Me, Myself and Mayvelous

Archive for the ‘Myanmar’ Category

Spam or Salt Trader

I’m not sure it’s a spam mail or a proper mail. I did not write anything about salt on my site but posted a short link on GV the other day. Is that why this person email me or am I thinking too much out of spam mail? Well who cares, if it is a spam mail then it’s pretty good one. If it’s a proper mail then I’m sure whoever see this post and interested might contact him?

Feed Back Message from
Shahidul Haq Sikder wrote:


Consular Services in Fiji

These few months I’ve been busy running around arranging things for various visa applications. Here are my experiences, as a Myanmar passport holder, with different consular services in Fiji. Depending on the type of visa application, type of passport and your situation, the services might be different. This is entirely based on my personal application experiences.

Most visa application takes 3 days to 2 weeks of processing period and 0 to 210+ FJD visa fee. Most visa application requires you to show the followings:


Burmese Recipes Site – Hsa*ba

I came across this lovely site, “Hsa’ba” (please eat), full of delicious Burmese recipes via another Burmese recipe site. “Hsaba” is in English and is very well organized by Ma Tin Cho Chaw. She’s even publishing a cookbook on Burmese dishes and there are about 100 recipes featured on “Hsaba” site. I find it very interesting to read each ingredient information along with the photos.

My bro reads “Hsa’ba” as “Hi Sha Bah” ဟိုက္ရွားဘား :P and I have to correct him. There is no “H” sound in “Hsa’ba”, it pronounces like “Sarh Bar”.

Updated: 31 Oct 2008

I got this email from Cho of Hsa*ba site. She notified me that her book in store now hence I’m just updating the news here.

Dear May
I am pleased to say the long-awaited hsa*ba, burmese cookbook is finally available. Thank you for your patience and support. It’s been an amazing journey creating the book and all the new content for the website.

The book is filled with authentic recipes such as the much-loved Traditional fish noodle soup (mohingar), fresh robust salads (thote), simple comforting curries (sipyan) and much more. Accompanied by beautiful photography that captures the distinctive Burmese kitchen.

To order a copy, visit our online shop.

For a sneak preview of the book, go to the new website and flip through the pages. For those new to Asian cooking, there is a glossary of ingredients on the website as well as free recipes from the book. So get cooking!

Don’t forget to check out my blog where there are more recipes for you to share and enjoy! If you have any comments or want to share your recipe, get in touch.

Best wishes,


61st Burma Union Day

Today is the 61st Anniversary of Burma Union Day.
Post it here just for the rememberance, no, cos’ I like the poster.

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  • Filed under: Myanmar, News
  • Join the list, spread the word and write something on 4th Oct.

    Free Burma!

    About “Free Burma!”
    International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.

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  • Filed under: Blogging, Democracy, Myanmar, News, Political Affairs
  • Thoughts on Poem: Ngar

    Other day Ma N3 posted this poem “Ngar” and I’ve been thinking ever since. First I thought of writing a comment on her page and ask about it. But then what the hell, I haven’t post on my site for a while and wanna share the poem with my friends also so I decided to post the poem and my thoughts here.


    ငါ့ မွာလည္း ငါ ၊ သူ ့မွာ ငါႏွင့္
    ငါ့ ငါ သူ ့ငါ ၊ ေတြ ့ၾကခါ၀ယ္
    ငါ ႏွင့္ ငါ ခ်င္း ၊ ငါ စစ္ခင္းလ်က္
    ပူျပင္းလွ်ံရဲ ငါ ေပါက္ကြဲ၏ ။

    ငါ ဒုကၡေပး ၊ ငါ မေအး၍
    ငါ ေအးရေၾကာင္း ၊ ခြင့္ခါ ေခ်ာင္းလ်က္
    ငါေကာင္းကို ရွာ ၊ ငါဆိုး ခြာေသာ္
    ကြာေလသည္ သို ့၊ ျဖစ္သၿမိဳ ့လည္း
    ေခါင္းလွ်ိဳ ့ကိုယ့္ေခြ ၊ ပျခဳပ္ေဗြ၌
    ငန္းေျမြ မျခား ၊ ႏွဲသံ ၾကားလွ်င္
    ပါးပ်ဥ္း ေထာင္လ်က္ ငါသည္ထြက္၏ ။

