I've had just enough time to... see the beginning of Myanmar's transformation.
Taken in a Chinese shop in Yangon's Chinatown, Myanmar.
I found myself in the Chinatown of Yangon, Myanmar recently. While my colleagues were buying casual nuts, I took this shot from inside the shop, through hanging lanterns at the street outside. Chinese New Year was just round the corner. Though this is my first trip to Yangon, I could feel the change in the air. Myanmar is changing and it will never be the same again.
This is the watershed year for the country. After decades of being trapped in its own time zone, Myanmar is finally opening up to the rest of the world. Democracy will follow soon. Business men already smelling profits are descending into the capital by the plane load.
With the change, more freedom and progress will follow. But not all will be good. Some will find it hard to adjust to the change. The oppressors of the country will probably be the greatest beneficiaries. It must be hard for Aung San Suu kyi. Going after the perpetrator will plunged the country into a crisis, compromising for the sake of the people will let them get away scot free. Because she cared more for the living than the dead, she has only one option really. So the past must be buried for the future to have a chance. But the injustice of it all is quite difficult to swallow. The alternative is worse.
If you can, visit Myanmar now. In ten years, it will change beyond recognition. Though it is all for progress and a brighter future, it is still kind of sad to see some old ways of Life changed and the country losing some of its charm and unique personality. Happy New Year Myanmar. May this be a happy new beginning for you.