To Kachin Cooking Sha Yi Kachin Food By Keren Paul

Prices: Alpine Taro Soup, 4,000 Ks; Sha Yi Special Baked Beef, 3,800 Ks; Special Steamed Fish with Banana Leaves 3,000 Ks; Kachin Traditional Chicken Rice 3,500 Ks; Fried Vegetables in Kachin Style 3,200 Ks.

WHAT IT IS Sha Yi Kachin Food, which opened in May of this year, specialises in Kachin food. The owner, Sandar, seeing a need for authentic Kachin food, combined her passion for cooking with her business acumen to open up Sha Yi, meaning ‘beautiful girl’. Most of the ingredients, such as the special banana leaves, spices and herbs are brought from Kachin. ATMOSPHERE The restaurant, located on the bustling Bogyoke Road in downtown Yangon, has a casual feel, with a clean interior, wooden tables and chairs. Ideal for a laidback lunch with friends for good food and good conversation. They don’t serve alcohol, but you can bring your own (apparently beer is available next door). The waiters, who greet you with their national attire, are very friendly.

RECOMMENDATION A warm welcome was offered with Chinese tea Kachin style, which has roasted rice grains, giving it a slightly nutty flavour. The starter was the hearty Sha Yi Alpine Taro Soup, loaded with pumpkin, bamboo shoot, and other veggies, with a unique herbal flavour – very healthy and comforting. For meat-lovers, the Sha Yi Special Baked

Beef is spicy and tender. The Sha Yi Pork Tenderloin Salad is also a popular dish. For something traditional, the yellow Kachin Traditional Chicken Rice, with shreds of chicken, comes wrapped in a banana leaf. There are some vegetarian options as well, such as the Sha Yi Fried Vegetables in Kachin Style, which has a semi-liquid rice base and plenty of colourful veggies.

FINAL THOUGHTS Sha Yi is a good introduction to Kachin food, which has a unique combination of spicy and sour flavours, uses minimal oil and many of their dishes are steamed, not fried. If you’re downtown, need a good meal, and love to sample different cuisines, go for it! Or if you’re just looking for an inexpensive place to hang out with friends over a meal, Sha Yi is a good choice. Address: No. 76, Bogyoke Road (Between 50 and 51 Street), Pazundaung Township, Yangon. Ph: 09 798041923, 09 970171888 Opening Hours: 10am – 9.00pm

Sit Back, Sip and Nibble The District Coffee Lounge By Mitch Albaniel WHAT IT IS A locally owned and managed international-style coffee house, introducing the matcha craze from Japan. Serving hot and cold drinks, desserts and savory treats to stay and to go. Free wifi is available. ATMOSPHERE A spacious and calming space with a minimum-colour palette of white & black, and the use of wood throughout and plenty of natural light. The pine you see hanging from the ceiling, in some of the tables and the back wall, are repurposed packaging remnants from the family business.

Place your order at the coffee-and-food counter in the back corner. The rest of the floor offers plenty of seating options. Low plush chairs for two, a bar counter with stools, a long communal table, and smaller tables seating up to four – all with the backdrop of a long glass storefront, to oggle at the traffic, rain, and stupifying heat of Sayar San Road of which you are happily not part of. There’s an outdoor section at the front in fine weather, and a private room off to the side. RECOMMENDATIONS Definitely the draw here are the drinks. Espresso (1800 Ks), cappuccino (2800 Ks) and latte (2800 Ks) on the hot

coffee side of things. The grounds are a blend of local and imported beans. Matcha and hojicha (roasted Japanese green tea), frothy latte, and freshly-brewed pots of loose-leaf sencha are also on offer. On the cold drink front, there are frappes (3600 Ks), Ice Mocha and smoothies (3400 Ks). All goodies are baked and prepared in house with imported ingredients. Desserts have just the right hint of sweetness, and the cakes are airy, moist and soft. There is a certain sharpness missing in the play between taste and texture. It comes together in the matcha mouse cake (2800 Ks), and very close in the fruit tart

