Children in Yangon, Myanmar

They tried to follow me to give thumbs up!! haha!

During my recent run-cation (running a marathon and holiday combined) to Yangon, Myanmar, I can't help myself but to notice the beautiful, colorful, happy Burmese children. Even though they are not rich, they look innocent, contented, and happy with simplest things in life. Whenever I see them with their smile as big as a sunflower, I feel as if I sea the bright future of Myanmar which largely depends on them when they grow up!

There is a famous phrase from the song "The Greatest Love of All" by one of my favorite artists, the late Whitney Houston that says like this:

I believe that children are our future. 
Teach them well and let them lead the way. 
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.

How true and relevant! 

In this article, I would like share with you all the beauty Burmese children possess inside. I pray that when they grow up, they will lead the future Myanmar!

I have also arranged the photos in such a way that will lead to "education" being the hope and the way out of poverty for these beautiful Burmese children. 

Children performing on the street

In China town BBQ street, I saw a father and 2 children playing traditional music with the home-made musical instrument made of bamboo performing on the street. The father would be singing in very strong powerful voice a Burmese song while the 2 children would be singing along in chorus. Three of them could sing and play the musical instrument at the same time.

I'm not sure if they are beggars or not, but they use their musical talent to ask for donations from strangers so that they can put food on the table for their family. I truly sympathize with them. Deep inside my heart, I feel sad also that the innocent children need to be on the street in the mercy of strangers for their daily living.

Beyond the poverty, the 2 kids are so talented. 

The beauty they possess inside

I would like to see the beauty they possess inside - that they are humblestrongtough, yet with strong dignity. Why so? Because they don't simply sit on the street to ask for money. Rather, they use their musical talent to perform. In a way, they are making a living as street performers.

Besides offering my respect to them via some donations, I was so tempted to ask the 2 kids if they also go to school. Seriously, I hope they do go to school in the day time.

Children performing on the street in China town.

Children playing on the street

As I walk down the streets of Pabedan Township in central Yangon, Myanmar, I can see many children and youth playing on the streets. Some accompany their parents who are street vendors selling all sorts of street food. There are many flats and apartments in central Yangon and I believe they all live in the close vicinity. 

Perhaps the streets are their playground.

I'm very happy to see that they are all very approachable and friendly. They seem to be very happy as they might not know how tough the lives are for their parents as street vendors making a living. 

It seems like they also go to school, which makes comforts me.

The beauty they possess inside

The beauty they possess inside is their innocence.

I really hope that they will not be influenced by the negative aspects of the city as they grow up and 10-15 years later they will all turn out to be very fine young men and women.

Children with their parents who are street vendors.

Where do we have such opportunity in KL or big cities with skyscrapers to catch a chicken? : This is what childhood should be!! 

 Children traveling in the train

While I took the 3-hour circular train, I made friend with a family with 3 kids. I also gave my Oreo cookies to them. They were so grateful. As they put Oreo cookies into their mouth, their faces brightened up. I could see the big smile on their faces. The smile was so contagious! Because of the children, especially the young girl in red (the eldest sister), my train journey was full of smile and joy!

The family is rather young. I believe the parents gave birth to their first daughter in late teens - may be age 18 or 19? Such a young family with 3 kids in a poor country. Yet. they are all smiling! A simple train journey can bring so much joy to them. This is something I need to learn from them.

The beauty they possess inside: 

The beauty they possess inside is the great joy in simple living. I believe for many of us, we would have complained and complained about tough lives. The children and the young family have taught me to "give thanks in all circumstances".

She is so fond of me!! haha! 

Look at the Oreo cookies - making the whole family so happy! :)

Yes- pretty girl - you have a bright future ahead of you, ok? :) Love ya!

Children near schools

The walk near one of the main tourist attractions - the largest pagoda in Yangon and school gave me unexpected pleasant surprises! I didn't go inside the Pagoda but only the surroundings because I like to experience people, culture, food during travel more than anything else. Therefore, for me, this encounter with the school children is far more interesting and life-impacting than the Pagoda visit. :) 

How can I forget these bunch of playful, joyful, beautiful kids with traditional thanaka - the yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark - on their faces

They were so so cute and lovely. As I approached them for photos and selfies, they were so happy and accommodating. You should see their facial reaction when I showed their photos on my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. They were so happy to see themselves in the photos!! I even showed to their parents. They were equally delighted. 😄

The school nearby looks like a school for military family. There were guards in military uniforms standing at the gate entrance. 

The beauty they possess inside

For this bunch of lovely children, I see "intelligence", "smartness", and "future" in them. Through education, I believe surely they will all grow up to be pillars of the nation.

I am also willing to take a bet that all of them will go to universities in future. :)

love this photos with them all smiling!
haha.... she tried to carry her little brother up for the photo!

Look at the thanaka on their faces - so lovely, right?

Playing on the street as they walk to school with school bags

Education is the key

Myanmar children are beautiful and lovely, especially with traditional thanaka on their angel-like faces. :) I am glad I managed to see the world through their eyes during my recent trip to Yangon, Myanmar. 

I don't think I have taught them anything during my encounter with them. Buy surely, they have taught me lots about life lessons. 

Additionally, it allows me to see how important education is for their bright future as the most powerful tool in this world is knowledge.

 I believe education is the great equalizer. Our children are our hope for the future, so we have an obligation to provide them with the tools to succeed. There is no more powerful tool than knowledge.    
- Dave Heineman -  

Written by Vincent Khor on Feb 9, 2017


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