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WADE GUYITT
wadeguyitt@gmail.com
R
INGS go back a long way.
The unearthing of ancient
burial spots has shown that
some prehistoric people
used braided coils of grass to mark
out loved ones. The Ancient Egyptians
wore wedding rings on the third finger
of the left hand – because a vein in
that finger was believed to connect
directly to the heart. In Ancient
Greece, many men gave their brides
puzzle rings, which fell apart when
removed and took time to reassemble,
supposedly preventing women from
slipping themof to appear single. By
the time of Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD),
Roman grooms were giving brides a
gold ring to wear at the wedding and
an iron ring for wearing every day.
All these rings, though, had little to
do with love. Instead they signified a
man’s ownership of his wife in a legal
sense. Marriage was a contract, and
a wedding an exchange of property.
In a sense, the ring was a small and
attractive shackle: The woman was
obliged to show of the wealth and
power of the man who bought it,
while also signalling her unavailability.
Since the purpose of marriage was to
guarantee an heir to the male’s family,
it was important she not sleep with
any other man until this was achieved.
Part of the ring’s success as a
lasting symbol, of course, is its beauty.
When the Puritans in 17
th
-century
America called out wedding rings
as symbols of vanity and tried to do
away with them, men began giving
their wives something more practical:
a thimble. That lasted awhile – until
people started cutting up the thimble
and making it into a ring.
If wedding rings showed a woman
was of the market, engagement rings
served as a kind of down-payment
on the investment. (Men, it should
be said, have never taken to wearing
engagement rings – most likely to keep
their options open for a better deal.)
The first famous example of an
engagement ring came in 1477, when
Archduke Maximilian of Austria gave
his fiancée one with her first initial
spelled out in inset diamonds. But
it wasn’t until an 1867 discovery in
today’s South Africa that diamonds
came within reach for those who
weren’t European royalty – and
became the jewels of choice for
engagement rings ever since.
In 1886 Tifany &Co developed a way
to mount the diamond up of the ring
itself, for maximumsparkle. By 1890
diamond rings were common enough
you could order themfromdepartment
store mail-order catalogues.
In the 1920s, vendors tried to push
men to wear engagement rings too.
Likely they hoped to double their
profits this way – just as a character
in Benjamin Cheever’s novel The
Plagiarist added the single word
“repeat” to the instructions on a
shampoo bottle, thereby doubling sales
of said shampoo overnight because
everyone began washing their hair
twice instead of once.
But male engagement rings didn’t
take of: The undertones just didn’t
jive with the masculine image.
So jewellers De Beers came up with
a better idea: If they couldn’t sell more
rings, they reasoned, they could at
least get people to spend more on the
ones they did buy.
It was De Beers, in the 1930s, that
came up with and promoted the idea
that a man should spend at least one
month’s salary on an engagement ring.
(These days it’s more often pegged at
two months’.) And by draping starlets
in diamonds for their advertisements,
they kept sales high in spite of the
Great Depression.
In 1947, the company succeeded
in marrying the idea of true love with
a diamond ring for the rest of time.
Their advertising slogan, one of the
most famous in history, equated the
jewel with love itself, telling the paying
public that “a diamond is forever”.
As one study later found, though,
half of couples in the 1940s got
intimate before their wedding night.
While some US states had laws under
which an engaged man could be
sued if they ran of after “sampling
the wares”, others did not. So the
engagement ring ensured women had
at least some collateral if they were left
standing at the altar.
For those couples in the 1940s
who made it through to the big day,
post-war prosperity and romantic
optimismmeant that for the first
time in the century it was common
to shell out for double wedding rings
as well as an engagement ring. As
Katherine Jellison notes in It’s Our
Day: America’s Love Afair With the
White Wedding, 1945-2005, before
the Depression only 15 percent of
weddings involved both the bride and
the groomwearing a ring. By the late
1940s, that figure had shot up to 80pc.
By the 1960s De Beers had the
markets for engagement and wedding
rings sewn up. But they also had a
supply deal with Russia for small
diamonds that weren’t large enough to
be set in the Tifany style. What to do?
Enter the “eternity ring” – a ring with
a thin band of diamonds all around,
meant to be given by the husband to
his wife on an important anniversary.
As one of the De Beers eternity ring
slogans of the day said, “She married
you for richer or poorer. Let her know
how it’s going.”
To boost profits, dealers later
expanded into markets with no
tradition of wedding rings. In 1967 De
Beers struck again, heavily promoting
rings as a symbol of success that those
on the cutting edge should desire.
In 1967, when the campaign started,
under 5 percent of women in Japan
sported a diamond engagement ring.
By 1972, it was 20pc. By 1978, half of
married women sported a diamond.
By 1981, it was 60pc. Local traditions
were forgotten, or made secondary.
Why drink rice wine fromthe same
bowl when you can go shopping to
pledge your troth?