(1300 Ks) and cotton cheese cake – a cloud, yet the crust left me longing for crunch. There’s also the Yangon standard of chicken, tuna, and egg salad sandwiches (3200 Ks), and a sweet roll with no trace of butter (1,300 Ks). FINAL THOUGHTS There are plans to house a gallery space on the lower level in the near future, and branches at other locations. Address: 28C Kokkhine Swimming Pool Lane, Bahan Township, Yangon. Ph: 01 555620 Opening Hours: 8:30am – 10:00pm

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


The New Spot Uptown Piano Bar & Grill, Parami Hotel By Mitch Albaniel WHAT IT IS Yangon’s first rooftop bar with a pool – although only checked-in guests are allowed to take a dip. Nonetheless, it does provide those north of the city a great and convenient place for after-work sessions, with a stunning panoramic view of Yangon and Kabar Aye Pagoda. ATMOSPHERE The whole vibe of the bar is modern chic with very clever lighting. It has been set up with four main areas: a lively bar, a lounge area, LED cocktail tables in front of the stage and the outdoor pool deck. The little touches they have added definitely makes this place stand out from the rest.

RECOMMENDATIONS The Piano Bar & Grill prides themselves in their special cocktails, and topping the list is the 7 Treasures. A mix of, you guessed it, seven different drinks in a giant pint glass which can be shared by two to three people (US$20). Other notable cocktails are the Parami Passion Effect and the classic Mojito (both US$6). The bar also serves food described as “\’local Myanmar taste with international standards’. Their bestsellers are the Seta Tar Chout (dried mutton salad, US$4.50) and the Nga Kin (grilled tilapia that was marinated overnight, US$6.50). And if you’re still hungry, go ahead and try the 160g Australian Beef

Sirloin Teppanyaki (US$19.50) and the Vegetable Spring Rolls with Sesame Foie Gras (US$10.50). Most of the items on their food menu are chic antipastos, tapas, and meals intended for sharing. They also have a small desert selection for your sweet tooth. Prices range from US$5 starters to US$25 steaks. FINAL THOUGHTS Though the monsoon season has slowed down the activity on the pool deck area at Piano Bar & Grill is still a

must visit. You will be greeted by their enthusiastic staff who will be more than glad to teach you how they make your cocktails. It is a breath of fresh air … literally! Address: 9th floor, Hotel Parami Yangon, No. 2 Parami Road, Mayangone Township. Ph: 01 658 118 / 09 977 955 633 Opening Hours: 5.00 PM to 1.00 AM (Sunday to Thursday) 5.00 PM to 2.00 AM (Fridays and Saturdays) Website:


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

Tritone: Luxury Real Estate By Mimi Wu


verseeing the sales and marketing of the US$150 million TRITONE real estate project is Chun Je Cho, Deputy Director of the Myanmar Business Development Team at Hanwha Corporation. Cho recently uprooted from his home in South Korea to live in Yangon, after working a decade in overseas construction business sites with the company, and he found time to talk about his project with InDepth. Located at the 8 Mile Junction, TRITONE will be a trio of prestigious, mixed-use towers with five floors of world-class shopping and a multiplex cinema and sixth floor for service amenities. Within the two 30-storey towers, the remaining 24 floors will serve as residential units. The third tower, slightly smaller at 22-storeys, will house multi-function rooms. Hanwha Corporation is a subsidiary of a far-reaching conglomerate that includes aerospace and chemical manufacturing, global construction, financial services by way of life insurance and saving banks, and leisure hotels and resorts. the company taps into Hanwha Engineering & Construction’s global experience of developing the world’s largest precast concrete plant and housing development in Iraq to luxury resorts and the largest condominium chain in Korea. The 63-year-old company understands what prestige and luxury mean and, importantly, how to achieve high standards in their projects. What does TRITONE represent? “Same Sky, exclusive world’; it is a totally different residential space. We present total facility service, and we have a vast shopping complex, so people can enjoy their lives. We can provide security and also convenience using technology. For example, the radio frequency identification card system makes the home more secure because only people with the card can access the residential area. It’s a very commonly used technology, and we will apply it to our parking system and lifts for residents.” There are many completed and under-construction luxury apartments in Yangon. What sets your units

