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Myanmar (Burma): Burmese faces

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Burmese faces | Myanmar (Burma) | Asia

[Visited: March 2006]

When I arrived at the airport of Yangon, I saw a woman with, I thought, a peculiar face. It was all whitish, and I thought she had some kind of skin problem. Soon, I saw another one, and yet another one, and I realized it must be something Burmese. Indeed, women and sometimes also men use a special yellow-white powder called tanakha on their faces, both as make-up and also sunscreen. They all have their own way of applying tanakha, and until the last day I saw patterns i had not seen before.

Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl with tanakha on the market of Pathein

Apart from tanakha, the faces of Myanmar are a delight to see. Because of the racial diversity, you can come across all kinds of faces, that vaguely remind you of India, China, Thailand, and sometimes Mongolia and other countries as well. Most people proudly pose to have their picture taken, start giggling, although sometimes people were too camera-shy. Walking around in Myanmar you often get distracted by the colourful and attractive people you see all around you, almost without exception smiling and radiating friendliness.

Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl reflected in the mirror of her shop

It becomes even more interesting when you go to a market, a temple, or another place with lots of people around. You get overwhelmed by the amount of remarkable faces, and sometimes end up not knowing anymore where to look. Just when you are concentrating on an old woman selling vegetables, a young girl comes by with sparkling eyes and well-done tanakha on her pure face, and then a man passes by with the signs of a hard life in the lines of his face. Taking pictures of these beauties is inevitable, but can only do so much to do justice to the joy of Burmese faces.

Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese market woman talking to her customer on the shore of Inle Lake
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese smile on the face of a young girl on a street market
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl with subtle smile in her shop
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese boys having fun with each other
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese boy with a face covered by tanakha having lunch
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese boy with circles of tanakha painted on his face
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl with plaids and cap
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese girl with golden parasol in a procession
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Young Burmese women at a street market
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese woman with girl waiting for customers at a street market
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Burmese woman with hat at a street market
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Old Burmese woman shopping in the streets
Picture of Burmese faces (Myanmar (Burma)): Old Burmese man at a street market

Around the World in 80 Clicks

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