    အို – ဖြားဖက္ ငါ ၊ အသင္ ငါႏွင့္
    ငါ မေလွ်ာ့တမ္း ၊ အားအင္ စမ္းအံ့ ။
    အစြမ္း သာသူ ၊ ပန္းဆြတ္ယူလိမ့္ ။
    ငါမူ ငါ့ကုိ ေအာင္မည္ေလာ။ ။
    ငါ့ကို ငါက ေအာင္မည္ေလာ။ ။

    မတ္လ၊ ၁၉၈၂။
    ရွဳမ၀ မဂၢဇင္းမွ

    It’s pretty good poem but I’m confused over the last two stanza.
    What I understand is:

    “Nga” = Me
    Ngar” = Ego or noun in general

    Most probably “Ngar” is your ego but for my own easy translation purpose, lets’ take it as someone, say “X”.
    So….when I translate, (or this is how I understand)

    The 1st line says:

    Will X gonna win over ME? (or) Will your Ego win over You?

    The 2nd line again says:

    Would ME gonna be beaten by X? (or) Will You get beaten by your own Ego?

    In both way, you loses. ie. ME loses, and both lines have the same meaning.

    Shouldn’t be like

    Will X gonna win over ME (Will your Ego win over You?) and
    Will ME gonna win over X? (Will You be able to beat your own Ego?)

    Ok now, how to write that in Burmese? Ngar Muu Nga Ko Aung Myi Law…
    Muu” is something like “Ka” rite? hmmm….

    I think I understand what this poem is trying to say. I’m just being an annoyingly picky person sometimes. May be my whole understanding of the poem is wrong. Sometimes meaning of the poems are so hard to figure out but I still enjoy reading those kinds and try to understand their hidden meaning.

    Translation of the poem is something like this. Actually I have no idea how to translate it properly. It’s not direct translation; I just made up some parts cos’ some are weird to translate.

    Ngar (Self or Ego)

    I have my Ego and you have yours,
    When our Egos meet,
    Both turn into a fight,
    With volcanic destruction, they clashes.

    Ego being the problem,
    Think of a chance/way to resolve it,
    Search for the goods, throw away the bads,
    Though you try to discard it,
    It will act as a sleeping cobra,
    A note from a flute could arouse,
    And turn him into a deadly weapon.

    Oh – Ego my buddy, shall we,
    Test our strength against will,
    May the best one win,
    Will you win over me?
    Will I be defeated by you?

    Min Thu Wun
    March 1982,
    Via: Shu Ma Wa Magazine.

    Note: Is “Ngan Mway” a Cobra? or a Viper? or a Krait? I always confused over those snakes but I know it’s definitely not a Swan, “Ngan“. Oh Yes, I’m absolute sure sure. ahee :D

    Status and Titles in Burmese

    A few days ago, I received an email from GV regarding my post, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Birthday, translation to Bangla. The translator informed me that he had a hard time translating the word “Daw” but luckily he got some understanding of that word from the book he own, “Living Silence (Burma under military rule)” by Christina Fink. He understands it as a polite prefix for aunts or older women and likes to know if it’s safe to interpret as “respected“.

    I guess his translation on the word is quite alright. Although it’s not exactly means as “respected”, it is the most suitable translation in this case. Burmese language is one of very confusing languages as one word can form many different meanings. Forget about the language, this kind of addressing someone is a tough job even for some Burmese themselves (eg. Me).

    In English, they tend to address a person by their name directly (in many normal cases) and use Mr. or Mrs/Ms/Miss regardless of the age. Of course it’s a different story when the statuses involve. But I’m only talking about normal cases. In Burmese, to address a normal person, you need to consider the following factors:
    # gender
    # age
    # level of association with that person

    The following is how I understand. There are no set rules for this matter so this is just my own understandings. These titles are used regardless of blood relation between the two parties.