apart from others? “We still believe there is a lot of demand for high quality accommodation. We use granite stone for the exterior finishing, and double layer glass. It gives a very eternal feeling. Ours is one of the very first buildings that use stone for the exterior. Usually painted walls in Yangon get very soiled because of the rain and humidity, but this one won’t change. We have up to three balconies per unit] where people can enjoy the 360-degree view. This building will be the highest building in the area, so they can enjoy an unobstructed view. Every room also has a window, so residents can enjoy natural light and fresh air circulation. Most traditional Myanmar apartments are not like this. Many rooms don’t have windows at all. We also installed ceiling air conditioning units in every room and kitchen. I think it’s one of the first in Myanmar. Most apartments don’t provide an AC unit and also, they are prepared with a wall mount, but ours are ceiling mounted. It’s more spacious.” Can you tell me more about the interior design? “We have two types of interior design concept, one is modern and one is classic. In most Yangon apartments they usually provide units that are just painted, but we are going to finish with

stone. We provide many things in the base model, such as a kitchen island table, induction heating cooking heaters, top and bottom kitchen cabinets, and instant electric water heater for the bathrooms and kitchen. We also have a foyer with a built-in shoe cabinet; this is distinctive to Myanmar. The penthouse duplex will have one private Jacuzzi and an open terrace. In total, we have 21 units per floor; each of them is different in size. The biggest one is 2,300 square feet, and the smallest one is about 1,700 square feet. They have a minimum of three rooms plus a maid’s room with a dining area, dry kitchen attached to the living room to prepare tea or light food, and a wet kitchen for all cooking.” As Hanwha is the world’s largest solar panel producer in the world, will you utilize this green energy technology? “We will have solar power generation on our roof to provide back-up energy for the public area and basement parking.” Is being energy efficient and sustainable a big selling point? “Yes, we will have a rainwater recycling system and it will be used for common areas, like the garden. The paired glass windows are a double layer of glass to improve thermal insu-

lation and soundproofing, and the stone exterior has a layer of air to reduce humidity. They are good for cost savings.” Cho’s colleague, Tim Jang added more about the double layer of granite stone and glass, “They can efficiently block the direct heat from outside as the air between the two walls and glass automatically cools the temperature down, which provides you with energy efficiency.” Tell us about your world-class services. “The sixth floor is the service amenities floor. We have four lanes of 25-meter swimming pool with children’s swimming pool, a gym and group exercise room, indoor children’s playground, café and bar lounge. We have an indoor golf range with a screen – you can actually hit balls in there. We have a 100% backup generator of 25,000 kV that will work automatically when there is blackout. We also have a private lobby for residential towers and five floors of basement level parking, which will be the first in Yangon. Every unit will have one parking space.” Currently, TRITONE is in its early construction phase and plans to officially break ground in November 2015. Their sales gallery with three mock-up units will open in the near future. g

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015



MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015

h ttps:// www.f aceb o o k . c o m / Tub o rg M y a n m a r

MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


Oktoberfest Yangon 2015:

A ‘Münchner Kindl’ on a personal mission By Devi Weigold


hy are you going back to Myanmar this time?” my friends in Germany kept asking me. Somehow they just couldn’t believe my answer. “I will organise an Oktoberfest in Yangon.” Growing up in Munich, the Oktoberfest always played an important role in our lives. Other kids and teenagers were looking forward to Christmas Eve or Summer Holidays, but my friends and I would count the days until the world famous beer festival would start again. As kids it was of course not about the beer, we just enjoyed the festive atmosphere, the crazy rollercoaster rides and eating cotton candy until our fingers would stick together. In my teenage years it was surely more and more about dressing up in pretty Bavarian Dirndl dresses and drinking the tasty special Oktoberfest beer out of the famous one litre mugs. As much as I love the Oktoberfest in Munich I would have never guessed to organise one myself one day, above all in Myanmar. But actually having an Oktoberfest in Yangon is not such a strange undertaking as it may seem. Indeed Yangon’s Oktoberfest is quite an established institution in the city’s nightlife. Everything started in 2012 when a few German expatriates sat together one night over a beer, remembering the joys of their Oktoberfest back in Germany. Out of this, an idea was born: to organise an Oktoberfest here in Yangon while trying

