Golden Kiss, or the main miracle of Myanmar

"Myanmar? Where is it? I do not know this country … Ah, so this is Burma?! Well, in Africa in general many countries! Is it not in Africa?"… such questions before the trip we had to hear from quite erudite people. For many, it was the discovery that Myanmar borders with Thailand, which it is more in the territory, and about 50 million people live there. Despite the fact that in neighboring Thailand will not be able to go through Russian citizens, Myanmar remains completely unknown for us. And in vain.

Myanmar Soyuz

Strictly speaking, the country is called the Union of Myanmar, and this name is justified – in the state an incredible variety of nationalities. Large "National Ras" In Myanmar, there are eight, among which the Burmers are dominated, constituting 65% of the population, but Ethnologists allocate more than 100 nationalities and national subgroups in it. At the same time, these groups are very significantly different.

The very name of Myanmar on the world map appeared relatively recently – in 1989. At the same time, most cities received new names, for example, the capital of Rangoon began to be called Yangon. At Myanmans themselves, these changes did not affect – they sounded so always in their language, only their English transcriptions changed. The British, who conquered this country in the XIX century, called it by Burma, following the self-espowerment of the main ethnic group – Burmese. From the point of view of logic, the name of Myanmar may be more true, since it does not associate a country with one ethnic group, but the logic does not always rule the policy. The current government, who changed the name of the country, in the opinion of many in the world, came to power as a result of a military coup, and in the English-speaking countries, Myanmar is still called Burma – from the principle, especially since within 150 years, this name has already become accustomed, and a new few knows. The dictatorship of the military is still rules Myanmar. The activities of the opposition leader to Aun Sud Su Ji, many years spent under house arrest, received widespread world fame, especially after the Nobel Peace Prize.

However, in this country the military themselves explain their actions by the desire to preserve the integrity of the country and the need for the graduality of any reforms. And here the ideal of development was chosen Chinese version. Many Myanmarians, even negatively belonging to the authorities, repeated the same phrase: "Dam can not be opened immediately. A flurry of water will always be in its way".

What amazes

First, Buddhism, who rules Myanmarians. Their main shrine – 100-meter Pagoda Swedagon, lined with golden tiles. The offering of most of the golden stock of the country in the gift of the Buddha is not only very characteristic of Myanmar, but also sincerely.

Secondly, the local girls are very beautiful, state, modest and noble. However, it’s thirdly, only professionals dance in Myanmar in general. In Yangon, however, discos began to appear, but they enjoy an unkind reputation.

Third, widespread wearing skirts. And women and men in Myanmar are worn "Londi". Unlike Scottish Myanmar skirts Long and light. Women "Londi" differ from male only in color and the fact that the node that the men’s skirt is supported is located in front, on the feminine it – on the side. The method of their tying for the uninitiated – miracle. The casual movement of Myanmarine delays the top edge of the skirt in the likeness of the node (the ends are not tied at the same time), and the skirt is perfectly held! We have repeatedly had to see how mobile phones and wallets were stuck behind the belt.

Fourth, the cost of mobile phones. On "black market" their price can reach several thousand dollars. Even the Myanmar General who received permission to buy it will officially pay for him astronomical for ordinary Myanmarm.

Fifth, of course, Bagan ..

See Bagan and ..

Traveling a lot, unwittingly think: "Well, I have already seen so much that it is already unlikely to hit me". And – with a tired smile looking at the sights … However, it is possible that in heaven there is a special department responsible for the fought life. "Yeah, here’s another!" – They say there, and the world around this fought immediately transforms. Something similar happened in the Bagan.

Some researchers write: "Imagine that all Catholic temples of Europe collected in one place – this is a Bagan". And there is no special exaggeration. Bagan was called in ancient times the city of four million pagodas. They were, of course, not so much, but more than 4,000. Even the remaining 2 217 produce a stunning impression.

Such a feeling that you got into the forest of pagodas. There is no horizon – around where you look, stretch the spiers – gold and brick. No tourists, no signs "civilization" Can not defeat this feeling of delight and oddious worship, which cause these amazing architectural structures. This is a miracle.

The most surprisingly, all this magnificence was created in a very short period of time – the Golden Era of their facilities began in 1057 with the conquest of the Monk State and lasted until 1287, ending under the blows of Mongolian Hubila Khan’s troops. At that time, Bagan was the capital of Myanmar Kingdom.