Today, overtones of ownership may
have faded, but rings still capitalise
– literally – on the notion that love
should be measured by how much a
man is willing to pay someone else
to have jewels and precious metals
scraped out of the earth on his behalf.
Today, the average diamond
engagement ring in the US costs over
$5000. The average wedding ring costs
$572 for men and $1000 for women.
There is some backlash against this
price inflation. Some couples opt for
less expensive materials, like tungsten.
Some re-use heirloomrings fromtheir
parents or grandparents. Some opt for
tattoos instead of the real thing. And
some go entirely without, whether
because it’s unsafe due to their work
environment, or because they simply
don’t like the look or feel of jewellery.
Still, stigmas remain against those
who choose to wear nothing at all.
Western culture views those without
rings as less committed to their
relationship – and one 2006 study by
a professor at the University of Alberta
even purports to show those who don’t
wear wedding rings are less attentive
to their children.
Never mind that plenty of ring-
wearers cheat, or are bad parents also
– after all, a symbol is only as strong
as the love it represents. For some
it’s sacred; for others, it’s just for
show. But after 4000 years of habit,
it doesn’t seemlikely to go away any
time soon.
LET me get this straight,” a
friend overseas said when we
described our then-upcoming
wedding. “You’re not getting
rings. And she’s not taking your
name. So why are you getting
married at all?”
We had to laugh. But neither
rings nor name changes are
traditional in Myanmar culture –
which gave us the perfect excuse
on both fronts. In truth we probably would have done the
same even if one of us weren’t fromMyanmar.
About the name thing: We know some couples choose
to hyphenate, but that didn’t appeal to us, phonetically
or administratively. I didn’t want to change my surname
to hers, so it didn’t seemfair to ask her to adopt mine, as
Western customdictates.
The ring proved a harder decision, at least for me. My
parents wore rings; my grandparents wore rings; like many
fromthe West, I had internalised the idea that wearing a
wedding ring was part of becoming a husband, and that
becoming a husband signalled the transition to adulthood.
But as my wife pointed out – and as The Myanmar
Times has noted in the past; see www.mmtimes.com/
index.php/lifestyle/2230-are-wedding-rings-a-myanmar-
custom.html – while articles of jewellery, usually rented,
are often integrated into fancy wedding ceremonies in
Myanmar, there’s been no habit of exchanging wedding or
engagement rings in the Western sense.
Until the last decade or two, that is. Some young
friends here are starting to opt for rings even as their
parents didn’t. Some link this to the prevalence of films
and television shows fromabroad, in which finding the
right ring is portrayed as being as important as finding the
right man. Others say the rising interest in wedding rings
was brought to Myanmar by its large Chinese immigrant
community – though there too the fascination with rings
has risen only in the past few decades, and probably relates
to the same imported ideas of afuence.
So what’s an East-meets-
West couple to do? Whatever
we wanted, we decided. One
challenging but exciting part
of falling in love with someone
fromoutside your own culture
is that nothing is a default
choice: You have to balance the
traditions of both backgrounds,
and decide which parts work
best for both of you.
At first we discussed exchanging rings on the day of the
ceremony and only wearing themafterward on occasions
when we felt like it – until others warned us that they don’t
slip on and of that easily, and that if they do they’re too
loose and might get lost. (Plenty of lost-ring stories online
confirmed this.)
We discussed me wearing one and her going without,
to reflect our diferent backgrounds – until abruptly we
realised it would look to strangers like one or both of us
were having an afair.
In the end we decided to make things simple. Both of us
dislike wearing jewellery and accessories. Both of us try to
avoid unnecessary purchases, for environmental and anti-
consumerist reasons. And – let’s face it – we were feeling
pretty cheap at that point anyway. So the answer became
clear. “No rings,” we decided – and simply deleted that part
fromthe programso we could stop worrying and get back
to the more important (to us) matter at hand: deciding
which songs should be played.
A few years later, we have no regrets whatsoever. And
if some overseas interpret our lack of rings as a sign we’re
playing the field – well, they must not know us that well in
the first place.
While it’s our choice, we don’t judge those who do
choose to exchange rings, in Myanmar or abroad. For
them, as for my ancestors, I imagine their mementos will
only become more meaningful with every passing year – a
bit worn down and scratched up, maybe, but with a lot of
memories behind them. Just like love itself. – Wade Guyitt
Staff writers Wade Guyitt, Su Phyo Win, Lwin Mar Htun,
Khin Su Wai, Myat Noe Oo, Zon Pann Pwint, Kyay Mohn Win,
Tin Yadanar Htun, Lun Min Mang, Aung Kyaw Nyunt
Contributors Aung Myint Kyaw
Editors Myo Lwin, Wade Guyitt
Sub editor Mya Kay Khine Soe
Photography Lwin Ko Taik, Khin Su Wai, Kyay Mohn Win
Cover photograph Lwin Ko Taik
(Dr Moe Thauk and Ma Nwe Oo Maw,
in Mandalay’s Shwe Kyaung)
Cover design Ko Htway
Page layout Ko Khin Zaw
For feedback and enquiries, please contact wadeguyitt@gmail.com, myolwin286@gmail.com
Put a ring on it – or not?
