I finally have the chance to participate in Andrew’s Monday washing lines theme. Thanks, Andrew, for the great idea and the inspiration to dig through old photos, which I have time for now that my last school term ended and my workload is lighter.
I wanted to post this image of washing hanging at dawn in a tiny village called Ywar Pu in the mountains of Burma (Myanmar). The chief of the village (and his family) had offered their place as a homestay for the night, to our group of five trekkers plus a cook and a guide. We had to rise early and trek during the cool hours as far as we could because the midday temperatures would be brutal, and during that time we rested in the shade rather than hiked.
The peaceful image of a scene among ordinary Dannu people in Burma is important to me right now because there is so much violence and unrest in their country at the moment. On February 1 the military staged a coup, dissatisfied that in the country’s free and fair elections, leader Aung San Suu Kyi was chosen instead of the military candidate. Declaring a rigged election, the military placed Suu Kyi on house arrest and took over the country. People across Burma began peaceful protests, asking for the leaders they had elected. The military responded firmly and peacefully at first, but eventually resorted to violence, and as of today at least 549 people have been killed by the military. The protestors have remained unarmed and non-violent – but fierce – as children, adults, and even monks raise the three-finger salute copied from The Hunger Games and calling out the junta oppression. The violence seems extraordinary, even for our violent world. The military has launched airstrikes on the border, suggesting the likelihood that residents are fleeing. The junta killed 114 people just on Saturday, including kids younger than 16 who were protesting. And yesterday, security forces turned their fire onto a funeral of people mourning the loss of a protestor.
I wish there was something I could do to help the people caught in this terrible situation. All I know to do is talk about it. And share my beautiful peaceful photo of what the protestors are fighting for: just a life in safety and to put out laundry and do whatever tasks are needed in a day.