Photos of Children of Myanmar

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Children of Myanmar

Myanmar's children are friendly, cheerful and self-sufficient. Many work when they are not in school, selling food and drink along the road, on the ferry or on railway stations. Ko Ko Aung, a very talented boy, is well known in Yangon, where he paints landscapes, sitting on the street.

Four young girls
 
Small novice monks
 
Children in Twante
 
Boy of Twante
 
Selling on the ferry
 
Boy painter
 
At a village temple
 
Boy in bamboo
 
Boy of Bago
 
Boys with ''chinthe''
 
Bago boy
 
Children of Bago
 
Cigar seller
 
Curious children
 
Little girl of Bago
 
Girl from Bago
 
Ringing a bell
 
Selling eggs
 
Girl of Hpa-an
 
Young monks, Hpa-an
 
Karen girl
 
Karen boys group
 
Karen girl dancer
 
Karen boy dancer
 
Small boy boxer
 
Boxer and coach
 
Karen child dancers
 
Karen don dance
 
Watching a game
 
Boy with thanaka paste
 
Young novice monk
 
Novice monks
 
Selling water bottles
 
Boy selling water
 
Selling pomelo fruit
 
Girls offering flowers
 
Boy of Kalaw
 
Palaung children
 
Girls with handicraft
 
Small Palaung boy
 
Waiters in Taunggyi
 
Posters for sale
 
Boy with his kite
 
Kids of Nyaungshwe
 
Boy of Nyaungshwe
 
Five kids of Ywa Thit
 
Flying a kite
 
Novices, begging bowls
 
Girls selling souvenirs
 
Boy seller
 
School boy
 
Children in class
 
Girl selling postcards
 
Tiny novice monk
 
Young monks, Mandalay
 
Young monk, doorway
 
Spinning a top
 
''Egg and spoon'' race
 
Indian neighbourhood
 
Independence day games
 

Child labour has been and still is common in Myanmar. On the other hand young boys are expected to become a novice monk (samanera) between the ages of 10 and 20 for a time, participating in "shinbyu", the novitiation ceremony once they are seven or older. It is a great honour for the family.

This is one aspect of culture; most children (and women) tend to paint their faces with thanaka paste made from ground bark of particular trees. It is applied for cosmetic beauty but also cools the skin and protects it from sunburn. Children from ethnic minorities, like the Karen, learn their culture; during festivities like Karen New Year various groups, in colourful costumes, sing and perform very fast-moving, superbly coordinated don dances. Boys also perform in boxing matches, accompanied by traditional music.

Unfortunately child soldiers have played and continue to play a major part in the Burmese Army as well as Burmese rebel movements. It was reported in The Independent newspaper in June 2012 that "Children are being sold as conscripts into the Burmese military for as little as $40 and a bag of rice or a can of petrol." And an article in the Bangkok Post on 23 December 2012 reported that the Tatmadaw, Myanmar Armed Forces, continued to use child soldiers including during the army's large offensive against the Kachin Independence Army that month. The newspaper reported that "many of them were pulled off Yangon streets and elsewhere and given a minimum of training before being sent to the front line." This is an aspect of life that is hidden from the outside world.