The incredible epic of this construction began in 1044, when the king of Anutha climbed to Myanmar Prestol. His southern neighbor, the monk king manuha, sent, to his misfortune, the monks to turn Anuthu to Buddhism Theravada. Myanmar ruler has liked this religion so much that he asked the neighbors to give him holy Scriptures and relics, and when he was denied him, captured the monk kingdom and took everything he could. From this moment to this day, Buddhism in the Terravadian version reigned in Myanmar, and frantic construction began in the Bagan. Of course, the description of these events was legendary. Most likely, the seizure of the monk kingdom was primarily economic and military causes. But be that as it may, the preserved Pagoda – the obvious testimonies of the turbulent and precisely religious construction.

The main for Buddhist is to do something worthy in the current life, so that this act helped him in the next. Construction of Pagoda is able to give SA must be said that only religious structures were built in ancient Myanmar from the stone, all the other buildings, whether the royal palaces or monasteries were wooden. And let them be laid next to the striking, there were even more impressive wooden buildings, today they all disappeared.

However, time did not gentle and pagoda. Bagag stands on the shores of the main Myanmar River – Iravadi, who may have absorbed many shrines. From the moment of coming to the local land of Mongols, Bagan was immersed in a long period of stagnation and destruction. After the defeat suffered from Mongol, the city came to the launch – Marauders and treasure seekers were inexped. Almost all the sculptures depicting Buddha are now stored in the pagodas, but in a terrifying form – without a head or with a broken belly (except those who have been restored not so long ago, or especially carefully worried in former times).

Another misfortune for the ancient Myanmar structures are devastating earthquakes. Last of them, and very significant, occurred in 1975. Then the power of underground jog reached 6.5 points, but even despite this, many millennial structures were resistant. Then, almost immediately, restoration work began, which continue to this day.

At that time, people still lived among pagodas and temples – now they all evicted them to the next city, the new Bagan. The eyewitness of that earthquake described us that we had happened: "I was 8 years old. Everything happened in the evening in half the seventh. At that moment there was no one in the temples and therefore no one was killed. When I went home, everything shook, and I did not see anything because of the rissed red dust. Old men shouted me so I stand in place, I did not move. Having come home, discovered that everyone is alive – we had a bamboo hut".

Umbrella for Stupa

We were lucky to attend the opening of one of the stations after restoration. Pagoda, or stupa, fundamentally different from the temple in that it is impossible to enter (Myanmarians themselves, however, do not see the cardinal differences between the stups and temples, calling them in one word – "Paia"). This is a holistic structure in which some shrine is stored or several shrines associated with the previous four incarnations of the Buddha. For example, in the main pagoda of the country, the Swedagon, 8 hairs of the last Buddha are stored. Somewhere it can be kept his tooth, hair or some other item belonging to the Buddha in life. But there is a lot of pagodas that there is not enough on all mythical items, and then they are stirred in them "Official" a copy of the tooth or hair. In addition, it is also installed on it "umbrella" – Metal cone-shaped design with bells. From the wind, the bells ring – and there is a special religious sense. Watering "umbrella" on the pagoda spire occurs in a solemn atmosphere at the very last moment – when all other works are completed. At this ceremony, we were present. Such an extremely important event happens in the Bagan infrequently – only 2-3 times a year. The stupa, for the discovery of which we happened to get, suffered from the very earthquake of 1975, it began to restore it only two years ago.

And yet – we were present at the consecration of the recovered stupa.

"Shoes Leave in the car", – The guide told us strictly (according to the rules of barefoot, not only in the Buddhist structures themselves, but in the immediate vicinity of them). Began the consecration ceremony from prayer. Dear monks have gathered under the arch. The most important of them read prayer, and all those who came, sitting on the mats, prayed. The first person to the monks was served by a representative of power – Minister of Archeology. He, being in military uniform, was an personification of the state ..

Stupa was restored to the funds of a private person – the richest merchant jewelry, namely nephritis, the Aun Karti from the province of Shan. Restoration cost him in an amount equivalent to 40 thousand dollars. He himself, for some reason, did not come to the consecration ceremony, but sent his numerous representatives. After the end of the prayer, they presented monks usual in such cases of offerings – rice, vegetable oil for cooking, umbrellas and sandals.

Then, as it should be, sacred items – Buddha figures, bells, as well as parts "umbrella" – 3 times got around the steps. Items are a lot, so the procession was impressive. Ahead of the archeology minister, he was importantly carried in the hands of the top "umbrella" – Golden sphere decorated with stones and crowned with a huge piece of crystal. Numerous spectators humbly stood away ..