Perks of a cross-cultural wedding
The romantic role of rings in marriage is a modern twist, a
repackaging of an institution that for most of civilisation has been
more about business than pleasure
Photos: Staff
‘She married you for richer or for poorer.
Let her know how it’s going.’
Advertising slogan, De Beers jewellers
4 5
SUPHYOWIN
suphyo1990@gmail.com
A
LL the money you spend
on your wedding is gone
in one day – except for
the photos. Those are an
investment in your future.
“There is nothing which can revive
my memories, feelings and happiness
fromthe wedding like the photos
taken at the event which will never
happen again,” said Ma Yamin, 38,
who got married seven years ago.
Ma Yamin thinks of a wedding
as a once-in-a-lifetime experience,
and looking at her photos brings it
all back – love, nervousness and the
experience of standing there, about to
walk down that aisle into a new stage
of life.
“I wanted to be beautiful when the
photographers were taking photos,”
she said, “as it can never be repeated
again. Even if someone gets married
again, it’s not to the same person as
first one. And anniversary celebrations
are far diferent than first-time
wedding ceremonies, I think.”
As well as bringing back happy
memories, she said her photos
are useful in times when she is
disappointed or angry with her
husband: It reminds her of better
days and why she married himin the
first place.
“All my anger goes away and I
start feeling happy whenever I see the
photos again,” Ma Yamin said. In the
early days, she also loved to show of
the wedding albumto any friends and
relatives who happened to drop by.
Knowing how important these
pictures will be makes wedding
photography very diferent from
taking pictures of landscapes or
models. And sometimes coaxing
people to relax, or to put forth their
best impression, is a challenge, said
professional freelance photographer
Lwin Ko Taik.
“Actors know how to pose on what
occasions, but real couples don’t.
It is not easy to make themhappy
and direct themto pose so they are
naturally happy, beautiful and feeling
free,” Lwin Ko Taik said.
He said the limited time he has
to get the necessary shots on the big
day proves another challenge, for
photographer and for subjects.
“It needs to be artistic,” Lwin Ko
Taik said. “You have to try to get them
into a happy mode in a limited time.”
Ko Shwe Zan Aung, who works for
7 Picture Wedding Dress and Photo
Studio, said taking wedding photos is
a special honour and a challenge for a
photographer: There’s no chance for
a re-take if the first shot doesn’t come
out right.
“I don’t feel pressure,” he said,
“but I get a little concerned about
the organisation of the program. If
something goes wrong, the couple will
get confused and that will reflect on
their faces, which can spoil the photo.”
After shooting more than 200
wedding ceremonies, Ko Shwe Zan
Aung says he has learned to match
his mood to the couple’s. Making
themhappy, he says – or “naturally
beautiful” as he calls it – is part of
his job.
That requires a certain flexibility
and a willingness to improvise.
“In wedding ceremonies it’s more
to do with snapshots rather than
following a strict plan. We always
make a plan in advance but it never
happens as we planned. More candids
and unexpected moments usually
happen, which end up being the more
precious photos.
“I feel happy when taking wedding
photos because the couples are not
pretending,” he said. “They really are
happy and excited.”
The happier the couple is,
the more his job becomes about
documenting the scene, getting swept
up in the action, rather than being
“conservative” with his shots, he said.
Ko Shwe Zan Aung added that
weddings are also great occasions
for photos because relatives, friends
and colleagues fromboth sides are
all gathered together in one place. It’s
the only time this happens, so it’s a
good time to get photos of people you
might not otherwise have a chance to
photograph.
Lwin Ko Taik said he likes
shooting for weddings because they
stand as a testament to the couples at
a milestone in their history.
“Whenever they are in a fight, if
they see the photo albumor the photo
on the wall the anger will definitely
change into happiness. So I feel very
special when taking the wedding
photos,” he said. “Diferent from
normal shooting.”
A
PAIR of Italian
newlyweds stood before
a photographer recently
at Kamigamo Shrine in
Kita Ward, Kyoto, Japan, posing as
instructed.
“Gaze into each other’s eyes
more earnestly … Okay. Perfect!”
the photographer called. Clad in a
red bridal uchikake robe, the wife
stood beside her husband, who wore
a crested haori coat and hakama
trousers. They blended perfectly with
the archway and the two-storied
gate at the Shinto shrine in the
background.
More and more foreign newlyweds
are having their photos taken at
temples and shrines in Kyoto wearing
traditional bridal outfits as part of
“photo wedding” services ofered.
Maria Laura Raimondi, 37, and
her husband were in Japan on their
honeymoon, but Raimondi is no
stranger to this nation, having studied
Japanese literature at university. After
they married in Italy in May, they
applied online to a Kyoto company
for a photo wedding.
