The first time I saw them, I thought I was mistaken. A swastika, exactly as it appeared in the Third Reich, red circle, white centre and black swastika, on a helmet that resembled a German World War II helmet? I thought it was some kind of weird mistake. But then I saw a second one, and very soon it dawned on me that this was a hype in Myanmar. Apart from the swastika on the side, some helmets also had the German eagle insignia as a sticker on their outside.
It then for some time became almost an obsession, how many people actually walked or motorcycled around with these dubious helmets and their symbols? As is often the case, when you come across something for the first time, you suddenly see it appearing it everywhere. I must say, I saw them mostly in the south, and later on during my travels through Myanmar, I did not see them anymore.
Of course, there were also other, normal helmets to be seen on the heads of people travelling on motorcycles. I realized that the helmets must be sold somewhere, and I indeed found not only a helmet workshop, but also a shop with several German helmets. From the helmets: a label saying A United Germany: the new superpower. Inside, a map of greater Germany and a reference to 1945. I tried to ask in several places about the background of this hype, but other than some surprised smiles, I did not manage to understand the origin of this strange helmet hobby.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Burmese helmets (Myanmar). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Burmese helmets. Read more about this site.