    # General Association
    Male Female
    [ Same Age ] – direct name eg. Aung Tun
    [ 20- yrs ] – “Maung” or “Mg” Aung Tun
    [ 20 - 30 yrs ] – “Ko” Aung Tun
    [ 30+ yrs ] – “U” Aung Tun
    [ Same Age ] – direct name eg. May Hnin Phyu
    [ 30- yrs ] – “Ma” May Hnin Phyu
    [ 30+ yrs ] – “Daw” May Hnin Phyu
    # Younger to Elder
    Male Female
    [ 1 - 3 yrs older ] – “Ko Ko” (Bro)
    [ 3 - 10 yrs older ] – “A Ko” (Bro)
    [ 10 - 20yrs older ] – “U U” (Uncle)
    [ 20+ yrs ] – “Ba Ba” or “A Foe” (grand)
    [ 1 - 3 yrs older ] – “Ma Ma” or “Ma” (Sis)
    [ 3 - 10 yrs older ] – “Ma” or “A Ma” (Sis)
    [ 10 - 20yrs older ] – “Aunty” (Aunt)
    [ 20+ yrs ] – “Fwar Fwar” or “A Fwar” (grand)
    # Elder to Younger
    Male Female
    [ 1 - 10 yrs younger ] – “Nyi Lay” (Bro by elder male) or “Maung Lay” (Bro by elder female) or just by name
    [ 10+ yrs younger ] – “Thar” (Son)
    [ 1 - 10 yrs younger ] – “Nyi Ma Lay” (Sis) or just by name
    [ 10+ younger ] – “Tha Mee” (Daughter)

    Those are the most official ones that I can think of but there are many others slangs and names usage depending on situation, status, title, regional, relationship etc.

    The above usages also act as a term to replace the word “You” while talking with a respected group. A direct translation of English word “You” in Burmese is “Nin” or “Min” but those terms are only used while talking among the same age group or between close friends. There are also many different ways of addressing oneself, the word “I“, depending on the situation. Though a direct translation of “I” is “Ngar“, that word is reserved to use only among close friends and is very rude to use with elders or distance friends/strangers. The following is how Burmese use to address themselves as, “I“, according to their age.

    Male[ Same age ] – “Ngar”
    [ < 15yrs or Teen] - "Thar"
    [ > 15yrs ] – “Kya Naw”
    Female[ Same Age ] – “Ngar”
    [ < 15yrs or Teen ] - "Tha Mee"
    [ > 15yrs ] – “Kya Ma”

    Again, all of the above are for normal situations between normal people. There are many more addresses to use with abnormal special cases such as talking to a Buddhist Monk or to King or Queen or Generals. Seriously, I get a headache whenever I have to talk with Burmese. I have to think about 2 – 3min before uttering a word in Burmese while the English “You, I, Mr, Mrs/Ms/Miss” words make addressing so simple.

    Have been said and getting back to the main point, I simply used the word “Daw” in that post as an elderly woman of 30+ age with the meaning somewhat related to the lady or rather the respected lady. I feel very impolite to address her as just her name,”Aung San Suu Kyi”, and I don’t feel familiar enough to call her “Mother” or “Aunty” though she is older than my mom and suits the title. So using a respectable generalization is the best solution.

    Another note on that post is that it was translated into 7 different languages. I’m getting scare to write for GV as it is viewed by many viewers from various background. With my incompetence language skill, I feel ashamed to post there. Online/web medium is a scary thing, one mistake will be caught by thousands eyes. I don’t care if people look down upon me for my mistakes but I don’t want them to look down upon my country/men for my lack of skills. Damn it’s a hard job being a writer. My respect for journalists grew these days. I’ve never been good at writing and never have an interest in professional writing. I only write for myself. As long as I understand what I write, I’m all fine. But ever since I started blogging, I can no longer write for myself only. I guess as your blog grow, you have to grow along with it. You have to mature along with your reader. So I must try to improve as best as I can. Yep, that’s the spirit May!!

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