|Title:|| ||Karaoke Nights
|Date of publication:|| ||May 2005|
|Description/subject:|| ||Rangoon girls swap the sweatshop for a hands-on job...
"Owners of karaoke bars in Burma these days really have something to sing about. While other business sectors flounder in Burma’s moribund economy, most karaoke joints—known as KTV—are humming, their cash registers are playing sweet music.
On a typical night in downtown Rangoon, the Royal is crowded with men looking for more than a song and with young women whose talents anyway couldn’t be described as vocal...Linn Linn, a 31-year-old widow with two children to support, has worked at several karaoke clubs, one of which, she says, was owned by a senior police officer and five businessmen. Club owners often invite government officials along for some “relaxation,” she claims.
Linn Linn worked in a Rangoon brothel until a 2002 police crackdown on prostitution. Since then she has been employed by a string of karaoke bars, conceding that sex as well as songs are on the menu.
About 50 karaoke girls were arrested in a second police crackdown, in 2003, on nightclubs suspected of doubling as brothels. Linn Linn escaped arrest, but she admits it might be only a matter of time before the next police raid puts her out of work.
“What else can I do?” she says. “I have two children to support. Everything is so expensive now and the cost of living just rises and rises. I’ve no other way to make money other than continue in the karaoke trade.”..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Ko Jay|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Irrawaddy" Vol. 13, No. 5|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||27 April 2006|