“I wanted to have my wedding
photos taken with my husband
wearing a kimono,” said Raimondi. “I
like Japan even more now.”
Noting the popularity of the service,
the Kyoto prefectural government
set up the Japanese-style Wedding
Admissions Group this spring to
ofer original wedding photo services,
in cooperation with the Kyoto city
government, four wedding companies
in the city, the Kyoto Prefecture
Association of Shinto Shrines and the
Kyoto Buddhist Organisation.
With more than 10 million foreign
tourists visiting Japan each year, the
prefectural government aims to attract
more overseas visitors by ofering
a comprehensive photo wedding
programthat will bring themback to
Kyoto again and again, drawn by their
good memories of their previous visits.
According to the prefectural
government and other sources,
photo weddings first became popular
among young people in Taiwan
and Hong Kong. Kyoto apparently
became a popular destination for
these visitors several years ago when
travel agencies in Taiwan and Hong
Kong began providing photo wedding
packages. Some people even bring
a photographer with themto Japan
and spend several days having their
photos taken.
Domestic companies have recently
started entering the market. A photo
wedding typically costs about 200,000
yen (about US$1945), including
wedding outfits.
The photo session packages
provided by the joint venture of Kyoto
governments and businesses also
start at about 200,000 yen, which
includes a photo session, make-up,
wardrobe assistance and outfits.
The plan also includes a religious
ceremony and a presentation about
Japanese history and culture.
Eleven photo shoot locations
are ofered, including such popular
temples as Toji in Minami Ward,
Ninnaji in Ukyo Ward and Kodaiji in
Higashiyama Ward. Participants can
also be photographed at a building in
Kamigyo Ward that once housed the
main Kyoto prefectural government
ofces, designated as an important
cultural property by the central
government.
A website was set up in English
and Chinese on July 25 to accept
applications. It plans to seek the
participation of other shrines and
temples as well.
Photo wedding services have
also been incorporated into tourism
promotion programs in Sapporo and
Okinawa Prefecture.
In Sapporo, five wedding
companies established the Sapporo
Location Photograph Wedding
Conference in 2011.
Fifteen foreign couples used the
service in fiscal year 2011, with the
figure rising to 51 in fiscal year 2013.
Its popularity largely stems from the
photos that capture snow-dusted
landscapes and other breathtaking
views of nature. The city’s tourism
planning department expects more
tourists to come from overseas after
seeing these photos.
Okinawa Prefecture has been
working to bring in people for
wedding ceremonies at local tourist
spots for the last decade. Last year,
more than 200 couples had their
photos taken on beaches and in other
locales.
– The Yomiuri Shimbun
My best side is East
Neither honeymoon nor wedding photo, it’s a ‘photo wedding’
An Italian couple poses for a“photo wedding” at Kamigamo Shrine, Kyoto, Japan.
Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun
In a
flash
Flowers fade and
the thrills of first
love wear off, but
wedding photos
bring the memories
flooding back
Dress-up fun
Taking nice photos of yourselves
before the wedding means you
have fun images to display at
your wedding ceremony itself.
It can also be a fun chance to
relax and goof around with your
intended – plus a chance to
rehearse your dreamy, I’ve-only-
got-eyes-for-you expressions in
advance of the big day.
Couples who want to take pre-
wedding photos at a studio don’t
need to worry about clothes,
make-up or accessories: The
studio will provide all this: You
just have to be okay with wearing
clothes that aren’t your own.
In fact, that fantasy element is
part of the draw: Couples usually
pose in a variety of costumes,
and often dress up in imitation
of other countries and cultures.
Acommon package is to do one
traditional Myanmar set, one
Western set and one Chinese set.
Sessions, however, need to be
booked at least one month ahead,
so don’t leave it too late.
7 Picture, a popular studio
inYangon, offers a number of
packages for both pre-wedding
and wedding photography,
starting from$120 and going all
the way up to over $2500 for both
indoor and outdoor shoots, said
Ma Ei Ei Khine, studio director.
“Couples just need to book in
advance and come. We plan all
the stuff for themand we have
full-colour dresses and have
strong make-up artists,” she said.
If you choose to hire a
freelancer rather than use a
studio, you’ll need to handle
dress, make-up and accessories
yourself. But you can also
personalise your shoot, and
you have more flexibility in
negotiating locations, time and
the number of photos.
Some couples even arrange
to travel with their photographer
in search of a more glamorous,
romantic or unusual backdrop.
“I charge fromat least $350
for one couple for pre-wedding
photos inYangon,” said freelance
photographer Lin Ko Taik, “and
more for shoots in other regions
and states.”
He also uses two or more
assistants to keep things running
smoothly.
Pre-wedding photos aren’t as
emotional as wedding photos –
but if you’re the type who likes
to pose and preen, you’ll have
plenty of chances to showoff all
your best angles.
‘We always make a
plan in advance but
it never happens as
we planned.’