Then it’s time to strengthen "umbrella" and stir up sacred relics. The painted chariot on which large parts were installed "umbrella", rushed with the help of ropes to the top of the stup. Invited musicians began to play national music, and dancers – perform traditional dances. Even we, without being Buddhists, fused the solemnity of what is happening. At the end of the ceremony began to cover the tables for the festive pyr.

Leen side

After the umbrella is installed and shrines are closed, another responsible moment begins – scattering money. At the entrance to the fence of the stupa, we saw dozens of adolescents and men who are tensely following the occurring ceremony. In her, they did not take part in it, but we were clearly waiting for something. Many kept stalks in the hands of long sticks. We asked our guide in surprise, which, in fact, they are waiting? "Of money", – Fastened short answer. "And, notice, they all stand with a leeward side". "Why?" – Ashaded asked. "Soon you will see .." And we saw.

At the top of the stupas there was a familiar general with several assistants. He had in his hands "Symbols of power" – In one mobile phone, in the other – a pack of money.

In 10 minutes, he talked on this phone three times (even if we assume that the total number of subscribers numbers in his notebook reached no more than five). Meanwhile, the voltage before the fence from the leeward side of the stupa increased. Myanmans, who gathered about a hundred, armed with saccias, as well as those who didn’t have them, from time to time were moved by short phrases, they joked and curiously glanced at the misfortune from where the fired foreigners (that is us). At the same time, everything, and we, including, continued to wait ..

And here the gathered enveloped a serious excitement – from the very top of Pagoda fan in the wind flew white paper and smoothly fell into the crowd. Everything instantly came into motion. Since people not only stood, but also sat on the trees, and on the fence of the stupa, the impression was that the whole world began to move convulsively. Seconds, while the papers overcame the distance from the tops of the stupas to the suffering, they stretched infinitely, but when they finally reached the crowd, the time accelerated incredible. The real dump has begun. For a moment before that, peacefully standing Myanmarians turned into a madly rotating hurricane. The cloth rushed, the paper crackled, the telly telly, without disassembling roads. More recently embarrassed to ask, from what countries we are, Baganz threatened to demolish us from the face of the earth … And after a few moments, all this madness ended. Just fighting warriors again became friendly and friendly. Hiding extracted bills, they sincerely having fun at the sight of the comrade shirt torn them. The game is finished, you can go home.

Names of the week

Once the Icelanders struck us with lack of names if they have names and patientities. Myanmarians went even further – they have no names and patronymic – there are only names. Two native sisters can be called, for example, min mines and mo, and determine on writing what they sisters are simply impossible. Moreover, the name with age can change.

We seem strange to live without surnames. Myanmans, on the contrary, wondered for that why create so many difficulties. For them is much more important than the last name of the day of the week in which they were born. And here it knows every. For the day of the week is extremely important. After all, in Myanmar to this day, names are given in accordance with the instructions of the astrologer, and with the name, each Myanmarine receives a horoscope to whom his whole life. Learning the day of the week to which you were born, you will immediately report with whom you can be friends, and with whom there are no, and at the same time will be predicted, what life is waiting for you. Myanmans are so confident in the inviolability of this postulate, which is not even subject to discussion. "Nothing to wait for promotion in public service if you are rat", – firmly told me one of our acquaintance. "Elephants – extremely aggressive, but quickly depart", – The desired declared another.

Everything in the life of every Myanmarman is obvious from the very beginning, we must only keep in mind that the astrological days of the week in Myanmar 8 is because they are divided into 2 parts. And this information is so, just in case: Born in Myanmar on Monday – jealous, on Tuesday – honest, on Wednesday – hot-tempered, but the departure, on Thursday – Croes, on Friday – talkative, on Saturday – smoke, on Sunday – greedy.

… around any significant stupas you can always see 8 figures depicting patrons of the days of the week. If you want to make a good deed (to improve your coming rebirth), you have to pour water to your patron, suppose Lion, as many times how many years old have you been, there are always crowds, watering a stone rat or an elephant, or tiger. Moreover, the first letter of your name must match the day of the week when you were born, so, although, as we noticed above, exactly what is your name, you can not always determine, but the fact that you are for a person – find out very simple. "When he was born? On Tuesday? I only fit the environment or Saturday!" And here it is impossible to change anything ..

When we asked our friend: "How do you find each other in the phone book, if you do not have last names, and the names are changed?" – He readily replied: "By the address".


