East And West, Now Met (Junior Win)
Our Burmese traditional food; Htamane feast is either celebrated communally or done in the private circle of family and friends. It comes, when Tabo-dwa (February), the eleventh month of Burmese calendar, we have the harvest festival. ‘All the products of the farm and garden are made into Htamane, a mixture of glutinous rice, coconut slices, sessamun seeds, peanuts and a generous amount of cooking oil.’
Our country now became up-to-date not only in technology, but also in the way of life. I saw many young people loved to enjoy wearing couple T-shirts, and buying chocolates to celebrate the Valentine day. Their attachment to western custom was now more and more large. The shop sold various pairs of interesting things to draw young couples’ interest. People loved to join this strange custom whether it concerned them or not.
As Burmese custom, this seasoning food is reserved for offering to monks and senior relatives and the household shrine. Burmese Buddhists set aside a portion of Htamane, however small, for ‘top priorities’. Now I could not help buying chocolate when I saw at the market. It was very popular this month! I surely thought to reserve some of it to the household shrine.
The Htamene (Glutinous Rice); the seasoning food for Tapo-dwe (February) made on the full moon day of Tapo-dwe, and it was the true eastern food of Burma. The chocolate was the symbol of Valentine Day happened in the same month; February. Customly those two foods are now reserved for offering the household shrine. By seeing such eastern food and western food met in the household shrine, I felt that ‘East is east, and west is west, but now the twain surely met.’