Ko Shwe Zan Aung, 7 Picture
7 Pictures Wedding Dress
and Photo Studio
SA-8, Aung Zaya Housing,
Kannar (Strand) Road, Corner
of Ahlone Road, Yangon
01-2300392, 09-73077708
7picturestudio@gmail.com
facebook.com/7picturestudio
7picturestudio.com
Lwin KoTaik
09-43063675
lwinkotaik@gmail.com
lwinkotaik.com
Pre-wedding shoots on location can be fun – weather permitting. Photos: Supplied/Ko Taik
6 7
KHINSUWAI
newsroom@mmtimes.com
T
HESE days weddings in
Yangon and Mandalay
sometimes seem to
reflect the characters of
the cities themselves: one leans
toward the cutting edge – with
brides occasionally opting to sport
glamorous dresses from the West or
South Korea – while one opts more
often toward tradition and local
talent. For the latter, the care that
goes into the bride’s wedding dress is
a made-in-Mandalay afair.
Since the bride and her dress
always seemto be at the centre of
the wedding day, some women spare
no expense in finding something
unforgettable. Fortunately, intricate
filigree – delicate traceries of gold or
silver woven into the designs – are
where the artists of Mandalay Region
really shine.
The traditional bridal dress, or
htain ma thein, is designed to be
paired with diamonds and accessories.
The choice of colour is important:
It can be the bride’s favourite, or it
can be one chosen by astrologers and
calculated to bring the best of good
fortune to the new pairing.
Yellow is one common choice
with good associations and makes a
popular choice for the city’s brides,
said Ko Myo Min Soe, a well-known
wedding dress designer in Mandalay.
“I make wedding dresses in all
shades of yellow,” Ko Myo Min Soe
said, “fromlight yellow to a bright
golden colour.”
This season he’s also specialising
in violet-coloured dresses, which pair
well with gold and silver accessories.
The time-honoured cherry-coloured
dresses also never go out of fashion.
Ko Myo Min Soe’s filigree work
is so popular he now has enough
orders to last until next February. His
creations range fromK700,000 to K4
million.
Many Mandalay brides order their
dresses froma designer. Some even
go so far as to choose their favourite
chaik – the most common design for
weddings – fromthe artisans of the
Amarapura silk industry just outside
Mandalay city. Then the weavers
give the chosen silk to the designer,
who uses it to assemble the finished
creation to match the bride’s vision.
Some choose silk cotton with
arabesque designs set of glamorously
with crystals. Some choose Amarapura
chaik with gold and diamonds added.
Adding diamonds and crystals can add
at least K1 million to the price tag of
the finished product.
Designer Han Nway Nway Aung
said large cord embroidery chaik
designs with a full crystal pattern
fromankle to knee is currently
popular. Most of the customers order
some variation of this dress, letting
the designer know what they can
aford so the finished product can be
tailored – literally – to their budget.
At Yin Thu Htike silk shop, Ma
Nge said she emulates the chaik
design worn by the queens of
Myanmar – a fitting style for the
royal city. “Kyo gyi chaik with a fancy
design, like the queens wore, together
with cord embroidery and thicker
lines is what we’re creating this year.”
She said she emphasises the
quality of the silk cotton to the
customers, so they can be assured
they are getting the best. Her cotton
costs K300,000 to K700,000. But add
fancies – diamonds, crystals and so
on – and of course you’ll be adding
more to the bill.
Price, however, is not the only
consideration. More complicated
creations require more care and
attention to create. While no
weddings occur during Buddhist lent,
orders should be planned and placed
during that period to ensure the
design of your dreams is ready once
wedding season comes around.
Ma Aye Mya Mon is just one of this
season’s many nervous brides-to-be.
She’ll be getting married on November
11, and her dress will be ready for pick-
up at the end of October. But of course,
she knows you always need time for
last-minute adjustments.
“There may be more needed for
the dress; I may need time to fix it,”
she said. “I hope it won’t be too late.”
Ma Aye Mya Mon turned to the
Amarapura silk industry to choose
the chaik as well as the designer,
on the recommendation of a friend.
She said she chose her style of chaik
because it’s “comfortable”.
She also broke down the price
options as knowledgeably as only a
well-researched bride can do.
“A design froma famous designer
costs K700,000. The cost to rent a
new wedding dress is K300,000. The
cost of sewing a dress is K150,000,
and the charge for adding diamonds
and crystal is K50,000,” she said.
Grooms, of course, could spend
K100,000 and still look their best.
But that’s the burden that the filigree
wedding dress demands – and most
brides don’t think twice about paying
extra for their auspicious day.
LWINMARHTUN
lwinmarhtun.mcm@gmail.com
W
HAT will this
year’s well-dressed
bride be wearing?
According to
designer Ma Pont, who opened
Yangon’s My Favorite fashion shop in
1999, muted pastels are set to be the
trend this year.
She said if a customer chooses
pale yellow, for instance, a designer
can easily match it with golden lace
or other suitable accessories.