to keep it as authentic as possible. This means serving Bavarian beer from Germany, offering traditional German food and flying in a real Oktoberfest band from Munich. And the rest is history. Since 2012 the event that happens one weekend in October each year has grown bigger and bigger. It is organised under the patronage of the German Embassy Yangon, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Belmond Governor’s Residence. With expected 3,000 visitors this year I feel quite a responsibility on my shoulders. Even His Royal Highness Prince Luitpold of Bavaria will join the Oktoberfest Yangon celebration as sponsor and special guest. So the pressure to deliver an authentic Oktoberfest and an unforgettable festivity is definitely felt. But at the same time it is a great joy for me to share my wonderful memories from home with the people living here. For the past eight months that I have been living in Myanmar I learned so much from the lovely soul of its people, from its diverse culture and the beautiful places I visited that I it is a personal matter to me to share some of the culture of my home town. So until this year’s Oktoberfest will finally happen again on 9th and 10th October 2015 I will keep on working to offer our visitors an experience as if they were on the original beer festival in Munich.  g

For more information and to inquire about Oktoberfest Yangon 2015, visit oktoberfest.yangon or email


MYANMORE InDepth Magazine / October 2015


Horoscope Tetkatho Soe Moe Naing has got the degree of Science majoring in mathematics from Yangon University. At the present time, he is writing articles and prediction horoscopes in monthly magazines and weekly journals published in Myanmar. Astrologer, philosopher, traditional medicine practitioner and author Tetkatho Soe Moe Naing looks to the celestial bodies to predict what lies ahead this month focusing on love and business. You may be unfamiliar with the Myanmar zodiac so allow me to offer a brief introduction. In Myanmar astrology, star signs are determined by which day you were born on. Each sign represents its own day, cardinal (utmost importance) direction, planet (celestial body) and animal.


Serious Time A bad shearer never had a good sickle. During this month, you will face difficult problems because of your poor ability. You should consult with an experienced person about this serious matter. If you fulfill your ability, your life will be perfect. Love – You will be in shock about love story. You will not take good care of lover, during this month. As a result, your love affairs will be a problem. Business – You will survive financial problems. You will choose and decide on an important business matter. You will get unexpected monetary gain by solving technical problems. Lucky Numbers – 3.6.9 Lucky Colour – Light Colour


Wonderful Time During this month, you will have a wonderful dream. If you have had this wonderful dream, you will win lottery. You should take relaxing time by travelling with family or friends. This kind of relaxation will give fresh and new ideas and experience. You will have an interest in sport, especially in football games. You will get a fashionable present from friend.

Love – You will fell in love with a good-looking lover. Your lover will have a straight hairstyle. Your sweetheart will be not only very attractive but also charming. Business – You are used to getting what you want. You will gain success in a new project by your own effort. You will do every matter systematically and carefully. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colours – Dark, Grey


Talented Time You will be talented and outstanding in your environment. You will pass your life examination with distinctions. Working hard will be a charm for you. Your lifestyle will be smart. Your life plan will be very, very interesting. You will be an open type, and have no secrets in every matter. Love –From an unexpected meeting will appear pure love. You will be proud of your lovely heart-sweet. Business – A good beginning makes a good ending. You will start a new project. You business plan will be very exact and safe. Advertisements will promote your business' profit. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colours – Jade Green, White


Busy Time You cannot make a crab walk straight. If you understand and accept nature, everything will be better. During this month, sometimes you will separate from family members. During this month, you can hardly have time to take a rest. You will have very busy social problems. Love – You will forget and ignore your heartbeat about love affairs because of your life. Business – During this month, you will travel to see some important clients. Although you will be exhausted this travelling, you will get giant benefit. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colour – Maroon


