Announcement - Bamarlay's Diary

I am moving my blog to Myanmar Man's Diary.It has already passed the beta testing stage and now up and running. Please visit my new blog. For, I will be updating it with the excerpt from my new posts in Myanmar Man's Diary. Another blog I was invited to contribute to is Today in Myanmar, a website about Myanmar culture, custom, information, travel advice, life and anything about Myanmar. You can also visit the new blog. So far, I am the only one who regularly contribute to this blog while other friends are still writing their articles. Thank you for your support.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Image stabilizer for any camera

$1 Image Stabilizer For Any Camera - Lose The Tripod - video powered by Metacafe

Here is a very neat way of making a very inexpensive image stabilizer for your camera. You don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to buy an image stabilized lens. All you need is a nut and a bolt. In case you are not familiar with the image stabilizer, it is a mechanism that reduces camera shake when you take photos. See this video to see how to make an inexpensive image stabilizer.

How to address a person properly in Myanmar

In Myanmar, if you want to be seen polite, you should be able to use proper title when you address somebody. Burmese use appropriate titles and pronouns when addressing each other. When you are talking to an elderly male, you should put “U” (pronounce Oo) in front of his name. Thus, Mr. Ba becomes U Ba. This is also true if the person you are addressing is a government official or somebody of high social status. When addressing an elderly female or a female official, address her with “Daw” in front of her name. (E.g. Daw Mya). When talking to a male of the same age and social status, you should put “Ko” in front of his name. (Ko Mya). If a female of the same age, use “Ma instead. (Ma Mya). To a younger male, you can either use “Ko” or “Maung”. (Ko Mya or Maung Mya). To a female of younger age, use “Ma” also. (Ma Mya). To address children, use “Maung” for a boy and “Ma” for a girl.

You should also be able to use proper pronouns when talking to Myanmar people. When talking with an elderly person, call him “Oo” or “Oo Lay”, which laterally mean Uncle. To call an elderly, use “A Ba” or if he is too old, use “A Phoe”, meaning grandpa. To call an older woman, use “A Daw” (Aunty). For an elderly woman, use “A Phwar” (grandma). To call another person of the same age, you can simply use his name. if he is older (just a few years), call him “A Ko” (elder brother). If he is younger, you can call him “Nyi Lay” (younger brother). For a woman who is only a few years older than you, use “A Ma” (elder sister), and for a younger one, “Nyi Ma” (younger sister) is appropriate.

Burmese people sometimes use “Sayar” to address a government official or a superior in work place. Sayar literally means teacher. We also call our teachers sayar. With a doctor, either use sayar or doctor. If you know how to use proper title and proper pronouns when addressing Burmese people, people will be really impressed with you. Moreover, they will think you are really polite.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yangon Taxi

Like any other cities in the world, Yangon has a lot of taxis running the streets of the city. Unlike other cities in the world, taxis in Yangon are not metered, that means there is no meter to calculate the fare. In fact, there is not a single taxi with a meter in Yangon. (However, this might change in the near future as the Yangon municipality has plans to install meters in taxis). So you have to bargain with the taxi driver when you hire a taxi. Usually most taxi drivers ask for a higher price, especially if you are a foreigner or somebody coming from up country. If you don’t know the usual price, you might be cheated. So a good bet is to bargain for around half the asking price. It is cheaper to hire a taxi using the CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). Look for the CNG sign on the side of the taxi. Another thing to keep in mind is that it is cheaper to hire a taxi driving on the road than the one parked on the side. Those parked around shopping centers would ask for higher than normal price.

One thing to say: the taxis in Yangon are quite old and dirty, without air conditioning. And the driver might smoke. Don’t hesitate to ask him not to smoke if you don’t like.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Methodist English High School Alumni Website (MEHSA)

Here is the alumni website of the Methodist English High School, from Myanmar (formerly Rangoon, Burma). The high school is now famously known as Basic Education High School No. (1), Dagon, or Dagon One. It was a very famous Christian missionary school in the past. Even now, it is still considered the most prestigious high school in Myanmar. My father studied in that school when he was young and they did the reunion in Bangkok this January.

Back from Kunming, Yunnan, China

Well, I was just coming back from Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan province of China. I stayed there three days (two nights) only, sent there by my organization. It is always nice to go somewhere with other people's expense actually. Well, my stay there was a nice one.
Kunming is situated at about 6200 feet above sea level. Although it is at the same level as Hakha, the capital of Chin State in Myanmar, it is not as cold as in Hakha. Here in Kunming, the temperature during the day is around 20 degree Celsius, a very nice temperature indeed. And the city in situated on a flat land, possibly a plateau. The city itself is very clean, a lot cleaner than Bangkok, and quite modern. And there are also no dogs on the road too. Looks like they killed all the strayed dogs there.
There are fewer restaurants in Kunming than in Bangkok. Here in Bangkok, there are lots and lots of restaurants, both cheap and expensive. Over there, there are no road side paddlers, at least in the city center. That makes the city very clean, but at the same time, it makes the city monotonous. I feel like it is not as colorful as in Bangkok.
One interesting place to visit in Kunming is the old town, where the old, partly ruined houses situated. Some of the houses seemed to be ready to be pulled down in a few days. There are also many road side paddlers on the streets there too.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Independent Camcorder Review -

If you are intending to buy a new camcorder, and want to read an independent review of the camcorders in the market - Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC, Samsung, here is the must view site for you. With quite detailed and independent professional reviews on camcorders, you will never make a mistake in your choice for a camcorder. You can also compare prices from various online retailers and do your shopping online, although I prefer to see it and shop it live.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ulead Movie Factory – A Simple but Elegant Video Editor

I recently started using the Ulead Movie Factory – a simple video editor from Ulead. Although a simple one, it can create VCD, SVCD and DVD as well as HD DVD if you have an expensive burner. You can import video footages from your camcorder, camera, cell phone or a file in you hard disk, apply some simple effects and enhancement, and apply titles and transitions. Options are quite limited. However, the one thing the Ulead Movie Factory shines is in the DVD menu section. There are more than 30 menu templates, which are beautiful and elegant. I found these templates more beautiful and eye catching then Adobe Premiere Elements. You can also customize the templates as well as create thumbnail preview templates. The camera support all common file types including AVI, MPEG, Quick Time, WMV and many more.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Other Institute of Medicine 1 Yangon websites

Class of 1976, Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon, Myanmar - This website is the online association of 1976 batch of the Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon, the oldest medical school in Myanmar. There are photos of the members of the 1976 batch, and their activities.

Alumni Myanmar Institute of Medicines - This is the Yahoo group for the doctors who graduated from all the medical schools in Myanmar which include Institute of Medicine 1 Yangon, Institute of Medicine 2 Yangon, and Institute of Medicine Mandalay.

AMIMA (Alumni of Myanmar Institute of Medicine Association) - This is the website of the Alumni of Myanmar Institute of Medicine Association. There are photos, activities, events, activities, and other informations.

Wiki Entry for Institute of Medicine 1 Yangon - The wikipedia entry for the institute of Medicine 1, Yangon is here.

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Institute of Medicine (1), Yangon

Here is the official website of Institute of Medicine (1), Yangon, now University of Medicine (1) Yangon. Established in 1923, The Institute of Medicine (1) is the oldest medical school in Myanmar. Thousands of outstanding doctors have been trained by this school. Here at this website, you can read about the history of the school, as well as the current structure and courses offered. There is also a section on thesis papers done by the post graduate students and faculty members of the Institute of Medicine (1).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Burmese Names

Unlike western names, there is no family name in Myanmar. Women keep their maiden names upon marriage, and children can have names which bear no relation to their parents’ names.

Burmese names are either one, two or three syllables. One syllable names (e.g. Ba, Mya, Hla) are no longer in used as they are so outdated although you can still find this name in some older people. Two syllable names (e.g. Zaw Moe, Khin Hla, Tin Oo, Tin Naing, Thet Wai) are mostly found in middle aged people. They are considered outdated by many parents. Three syllable names are a norm of today Myanmar. Examples of three syllable names include Moe Zaw Hein, Thant Zin Myint, Shein Myint Han, Khin Maung Aye, Thet Mon Myint. Now a days, many parents started giving their children four syllable or even five syllable names, such as Moe Tint Tint Zaw, Moe Hae Man Ko, Htet Htet Moe Oo (four syllable), and Hae Mar Hinin Hnin Khine (five syllable).

When the parents choose the names of their children, they usually consult the astrologers. Burmese believe a person’s name can have a great influence on his or her future life. So they consider this a very important thing, not to be considered lightly. The names are usually in accord with the day of the week the person was born. So a person born on Sunday will have a name starts with A, E or O such as Aye, Ei or Oo. A Monday born name starts with K such as Khin or Khine. Tuesday born will have a name starts with S or Z such as San or Zaw. Wednesday’s born name will starts with Y or R such as Yamin or Rarzar. For Thursday born, the name starts with M, P or B such as Myo, Poe or Ba. Friday borne will have name starts with Th or H such as Thiha, Thura or Han, and a Saturday born name will starts with T, Ht, D or N, such as Tun, Htoo, Dwae or Nandar.