She added, however, that some
brides are also opting for a more
striking hue, at least for their
wedding reception dresses.
“People didn’t used to wear black
and other dark colours [like dark
green or dark blue] because they
thought these were unlucky. For some
this idea comes fromthe advice of
fortune tellers.”
Ma Pont said she didn’t share this
opinion, but added she does prefer
designs that are elegant, even if they
are more modern.
“Designers are warmly welcome
to create really diferent designs,”
she said. “But the customer needs to
know that trends are great but they
can pass. The wedding is a big day
to remember, and people need to be
satisfied when they look back at their
wedding photos in future.”
She added that some looks may
be beautiful, but that doesn’t mean
they’ll flatter everyone.
“Most customers want lace, a
diaphanous lace. Last year laces
were popular in both traditional and
modern dresses. This year designers
and couples used really thin lace,
which is too smooth for many.
Couples need to choose depending on
one’s body structure.”
This can create a problemwhen
average folk clamour for dresses Ma
Pont has designed for celebrities or
for the many wedding shows she has
displayed her creations at, whether at
home or abroad.
“Most of the models and actresses
are thin. People think skinny people
look good in any kind of dress. But
if the bride is a little chubby and she
wants to wear a dresses worn by one
of the celebrities, I have to explain” it
may not prove suitable, Ma Pont said.
Usually, she added, she can steer
themto something more becoming.
“I’malways talking to the customers
and listening to their wants and
giving advice on which designs suit
thembetter.”
For this year’s wedding season,
she’s decided to work with a simple
look, and plans to use few accessories,
so as not to distract froma dress’s
classic lines.
“Sometimes the simplest is the
best,” said Ma Pont.
She also supports brides who
want to keep to tradition. “I advise
brides that traditional wedding dress
can’t be worn at any other event. It’s
only right for a wedding. So I would
like every bride to wear a traditional
Myanmar wedding dress on her big
day.”
Designer Latt Latt, who founded
Latt Latt Lady Boutique on Kabar Aye
Pagoda Road, agrees. “The wedding
is a highly pleasant time and brides
need to feel royal. It’s a more perfect
day with Myanmar traditional dress.”
Latt Latt said her customers are
also opting for a pale look.
“Most of the customers choose
pink and I match with silver. Some
want to look cute, and think pink is
perfect for wedding time,” she said.
She is not using any artificial gems
or sequins in her dress, she said, as
it’s not a good match for a traditional
dress.
“I’mjust using computer-assisted
embroidery and some crystals. As
for the bridegroom, I don’t put many
accessories in the clothing. Some
customers want to dress creatively,
though, and I personalise it for them
at the time,” she said.
With many couples holding three
ceremonies – signing, wedding
and dinner – there are plenty of
opportunities to dress up, Latt Latt
said. She encouraged brides to seize
every opportunity to its fullest.
“The wedding dress is a very
important dress for a lifetime,” said
Latt Latt. “Please don’t be stingy for
the dress. Make it the best because
the wedding event is your own event
and you must be the prettiest among
everyone.”
Ma Ngwe from Yin Thu Htike silk shop displays chaik cotton dresses.
Photo: Khin Su Wai
High fashion is displayed in Shi Ni Zu’s Yangon showroom. Photo: Supplied
A husband-and-wife due front The Piano Koun Zaw Music Band. Photos: Supplied
Mandalay has style
all wrapped up
Pretty in pale
The royal city loves fashion – and no wonder, with so many local
dress designers and the talented Amarapura artisans nearby
Soft colours are in for 2014-15
Know your longyi
htain ma thein = a traditional Myanmar wedding dress
kyo gyi chaik = a design with thicker lines
kyo latt chaik = a design with lines of medium thickness
kyo lay chaik = a design with thin lines
Top 10 designers
MT looks to its hip, fashion-
forward sister publication Now!
for advice on which local wedding
dress designers are really turning
heads.
Mogoke Paut Paut
Ma Myint Zu
(Zu Zu Collections)
Ma Poe (My Favourite)
Pyae Soe Aung
(Exclusive Bridal)
Latt Latt (Lady Boutique)
Sai Bauk Ya (Shayi)
Kaung Myat
Min Thet San
Ei Kyaw Zin (Vivid)
Yone Yone
MYA KAY KHINE
mya.simplefly@gmail.com
NOTHING brings an appropriate
air of class to a wedding like live
music – provided the singer dresses
the part.
“A singer shouldn’t wear a
sports shirt with a skull image
and short pants. No one likes that
style of dress,” said Daw Lae Lae,
a former traditional singer and
currently assistant director at
MRTV.
She and her husband U Koun
Zaw founded The Piano Koun
Zaw Music Band in 1975. They
now play weddings and donation
ceremonies, Thingyan celebrations
and novitiations.
The band has seven to 20
musicians, depending on the day,
and there are three main singers
and six back-up singers, with
costs ranging from K300,000
to K500,000 depending on the
number of players and the choice
of vocalist.
