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Fah Thai Magazine Nov-Dec 2018

HAPPENINGS MYANMAR

HAPPENINGS MYANMAR YANGON SPOTLIGHT Lighting Up the Night The Tazaungdaing festival, also known as the “Festival of Light,” is celebrated for several days in November all over Myanmar in the days leading up to the full moon day of Tazaungmone. It also marks the end of the rainy season, expected to be around the November 21 full moon this year. A nationwide holiday, it is also the time for monks and Buddha images to be offered new robes in a ceremony known as “Kahtein” or “Kathina”. The merit one achieves from the offering during this time is said to be greater than that at any other time. Teams of weavers compete to weave the robes to be offered to the Buddha images the next day. The robes are called mathoe thingan, meaning, ‘before food spoils’ because the weaving should be completed before the evening’s food goes bad overnight. Ceremonies are held at most of the pagodas throughout Myanmar, especially at the major pagodas like the Shwedagon in Yangon. Around the country, in the evening after the full moon, temple goers are customarily treated to a salad of “mezali” flower buds. This treat, tasting a little on the bitter side, however is believed to protect one from 96 kinds of diseases! In the Taunggyi region of the Shan State, a traditional hot-air balloon festival is widely celebrated. Starting seven days before the full moon, two types of balloons are floated: daytime balloons and large night balloons made with handmade paper crafted into animal figures. Locals as well as folks from other parts of the country come to Taunggyi to partake in this delightful event. SEEKING CANTON PARADISE Since Myanmar is a no stranger to Chinese traditions and food, the city of Yangon finds itself filled with many Chinese restaurants existing from ages ago. A new addition to the Yangon dining scene – the multi-award winning Singapore restaurant Canton Paradise – recently made its first venture to Yangon. Bringing Hong Kong vibes to town, Canton Paradise features dim sum delights, traditional congees, soups, roasts, seafood and specialty Cantonese dishes. Set in a vibrant venue that’s ready to accommodate 300 diners, the restaurant has a lavish dining hall and sixteen private dining rooms to cater to parties or business meetings. An all-day dining menu offers 27 choices of dim sum along with their signature salted egg yolk and custard piggy buns, crispy BBQ pork buns with honey for 2,500 Kyats each. The chef’s special roast duck and Cantonese chicken are at 6,000 Kyats (for half a bird), and 17,000 Kyats for the whole plate. Eldwin Chua, the CEO of Paradise Group, which also runs Beauty In the Pot Myanmar guarantees authentic Cantonese dishes based on frequent trips to Guangzhou and Hong Kong for inspiration. 61 Saya San Road, Yangon, strongsourcegroup.com, facebook.com/ cantonparadisemm GOOD STUFF IN MYANMAR Yangoods sounds like a good thing for people interested in buying authentic souvenirs. Found in their fashionable bags and homewares are design twists of archetypal symbols in Burmese kingdoms and landmarks. The 3-year-old Yangoods started in a tiny corner at Bogyoke market in 2015, and now has five outlets in Yangon, one in Mandalay, one in Bagan and more than 20 displays in many boutique hotels in Myanmar. “I grew up in Paris, the capital of fashion and luxury which had a major influence on me as an artist. Here in Yangon, I am a foreigner who discovers through curiosity and eager eyes the cultural and artistic contrasts that Myanmar offers,” said Delphine de Lorme, one of the four entrepreneurs who had put their heads together to come up with the creative fashion brand of Yangoods. “I often wander downtown with my camera or sketchbook. Inspiration is all around us. In the streets, I search through antique book shops, looking for old photos, and the memories that I find there to inspire me.” With their range of designs, one of their services include customisation goods for businesses, right up to furnishings and interior designs for hotels, restaurants or office spaces. They now have Yangoods at Bangkok’s very own Open House Central Embassy. 62 Shan Gone Street, Bogyoke market; Le Planteur Fine Dining, 2nd Fl., Myanmar Plaza; City Mall St. John, Yangon, yangoods.com 126