Silent Time Every ass loves to hear himself bray. Some person will stop talking their success. If you want to influent people, you should avoid no stop taking about your success and ability. You should praise other people's ability and conquer. During this month, silent will be the best policy for you. Love – You will be difficult to retell your love-story. You love-story will be serious. You will not easy to solve this love's problem. Business – You will meet new business partners. You will develop computer program for your business. Your management skill is very high. Your image, in your business, will be excellent. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colour – Purple


Pleasure Time During this month, you will smile wide with pleasure. You will be talkative among your family members and relatives. A plan to transfer new home will occur during this month. You will have interest in helping male or female, young or old. Your kind heart will be reflected and appreciated by those around you. Love – There's no rose without a thorn. Your sweetheart will look like a beautiful rose. You will officially announce your love story. Business- You business improvement will be great. You will show your business' progress. You will get opportunities from an overseas country. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colours – Khaki, Red

Clever Time In every matter, you will clever. You will be famous in your environment. You will enjoy freedom of life. You will hear wonderful news and messages. You will understand family's desire and wants. You will solve relative's problem. You will meet new friends. You will get beautiful presents. Love – You will meet sweet- heart with fair hair, large green eyes, and a broad smile. Your lover will be clever. You will enjoy being lover with her. Business – You will concentrate and collect information and data. You will look after the company's finances and the marketing of your products. Your ability of organization of staff will improve. Lucky Numbers – Lucky Colour – Pink, Blue Tetkatho Soe Moe Naing has practiced astrology and Burmese traditional medicine for 40 years. Contact: 09 501 2 767

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BAR & CLUB CLUB 5 @ PARKROYAL - 10% off bottles of wine and hard liquor. Valid Monday to Friday, not valid for loose drinks CLUB RIZZOLI @ CHATRIUM HOTEL - 20% off on total bill from 10pm onwards - Valid Saturdays and Sundays, up to 6 people per card. SPACE BAR - 10 % off total bill - Valid from Monday to Thursday THE NEW BORIS - 10% off all drinks - Valid everyday, 4pm till late VERANDA BAR @ ROSE GARDEN HOTEL - Buy one Cocktail of the day, get one free (from 4pm to 6:30 pm) - Valid everyday,1 person per card.

CAFE D BISTRO - 15% off on all types of coffee before 12am (on weekdays only) - 10% off on total bill - Valid everyday, 1 person per card NERVIN CAFE AND BISTRO - 15% off on all beverages - Valid on weekdays, 1 bill per card - (Can not be combined with other discounts and promotions) WTC - World Training Center - 10% off entire selection of coffees - Valid everyday, for 2 people.

DESSERT FROZEE - Buy 1 Get 1 Free (80g gelato

SWENSEN’S - 20% OFF on Super Sundae on weekdays - 20% Off on Kids Sundae on weekends - Valid for 1 person per card - The deals are applicable to 3 outlets Dagon Centre 1- Myaynigone Ocean Shwe Gon Daing Tamwe Junction Junction Maw Tin

WELLBEING CALIFORNIA SKIN SPA - 20% off selected facial and full body treatments - Valid everyday, advance booking required, 2 people per card D SPA - 15% off total bill for 1 person - 20% off total bill when 2 people - Valid from Monday to Thursday, from 11 a.m to 3 pm, booking recommended - 10% off total bill for 1 person - 15% off total bill when 2 people - Valid on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, booking recommended FIRST THAI SPA - 10% off total bill for 1 person - 20% off total bill for 2 people - Valid from Monday to Friday, 2 people per card INYA DAY SPA - 15%discount on all spa services1 - 10%discount on Thai Body Massage(anytime) - Valid everyday,1 person per card PARKROYAL Fitness & Spa - 10% off spa treatments, except Happy Hours. - Valid Monday to Friday, booking required. PHOENIX ESTHETIC BEAUTY CENTRE - 20% off facial treatments when two people - Valid Wednesdays and Thursdasy from 10: 30 a.m to 6: 30 p.m, advance booking required. - 10% off facial treatments for one person. REVEAL - EMINENCE HAIR REMOVAL - 20% off one waxing service per bill - 10% off one I2PL (SHR IPL) service per bill - Valid everyday, 2 people per card, advanced booking required. SENSE SPA - 20% off all spa treatments - Valid everyday,1 person per card, advanced booking recommended