Each Buddhist-Myanmarine (and Buddhists in this country make up 87% of the population) is a dedication to the monks. This event is one of the main things in his life. Miaanman’s monastery gets several times in life. Usually – not for long, it may be a week, and two, and a month, if, of course, he did not decide to become a monk finally. Monasteries play an essential role in the life of the country. In addition to learning the Buddhist commandments, it is taught and just a diploma, which explains the very high percentage of people who can read and write, by the way, hitting the British back in the XIX century.

The first dedication occurs in 7-9 years. This is usually a colorful and bright ceremony on which there are many guests and relatives. Often several families are going together and organize lush wires of their children to the monastery. Boys are dressing princes, in honor of the last Buddha – Gautama, and girls – princesses. Boys are carrying on a ceremony of dedication to richly decorated horses, and sometimes even on elephants, girls – on beautifully removed carts.

We got into the baggs for the rite of initiation in a poor family. The monastery was sent a 7-year-old boy by name. The family did not send it together with other children – from savings. Especially since the boy’s father recently died – the doctor-self-taught knocker in the illiteracy of the injection turned out to be fatal for him (this, by the way, is a very big problem in Myanmar), so the grandfather paid the ceremony. Maybe because of this not too joyful atmosphere, the action it produced a very strong impression on us. We met the procession from the ancient gates of the Bagan. The boy dressed as a prince was clearly scared. The princess girl was still the younger and therefore was not afraid and watched with curiosity for all what was happening (she was not going to the monastery, she was dressed up, so that the boy was not so boring). Both of them were sitting by the chapel of local spirits – NATO, who have an elderly medium woman asked for children blessings.

Golden Kiss, or the main miracle of Myanmar

After a while all the procession – "prince" on the horse I "Princess" In the cart – moved to the monastery. Friendly monks, not a word speaking in English, held us on all the catches of a wonderful wooden building. The terrace for guests was preparing a modest treat.

The ceremony itself is simple – the boy should have taken out and put in monastic clothes. The abbot of the monastery read him a prayer and gave instructions on how it should be written in accordance with Buddhist tradition. Everything is simple and everyday life. The mother of the boy together with the grandfather kept a towel, which fell the hair of the future novice, and the monk deftly brill him. After the prayer, he began to scatter minor money for guests, because the distribution of alms is one of the cornerstone of Buddhism.

Mother recalculated the money that brought guests as gifts, and the monks got rice and sandals.

… will pass 2 weeks, and he will come out. The hair will grow, money will end, but the boy will always be able to return under the roof of this wooden monastery. In Myanmar, many famous singers and politicians shave their hair and go to the monastery for several weeks – think, think, collect alms ..

"Female" question

Women in Myanmar society occupy a special position. Sir James George Scott, who wrote a book in 1881 "Burmese", withstood many reprints and still peculiar "Director" According to this people (at least in Myanmar, it is sold at every corner), wrote that "Married Burmese woman is much more independent than any Western even in the most advanced states … She may marry whom he wants and divorce when he wants … At the same time, all her dowry, and everything she earned during marriage, belongs to her and her descendants". At the same time, the respected Sir noted that the women of Myanmar do not seek education, and in the pagodas they pray in the next life they became men. "On this, their inequality with men ends".

Recall: it is written back in 1881, before the start of the struggle of women in the enlightened world for the voting rights and other "privileges".

Therefore, bypassing such an important topic as Myanmar women, we could not. Never before we have not seen such a proud posture, long black hair and incredible, but modest grace. The overwhelming majority of Myanmar women smears their face "Tanakha", Special white makeup made of wood powder and cortex of the same name. It has "Makeup" (covered mainly cheeks, as well as the nose, forehead and hands) there is a practical effect – this is the best tool from not to burn in the sun, and also disinfectant. At first, these smeared cheeks cause an ambiguous feeling, but very soon you begin to understand how beautiful the girl with Tanakha.

We decided to check our impressions of local women. Sitting in a restaurant with our new friend Mine Mainer, or rather from Min Monom ("Proud king"), we asked him that Myanmar men think about their women. Min Miine, being a Buddhist, did not drink alcohol, although it was sincerely glad that others would enjoy. "What are they, girls Myanmar?" – we asked his excitement. Min Miine – a devoted husband and father – looked at us with sadness. "Men fighting, and women beat in the back, which is more dangerous. If you give something loved, she never happens enough. When a man does something too – it is bad. Too loves too spending. And it is necessary – in the middle". This conclusion struck us extremely. But still the main shock in Myanmar was still ahead.

