Keeping Ancient Traditions Alive

Spending the New Year abroad is always a treat, no matter what. Some more interesting than the others, I admit. This trip to Myanmar fell right smack on New Year— in Bagan sans the usual fireworks.


It was celebrated via a cultural program, which began with a puppet show during dinner.


It was similar but, in my opinion, better than the Mandalay performance.


Since the 15th century, puppet shows were used to entertain the Burmese royalties. Skillfully carved puppets that look like human substitutes were made to move and dance gracefully on stage thanks to the skills of the puppeteer.

The night progressed to a few more exhibits before the countdown. No fireworks, just good old fashion fun.


We were asked to move to the garden to watch a group of men kicking a rattan ball – demonstrating what I know as Sepak Takraw.


It is known in Myanmar as “Chin Lone” and is considered more of an art (although it is the country’s national sport), as there aren’t any opposing teams but they rather play as one team. Men, women, and children often play together.



Followed by an elephant dance. Similar to that of the Chinese’s Lion dance, two men together dance in rhythm.   And the most bizarre show I’ve witnessed so far — a snake dance that involved an adult and a kid, which had me worried all throughout. I mean, he is just a kid after all.




Yes, it was a unique “end of the year” celebration, so to speak.  But we had fun.

A belated Chinese New Year greetings to all. Here’s to the Year of the Dog.


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