SPA ELEMENTS - 15 % off - JAMU pre- and post-natal care packages - 10% off - Face, body and foot spa // Mani-Pedis // Hair // Waxing and scrub - Valid on Wednesday & Monday, 1 person per card. THAYA DAY SPA - 15% off Spa Services - 10% off Full Thai Body Massage. - Monday to Friday, 1 person per card THE BODYGUARD - This hair salon and massage parlour had been designed by men and for men only. - 15% off from 10:30am to 5:30 pm - Valid everyday, 2 people per card VINTAGE LUXURY YACHT HOTEL - 10% off all SPA treatments - Valid everyday, for up to 10 people!, Advanced booking recommended. YANGON HAIR & BEAUTY CENTER - 20% off any single treatment - 10% off packages - Valid weekdays, one person per card YVES ROCHER SPA - 10% off total bill - Valid everyday, one person per card

GYM BALANCE FITNESS - 15% off 6 months or 1 year membership contract - Discount cannot be used with other promotions - Valid everyday, 1 person per card. CHATRIUM HEALTH CLUB - 10% off on daily rate from Mon to Sun. - Valid everyday, 2 people per card, advance booking required.

SHOPPING DAILY MART - Free delivery for order less than 30,000 Ks - 5% discount in total bill for order above 30,000 Ks - (minimum delivery: Ks10,000) - Valid everyday ( 9am to 5 Pm only),1 person per card MONUMENT BOOKS - This bookstore is known for its wide selection of English language books. - 15% off on weekdays - 10% off on weekends - Valid everyday,1 person per card PATRICK ROBERT THE GALLERY - 10% discount in all showroom items. Export orders and credit card payments not included. - Valid everyday (closed Sundays), one person per card SELECT BOUTIQUE THE THIRIPYITSAYA - 10% off all Jewelry - Valid everyday (closed on Tuesdays) THE WAREHOUSE - 15 off total bill

- Valid everyday, 1 person per card VESTIGE MERCANTILE & RELICS - 10% off total bill. - Valid everyday at: . Vestige Flagship Store, Yangon . Vestige Kiosk, Avenue 64 Hotel. . Vestige Flagship Store, Nay Pyi Taw - Valid everyday, 1 person per card YVES ROCHER - 10% off all products - Valid everyday, 1 person per card

ACTIVITY WTC - World Training Center - 5% off Barista & Bakery classes - Valid everyday, 1 person per class.

HOTEL HOTEL 51 - 15% off on all room types. - Valid everyday, 1 person per card ORCHID HOTEL - 10% off on all published room rates - 10 % off restaurant charges - Free fruit tray upon arrival - Valid Sunday to Thursday, 1 person per card, advance booking required THAHARA ( - 5% off on the published rates for all package booking from Oct to April - 10% off on the published rates for all package booking from May to September - Valid everyday, 2 people per card, advance booking required. VINTAGE LUXURY YACHT HOTEL - 10% off all room rates - Valid everyday.

SERVICES HINTHA BUSINESS CENTRES - One hour free wifi + a cup of Gourmet coffee once a month. - 10% off Meeting room rentals - 10% off Hot Desk packages (Daily, weekly, monthly) - 2 for 1 on hourly Hot Desk rental - Valid everyday, 1person per card, advance booking recommended K & H TRAVELS CO.,LTD - 10$ off for the second guest on any mini getaway tour - Valid on weekends, advance booking required.

BUY YOUR MYANMORE CARD HERE! MYANMORE Office - 1st Floor, Annex Bld, Strand Hotel, 92 Strand Rd, Kyauktada Tsp | 01-375680 50TH STREET BAR Balance Fitness Monument Bookstore Inya Day Spa Padonmar Restaurant Orchid Hotel Happy Footprints

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InDepth (MYANMORE) - Volume 12, October Issue  


InDepth (MYANMORE) - Volume 12, October Issue  


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