I was born in a Catholic country. People here believe that a church is God’s home.
I recentlyy travelled with a foreign friend to north-east Poland. He expected Poland is pretty much about churches and images of John Paul 2nd. I wanted to give him an idea of what a Polish church is. Unfortunatelly, all churches we wanted to visit were closed. When I was young churches were open 24/7. Looks like God was more accessible then…
There are many Buddhist countries in South-East Asia that I visited but Myanmar is definitely unique. People go to pagodas whenever they want to. They would just stop by on the way somewhere, come and have a rest in a cooler place or come and spend a few hours there. You would recognize the last type by seeing them carrying all kinds of baskets. To me it looked as if a pagoda was a perfect spot for a picnic. Either a couple or a bigger group of people would find a nice place, grab some food and enjoy just being there. Then they would have a nap after which they would sip some yei-nway gyan (green tea). I can imagine now they feely talk on the phone (in 2013 in Myanmar mobiles were not so popular). What is cool as well is that pets are welcome in pagodas too.
I was really amazed by the natural way of treating pagodas by the Myanmar. I found shelter there too when the temperatures were above 40 degrees and I was just on the way somewhere. I was not in a hurry, could just sit or lie down and nobody was shocked or even astonished… Myanmar pagodas are a very welcoming place… 🙂