Myanmar - Jeff Henry Photography
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Dichotomy

Dichotomy

Not far from Mandalay, but still ann effort to get to, is the ancient imperial capital of Inwa. Throughout Myanmar’s history, Inwa has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt numerous times. Thankfully, some of the incredible structures, such as the Bagaya Monastery, have survived.

First built in 1593, this is a large monastery built from teak wood. The structure is impressive, and the 267 enormous teak wood posts that form the backbone of the building are truly incredible.

We arrived in early afternoon, as the sun beat down relentlessly from a cloudless sky and the humidity rose to near unbearable highs. Leaving our shoes at the entrance to the monetary, we quickly made our way into the interior shade and cooler floor. Once inside, I came across a wonderful scene: several photographers and two nosy monks engaged in a photo shoot. After getting permission (I didn’t want to intrude in their session), I was able capture a few lovely images showing a dichotomy that is ever present in Myanmar: the intersection of classical and traditional culture and modern technology.

Here we have two novice monks, sitting in a 500+ year old handcrafted monestary, with a traditional handmade mulberry paper umbrella, all while one of the monks is looking at an iPad. The intersection of traditional and modern. While I would not have chosen to stage the scene like this, I think the idea is great, and I’m thankful for the other photographers who allowed me to capture some images.

AccessoriesAsiaAsianBoysBuddhismCULTURECarvingEthnicityFriendshipInwaMaleMandalayMonkMyanmarReligiousSculptureTraditionUmbrella