Yangon, Yangon Province, Myanmar

Ole, Merel and I have visited one of the most iconic Stupas of this country. The stupa is very big! So much that we it’s difficult to insert the whole stupa in one picture. You see this golden structure from far away at the city and it really makes me want to go in.

At Myanmar Buddhism is what makes everything have an order. They are fully into this religion. As Catholics create churches with high bell towers or Islamics create high mosques the Buddhism build high Stupa’s. This structure resembles a bit as an Egyptian obelisk. The cool thing is that it’s covered by gold or some similar product. Therefore during the day the sun reflects in a beautiful manner and during the night a perfect lighting is provided. The top of the tower has several gems crusted in the tower structure. Several thousands or millions of euros are at the top. You can see them shine with a special telescope from the ground floor. This kind of structure is new to us and makes us be curious.

We spent part of the day at the Shwedagon Pagoda and admired its height, 112 meters. Some people would randomly come to you and begin a conversation. They are curious of you and also have a eager to explain you about their culture and religion. Some are guides and others are just normal people. There are a lot of visual elements which I do not understand and many traditions that we won’t be able to see as this seems a different universe. As in Cambodia a bombardment of names were thrown to us, so many details were not fully understood, we will need some time for that.

One thing I really like to see is that the temples are a sacred place but also a social place. In the Catholic Church you are not used to see people hanging out laughing and chatting or lying down on the floor having a picnic. Here it seems that these locations are not only places to pray, but also hang out with family and friends. This makes the atmosphere more enjoyable and you don’t seem to disrupt the place by your presence or by the sound of your camera doing pictures. Everybody is relaxed and happy to be here. We are also happy to be here, even if our faith is not the reason.

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