On the last day of our two-week stay in the capital of Yangon, we went to the Swedagon – the main pagoda of the country and the true miracle of the world. This phrase sounds everyday life and beaten. On Earth there are many structures and attractions that local residents are absolutely sincerely consider the eighth miracle of the world. And will be right. So, the difference between such places from Shwedagon is that it is only worth seeing this building, it becomes clear that it is just a miracle of light, without a number.

Swedagon – this magical city on a hill dominant over all Yangon is striking immediately – both with colossal sizes, and unimaginable wealth, and thousands of years legends. Tradition says that two merchant brothers 2,500 years ago got to Gautama Buddha and handed him a honey cake. In gratitude Buddha gave them 8 of their hairs. The road back was difficult for the brothers, and they had to part with 4 of 8 sacred hair. But when they, after all the tests and difficulties, still got to Myanmar and opened the box with a gift of the Buddha, a miracle happened – hairs in her was still 8. At this miracles, they did not end – the blind were clear, the deaf heard, dare they spoke, and the chrome ran to all the ends of the country to report this joyful news. In the same moment, the Earth shook, the trees bloomed, and rains from gem stones fell from the sky. As can be seen on this example, even only 8 hairs can sometimes change the world ..

Although on this legend does not end. The Swedagon is considered the only pagree on the ground, in which the relics are also stored and from the three previous Buddhas. As you know, Gautama Buddha was the fourth on the account of the Buddha, which came to this world. A cup from the first Buddha is stored in the Swedagon, the cover – from the second and staff – from the third, which makes this place even more unique.

"Sew" – translated from Myanman as "gold", "Dagon" – This is the name of the terrain. In the poor country, fenced by external economic sanctions, Myanmarians put their jewels for everyone, and their gold and diamonds serve to strengthen the glory of Buddhism. The 100-meter Swedagon Pagoda is covered with gold gold, and its top is lined with 13 153 gold tiles, each size of 30 cm 2. Pagoda is crowned with a flag with 1 100 diamonds, in addition to which there are 1,383 other gems on it. At the top of the steps there is a gold sphere with a 451 diamond with a shining at the top by another 76-carat stone. Stupa is regularly restored both by the authorities and believers, appreciating all new and new gold layers on its walls.

The base of the stupa takes 5 hectares. On the top of the hill, where it is located, there are 4 indoor stairs, which are arts themselves. Under the wooden roof the coolness reigns. Parishioners go barefoot past little benches, in which Buddhist decorations, slices of sandalwood, dishes and much more. Already here reigns the atmosphere of the holiday.

Swedagon is not one giant stupa, but a whole complex of buildings. Around this giant golden bell is about 70 sparkling small small pagodas, as well as the mass of other buildings – pavilions, temples to worship spirits. Under the canopies have huge bells, one of which, Maha Teassada, weighs 42 tons. With another bell, Singubin, weighing 23 tons, is associated with an important story for independent Myanmarians. In 1825, the British tried to take him into Calcutta, but the boat under his weight broke and the bell drowned in the river. All the efforts of British engineers to raise him from the bottom turned out to be futile, and then the British stated Burmanians that if those were able to get it, the bell will remain in native land. Burmese joined the bamboo logs under the bell, and he popled himself. Now for modern Myanmarians Singoff – one of the symbols of the independence of their homeland.


On the last day in Yangon, we wandered around Shvedagon for a long time, watered the patrons of our days of the week, listened to the singing of the monks and watched the walking jangones. Golyanaya Pagoda Gloss Gold, somewhere on a 100-meter height glittered a huge invisible diamond. Believers glued the finest gold plates to the statues of Buddha. They leaked to them, whispering prayers seemed to kiss them, leaving trembling golden petals ..

Evening came. Tired, I sat down on some kind of soup face to the golden hump. It seemed that it was here that something significant was to happen. But what? And then the look stopped on something hoarse in three meters from the foot of the Swedagon. In the twilight, it did not immediately become clear that these are huge cockroaches, fussy at the drainage hatch ..

I hate cockarakanov. They instill in me deep disgust and the desire to escape or, on the contrary, kill everyone to the last.

And here there was an unexpected, who became the last miracle of Myanmar for me.

At the sight of local cockroaches I was not disgusting. I realized that these sterling, busy creatures have the right to life. Even not! They are simply obliged to live here, proving the beauty and variety of peace. At this point, I sincerely loved all living things, all the fact that was the strength of this flow of Myanmar life. All – both bad, and good people, and cockroaches, and flies, and birds – should live next to me, otherwise my own life will be incomplete and meaningless.

… 2 weeks after my arrival in Moscow. And suddenly he crashes – redhead, nasty, brazen, moving by mustache. I raise the sneakers and ..

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