3 Burma-diary

Updates from Yangon - travel and observations (nothing political)


A lady was singing in the main street in the center of downtown Yangon.

She sang with a clear, beautiful voice that cut through the noise of 4 lanes of traffic. Her voice was crisp and pure and stood out as a thing on its own. She concentrated on a place not in this world and sang in words I had no understanding of.

But her singing rooted me to the spot and brought tears to my eyes. She had a missing lower leg, and a little daughter with her. She looked well fed, strong and healthy. She accompanied her song with just one set off hand-click-bells that she used to punctuate her singing.

I had read about people being able to sing like this, to convey the FEELing of a song, the feeling of tragic beauty of a story in song, but I had never experienced it in reality.

Music in concerts and performances usually bores me silly, I can never get into it.  But this lady, I felt all the feelings of what she sang about without understanding a word. I was moved even though I didn't understand a word.

Her singing took me through a beautiful tragic, poignant story. I felt the story instead of understanding it with my mind.

A story of great love and loss. Of battles and courage and.... come on, how can I now try to tell it in words when there were NO words, just feelings. I didn't understand the worYet but still there was a story.... amazing!

She was self-assured, not pleading, not begging just singing her heart out full strength, no shyness, no fear, giving her all. A wonderful experience 

An old taxi driver, looked at me, wondering why I as watching the singing lady.

"She is begging"

"I know, I like her singing."

I have her picture..

Stories from Burma: