|Title:|| ||Cheek by Jowl
|Date of publication:|| ||August 2007|
|Description/subject:|| ||A Wa village where happiness depends on how well you get along with the neighbors...
"You have to be a gregarious type to live happily among the Wa hill tribe people sometimes called Lawa, of Burma’s eastern Shan State. A typical home is shared by several families, living in one large common room, where adults and children alike eat, sleep and commune happily enough with each other.
I was invited into one such house in Wun San village, a four-hour drive from Kengtung in the far northeast of Shan State. The bamboo and timber structure, one of about a dozen similar dwellings, was home to no less than 20 families, sharing one windowless common room, ventilated only by doors at each end.
Two or three men were cooking a simple rice dish over a wood-fired stove, the smoke adding to the gloom. A roughly made bamboo bed sat nearby.
In one corner of the room sat an old, dirt-stained refrigerator and an electric fan. Naked lamp bulbs hung over some of the beds, but they gave out a weak light, powered by electricity from a generator driven by river water. Candles are still a necessity in this remote village.
The oldest member of this one-house community, an 83-year-old man, explained to me the remarkable lifestyle of Wun San and other Wa hill tribe villages, including customs probably found nowhere else in Burma..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Shah Paung|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Irrawaddy" Vol 15, No. 8|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||02 May 2008|