In contrast to western culture, a Burmese can change his or her name whenever he likes. Usually, this is done to change the fate of the person, in accordance with the astrological believe, so that he or she can have a greater and better influence on the future life.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Nhit-Lone, Thone-Lone

Well, nhit-lone and thone-lone are illegal lotteries popular and widespread in Myanmar. Nhit-lone means two-digit and thone-lone means three-digit. Although thone-lone has been around in Myanmar for more than twenty years, nhit-lone gained popularity just a few years ago. To play thone-lone (three-digit), the lottery ticket vendors use the last three digit of the Thai National Lottery. This Thai lottery is held once every two weeks, so thone-lone's winning number is also announced every two weeks. Winner gets 600 times the amount he paid for the ticket. To play nhit-lone, the vendors used, in the past, the last two digits of the first prize of the Myanmar government lottery. In the past, the Myanmar official lottery was open every month, for seven consecutive days, announcing the winning numbers every day. There was first price for that day and the last two digits of that winning first prize became the wining number of nhit-lone for that day. To stop this illegal lottery, Myanmar government changed the system of the Government lottery system. Now, all the numbers are chosen in a single day, making it impossible for the nhit-lone dealers to play. However, the nhit-lone dealers have a more brilliant way to keep their business running. They choose the SET (Stock Exchange of Thailand) for their lottery. Here, the last two digits of the closing SET index is chosen as the winning nhit-lone number of that day. So, it is now possible to play five days a week! That is worse than before.

Nhit-lone and thone-lone are so widespread in Myanmar that there is a lucrative business for soothsayers, astrologers and mediums who claim to be able to predict the winning number.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Payae Facial Tattoo

People in Chin Hills used to have the custom of tattooing (Payae) the face of the women. Nobody is really sure how the custom became established, but a legend was that hundreds of years ago, Burmese kings and nobles used to come to Chin Hills and hunt for the beautiful Chin girls, as the fame of their beauty reached the court of Burma. To avoid their women being captured by the Burmese, they had no way but to destroy this beauty. This they done by tattooing the face of young girls.Although nobody could authenticate the validity of this story, many Chin girls, especially those from the North are indeed very beautiful.

As soon as a girl enters the age of puberty, tattoo is applied onto her face - the pattern of the tattoo being the one according to the race she belongs. Thus the facial tattoo of Mun is different from that of Dai. The process of facial tattooing is quite painful and dangerous. Some even died of infection. The practice has been outlawed since 1960s, but some still practiced until around 1980s. The youngest woman I had seen with a facial tattoo was 26 years old. The facial tattooing is no longer practiced anymore, even in the remotest areas of Chin Hills.

Technorati Tags: Chin Hills, Myanmar, Facial Tattoo

Season's Bakery in Yangon

If you want to buy good quality bread and cake in Yangon at a reasonable price, go no further than Season's Bakery. Opened together with every City Mart supermarkets, the bakery has a wide selection of bread and cake. The quality of food is very good, and the price quite reasonable. Particular outlet I would like to mention is the one at the Yankin Center. It is the only Season's Bakery outlet in Yangon that has a cafe. You sit can enjoy bread, bakery and cakes with a cup of cappuccino. Pizza at the Yankin Center outlet is quite delicious and the price reasonable.

Technorati Tags: Myanmar, Cafe, Bakery

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Moving to a new house

Well, on 1st of January 2008, that was yesterday, we moved to a new house. Before, we were living in a small room. The room was quite nice but it was small and expensive. The new house, actually a shop house cost the same but bigger. It was just near by, in the same compound. The new one has two stories with a basement. There are two bedrooms. The rooms are quite large and airy. It took the whole day for us to move all our things to the new house, clean it and put everything in order. We finished everything at around 9 PM. We still need to move our UBC satellite but we have to ask the company to come and move it.

We were tired but anyway, we are happy to live in a house rather than an apartment.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008 to you all

Hi all dear friends. Happy New Year 2008. Another new year again. And another year. I don't know what is awaiting us in 2008, but I am hoping for the best for all. Well, anyway, 2007 indeed was a pretty exciting year for all of us.

Yesterday, I was greeting 2008 in Nakhonpathom, that is a province 56 Km from Bangkok. Quite a large town. I was staying in my wife's house for the New Year night. I didn't go out, just stayed at home, as I was not so keen to go out at night, especially around New Year as people are more or less drunk.

Although I was staying at home, the surrounding was quite noisy. There were fireworks all around the town, and many fire crackers. As the midnight drew near, there were more and more fireworks and fire crackers. There were even many gun shots too. Not firing at each other, just fired into the air. People in Thailand can have guns if they have a license, so some people when they get drunk fired into the air. It was really noisy. Our dog Pink was really scared and wanted to stayed close to me the whole night. She wanted to sleep with us in our room, and tried to get into the room. So we had to let her in and made her calm down until all the noise died down. Well, personally I don't like a noisy New Year although I don't want to tell other people how to behave. For me, I greeted 2008 at home.

Anyway, Happy New Year 2008 to you all.


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