No matter who sings lead,
though, Daw Lae Lae said the
No false notes allowed on the day
Live wedding music adds a dose of sophistication to your ceremony
vocalist will always wear a colour
which matches the outfits of the
couple, just to keep every detail
harmonious and pleasing.
She said the band isn’t
old-fashioned, and does invite
modern singers to weddings. “But
our band plays traditional music,
so we choose Myanmar melodies
and singers who wear Myanmar
dress mostly.” She described their
wedding repertoire as a mix of
well-loved local favourites and
“modern pleasant music”.
Is there no room for a track or
two from the couple’s favourite
mix? Songs with meaningful
memories can make the
ceremony more personal for the
couple, she said – but she also
cautioned that “our Myanmar
weddings recognise grace and
blessings” and that it’s important
to reflect that all music played
reflects the dignity of the
occasion.
“When wedding arrangers,
the engaged couple or their
relatives ask me for favourite
singers or songs, we accede to
their requests,” she said. “But
we warn modern singers not to
sing sad songs or those with rude
words.”
shopping guide
W
edding
Flowers Available at Sandy’s Floral
102/A Dhammazedi Road, Bahan township, Yangon. 01-500142
Jewellery Available at Myanmar VES, 66 Kabar Aye Pagoda Road, Yangon. 01-661902, 666770, 666823, 73066284, Fax 665503. mvespay@gmail.com, www.myanmar-ves.com
Dress Available at Happy
Heart
166 Kyun Shwe Myaing St,
Thuwanna, Yangon
Dress Available at
Happy Heart
166 Kyun Shwe Myaing
Street, Thuwanna,
Yangon
Shoes Available at VNC, ground foor, Taw Win Center, Pyay Road, Dagon township, Yangon
$
4
5 $
4
1
K
1
3
2
,0
0
0
K
7
3
0
0
(1
pc)
K
2
9
,5
0
0
(S
et of 4
) K
4
4
,5
0
0
K
2
5
,0
0
0
K
2
3
,0
0
0
K
2
4
,8
5
0
K
8
6
,0
0
0
$
4
9
$
5
7 $
3
3
Gifts Available at IKON Mart, 328 (A), Pyay Road, Sanchaung township, Yangon. 01-534216, 527705 www.ikonmart.com
Jewellery Available at May Myanmar, 58, corner of Ma Naw Hari and Taw Win streets (near Thai Embassy),
Dagon Township, Yangon. 09-73111451
K300,000
to rent
K200,000
(to rent)
10 11
KYAY MOHNWIN
kyaymonewin@gmail.com
W
HILE jewellery
remains a popular
investment choice in
Myanmar, sales are
extra-brisk this time of year, Mandalay’s
jewellers report. But it’s love, not
profit, that drives demand at the start
of wedding season – and prompts
craftspeople to design newer and ever
more elaborate works of beauty.
“This year we have created gold
shawls in floral designs,” said Daw
Phyu Phyu Aung fromAung Thamadi
jewellery shop in Mandalay. “We have
also made diferent shawls for the
bride, including traditional designs of
the olden days.”
White gold is popular this year,
she said. “As gold has long been the
most popular itemamong Mandalay
residents, we have created gold rings
for couples. Those between K70,000
and K600,000 are selling very well.”
DawPhyu Phyu Aung said most opt
for a plain gold band with no design.
For those who prefer something
diferent, however, white gold accented
with pink, white and yellowcolours
runs between K80,000 and K200,000.
DawPhyu Phyu Aung said couples
can also choose to have their names
inscribed in this design.
UKyawSwa Win fromTaw
Win Diamond Jewellery Shop said
diamonds represent a range of qualities
making themthe perfect symbol of love
– hardness, courage, prosperity and
long-lastingness.
This year his shop has created 20
diferent designs specifically for couples
getting married.
“We have short-listed 10 designs
with a single diamond and gold out of
20 diferent ones. Most of the designs
are popular in the international
market,” UKyawSwa Win said.
He said one popular design is made
to allowthe engagement ring to sit
easily next to the wedding ring on the
bride’s finger.
Sales of diamond wedding rings
have been rising year after year, UKyaw
Swa Win and that this has to do with
the influence of diamond-ring culture
of foreign celebrities, as well as Korean
movies and TV series which present the
diamond ring as a sign of love.
UKyawSwa Win explained that a
diamond ring can cost up to K250,000,
as only finest diamonds are used for
wedding rings. TawWin Diamond
Jewellery provides couples the choice
of ready-made casts of their initials or
free-of-charge orders.
He added that platinumfits
diamonds best, and that people from
upper Myanmar prefer it to gold.
He also said the tradition of
a bridegroompresenting a set of
diamond jewellery to the bride is being
revived lately.
