The old and the new in Myanmar

While the country has been in transition for nearly four years now, such pictures have become more frequent.
Pa O ethnic group women in traditional turbans caught in one of shopping malls of Yangon (Myanmar Plaza).


Courtesy: Lin Zaw Min

The Pa O being the seventh largest ethnic nationality in Burma (population of approximately 600,000-1,800,000) and the second in the Shan state settled in Myanmar around 1000 B.C. Originally they wore colourful clothes but when enslaved, the Pa O were made to dress indigo-dyed clothing signifying their status.

A male representative of the ethnic group usually wears black or navy blue jacket, long black trousers, a white shirt and a turban while a woman dresses in a a blouse, a jacket, a longyi that covers the knees, a turban, and two large, conical shaped hair pins.
Among the traditional customs is tying cotton threads around the wrists of a bridegroom and a bride which joins them together while blessing a couple.
One of the best known Pa O representative is a former Prime Minister’s wife – Senior General Than Shwe – Kyaing Kyaing.


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