Than Yaw Zin: The Meaning of Attachment for Bamars

Than Yaw Zin: The Meaning of Attachment for Bamars

Myat Sandi Aung (Anthropology)

(The appetizer for an anthropological study of Loving kindness)

As the motorboat lifted up its speed, I just turn back to look again at Eba (A Bamar elderly uncle). He is still in motionless position on the wooden dock. He just raised his thin hand a bit to wave me back when I did it to him. His wet eyes keep on gazing at his little girl who is sitting beside me. I have noticed those eyes as soon as I met him since this morning.

The transformation of images in a painting which holds some typical meaningful rays are reflected in his eyes till this home time. Words are reflected in his eyes even though they never came out of his lips. When I tried to figure out the words that Eba wanted to tell, I have got deeply indescribable but opposite and complex feelings like delight, joy, pity, sincerity, worries, loving kindness, forgiveness, wisdom, miseries and loneliness.

Soon the sun would set. The environ of magnificent Ayarwaddy river is painted elegantly in deep old gold colour. Emay (Mom), wearing fragrant and white Thanakha, is sitting in front of me. I take for granted she is not thinking about Eba who left behind in the village home. As she is explaining about up-to-date motor boat race in Ayarwaddy river enthusiastically, I feel by myself, she may consider that it is not the time for her to be sad for parting with her dear one, like Eba.

Emay still has got a favour of night time to talk with her daughter in Maw Gyun, before she goes back to Yangon, from where she brought guests to her native village just for a day visit. She has lots and lots of things and teachings for her daughter who rarely comes back to the village, not more than three or four times, within a year.

It is time for the paddy at home to be harvested. Though her Thu Yin Hngar (laborers) like Thar Khin, Mya Gyi and Aye Phay are now in Yangon for their new jobs, no worries, the giant machine that her son bought is really hard working and it does not take time at all. 70 hectors of paddy field is a piece of cake for it. But it is scary as it roars like a thunderstorm. The four-year-old hero grandson is crazy about it since he can skip meals as he is in this creature.  Oh No! I must stay only one night in Maw Gyun. I am sure I cannot escape myself from worrying about him. It will be a big trouble if his Ephay (Father) and Emay are just concentrating on their work and failed to taking care of him. These will be things that Emay thought when she stops chatting in our boat.

My sister-like friend seems unnoticed the sorrows of parting as she looks busy by sliding the screen of her hand phone for Face book. She seems engaged on different kinds of pictures in FB, actually what she sees are not the pictures but her father who just left in the village. Mom likes talking and teaching too much but Ephay is, sitting on the bunch quietly, very charming. He looks at and smiles at his children all the time.

Oh yes! Emay will spend only a night in Maw Gyun. After that she will go back to the village.  Ko Ko (brother) and Yaung Ma (sister in law) are also around. Ma Ma (sisters) are also in Maw Gyun, one hour drive of motorboat from the village. They will be available anytime for the parents. Basically if mother is around, she feels safe for her father. She’s the one who understands her parents who are always in an argument but impossible to be separated long. She can see worries behind her non-stop talks and yells.

Yeah!!! School is about to open. She has an appointment with her old pals to have a visit to Ngapali beach before the school opens. She needs to accompany them as they purposely will come back from foreign countries. As they are old pals and friends in deed for her, she does want to meet up with them. I heard her speeches through her aimlessly moving fingers.

The motorboat is far and far away from Thon Gwa village. Even the silhouette of Eba, who is waving his hand, in a simple long sleeve shirt and a cotton longyi (Sarong) is blurring and disappearing under a wide darken atmosphere of Ayarwaddy river.

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