|Sitting in their new chairs|
I started to look up information about Myanmar, its people and the clothes they wear, even watching videos on how to tie a longyi (the long cloth tube worn by both men and women as a long skirt). I made a t-shirt and a miniature longyi for the Kruseling doll then decided she needed a travelling companion so bought another Luna (this time in the tennis outfit) and cut the new doll's hair short (though traditionally some Myanmar boys wear their hair long tied in a top knot). I made another t-shirt and longyi, this time with slightly more fabric because for playing sport the longyi can be tied up as shorts, the length I had used for the girl's longyi didn't allow me to hitch fabric in the way shown in the videos.
I bought some brown sandals from Boneka for the pair of dolls and their Myanmar outfits were complete. I made a pair of long shorts for the boy from a scrap of denim so he had some western style clothes too.
The dolls and their spare clothes travelled in a small zip up packing cube in my hand luggage to Yangon. I eventually gave them Myanmar names: the girl is Zarni (beauty/hero) San (moon) and the boy is Thet (calm) Khin (friendly) so they haven't strayed far from their Kruseling name of Luna (moon).
|Bogyoke Aung San Market, Yangon|
I didn't buy a puppet as I already have a Myanmar elephant puppet which my cousin had sent to me years ago when he and his wife visited the country and I want to see a puppet show in the country to understand more about the characters before choosing another puppet.
|Puppets in the market|
|One of the alleyways in the market leading to fabric stalls|
|The central walkway of the market, surrounded by stalls|
|The cane stall with the miniature chairs|
|A doll on the counter of one stall at the entrance to the market|
|Thet Khin and Zarni San in their new chairs with the two pieces of fabric I bought, |
and their travelling packing cube
|Thet Khin relaxing in his chair|
|His shorts were entirely hand-sewn, because I made them |
one evening when visiting our elder daughter in early November
|Zarni San wearing the t-shirt I made with her original jeans and trainers|
|Zarni San wearing her longyi and t-shirt|
|Thet Khin wearing his longyi and t-shirt|
|Shop window puppets and statues|
After leaving them in the hotel room all week, on the Friday I took the Kruselings with me because after we had finished work some colleagues and I went on an outing we'd been looking forward to all week. The predominant religion in Myanmar is Buddhism, so Yangon has plenty of temples and pagodas. The biggest in Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda. We saw it at dusk as we approached, by the time the taxi dropped us by the West entrance the sun had set but that didn't mean the gold of the pagoda was diminished, it just became more dramatic against the night sky, and was well lit. There were lots of steps and escalators to get up to the Pagoda and temples, we had taken our sandals and flip flops off so climbed the stairs and travelled the escalators with bare feet.
|Shwedagon Pagoda from a distance|
|Approaching the west entrance of the Shwedagon Pagoda at dusk|
|Scaffolding up the side of the West entrance of the Shwedagon Pagoda|
|The pinnacle of the pagoda|
|The pagoda surrounded by lots of temples|
|The moon and the pagoda|
|Reflections on the pagoda, and the moon|
|Thet Khin and Zarni San on a pavement reflecting the golden pagoda|
|Thet Khin and Zarni San near one of the temples which had plenty of seated Buddha figures|
|With the temple and seated Buddha figures|
|Posing with the Shwedagon Pagoda in the background|
The following day some colleagues and I visited the Banana and Coconut market beside the river, on the way there we walked passed some boys playing football with a cane football, something we had seen at the market a few days before (cane footballs are very hard-wearing). Later that evening, at the airport, I found a woven mat and key-ring size cane ball, perfect for the dolls.
|Myamnar boys playing football with a cane ball|
|Back at home with their new mat, chairs and cane ball|
|Thet Khin hitched up his longyi ready to play with his cane football|
|Zarni San is all ready to catch the ball|
|Thet Khin and Zarni San with their elephant|
|The elephant has decided the ball belongs to him|
|The Myanmar elephant puppet closeup|
|Tending to their elephant|