“Young couples today want their
wedding to be more special and
extraordinary. So grooms showtheir
respect and sincerity by giving a set of
diamond jewellery to brides, spending
K5 million and above,” said UKyaw
Swa Win.
DawPhyu Phyu Aung fromAung
Thamadi Jewellery agreed. “Our
customers often buy sets of diamonds,
rubies or sapphires.”
While many buy jewellery sets with
the intention of passing themdown
through generations, not every couple
can aford the expense of decorating
the bride with so much jewellery. As
couples tend to choose wedding dresses
of unusual colors these days, it also
becomes a challenge to find jewellery
sets to match.
To solve this problem, many
jewellery centres ofer rental services.
Aung Thamadi began their rental
service this year. Prices range from
K300,000 to K1 million, depending on
the type of set the couple wants.
TawWin Diamond takes a diferent
approach, ofering rentals to their
regular customers as a gift to honour
their big day.
UMyint Thein fromNgwe Htee
Thone Latt Jewellery said most couples
can aford only artificial jewellery sets,
designed to be as beautiful as the real
thing. UMyint Thein said they see a 20
percent increase in such rentals each
year.
Ngwe Htee Thone Latt produces
“about 50” designs for the year, he said.
“We make themout of high-quality .925
sterling silver.” The sets are designed
and made locally, and rent for K10,000
to K100,000 each.
“We have customers not only from
Mandalay but fromother towns. Some
buy themfor their own business,” said
UMyint Thein.
– Translation by Myat Su Mon Win
MYAT NOE OO
myatnoe.mcm@gmail.com

S
TYLES always come and
go, but this year many
brides are turning to a new
source of inspiration when
searching out their perfect wedding-
day look.
“This year ladies are liking
the style of plait they’ve seen on
Facebook,” said make-up artist Ko
Than Aung. At his South Okkalapa
studio he’s printed out diferent
examples of this braided hairstyle
online so that brides-to-be can mull
over which will suit thembest.
It’s all part of the democratisation
of style that the internet brings: Brides
are still depending on the best dress
and make-up artist they can aford,
but now they can also learn about
what’s popular in hair and make-up by
themselves before they come in.
The trend toward plaited hair
is also a sign that some brides are
looking beyond traditional Myanmar
outfits and toward Western or South
Korean influences, which allow
more flexibility in hair and make-up
fashions.
Ma Myint Myint will be getting
married on October 26. She is
already preparing her make-up and
hair choices, she said. “Because the
make-up artist is busy, I gave a list in
advance.
She’s also matching her hair and
make-up to the non-traditional gown
she’s chosen.
“I’mwearing a gown so I will do
my hair in plaits,” she said. “And I like
the smoky eye look so I told my make-
up artist to do my look like this.”
Ma Myint Myint’s decision to
wear a gown rather than traditional
Myanmar dress gives her more room
for expression in hair and cosmetics,
said make-up artist December Hnin.
“We have freedomto choose a
hairstyle if the brides wear a gown,” he
said, “but the traditional dress limits
the possibilities for hairstyles because
a trendy hairstyle is sometimes not
suitable for traditional dress.”
December Hnin ofers packages
including make-up, hair, dress and
accessories – what he calls a “one-
stop service”. But brides can also
just arrange for hair and make-up if
they’ve chosen their outfit elsewhere.
Whatever it is, he cautioned
that bookings need to be made
early, particularly for the kind of
personalised service he ofers.
“Brides need to choose their make-
up artist one or two months before,
because the artists’ lists can fill up. I
always do make-up and hair myself,
so I can accept a few but not too
many,” December Hnin advised.
Ko Than Aung said that in the
past brides wore pink or white gowns,
but now they are opting for more
varied colours so the make-up needs
to change as well to match. Pink and
sky blue, purple and blue are among
the colour combinations he sees, and
brides are wanting to pair these with
blue and green eye shadow.
He also seconded Ma Myint Myint’s
smoky-eye look, saying many brides
are opting for this choice.
Men’s traditional outfits also
limit the options for hair, but some
men are showing increased interest
in their appearance and wanting to
look a bit more spify than most. And
those opting for suits or tuxedos find
it gives themmore options when
deciding what kind of look they want
to rock on the big day.
“Now men like to adopt the curly
hairstyle of Korean actors if they are
wearing Western dress,” Ko Than Aung
said. “The traditional dress does not
require men to style their hair because
they wear a Myanmar turban.”
He said some women choose a
facial steaming and other skin care
treatments starting at least a month
ahead – and that some men are even
following this trend as well, all in
hopes of sporting a fresher look on
the day.
Hair and make-up costs vary
but can range between K50,000
and K100,000, not including any
accessories worn. Plan for higher
prices if the make-up artist comes to
the wedding venue itself.
ZONPANNPWINT
zonpann08@gmail.com
MUSIC is a passion for U Yan Paing
Soe. As a teenager he used to mimic
the sound of classic Myanmar vocalists
Twantay Thein Tan and Than Tun Lay,
and he was soon performing on stage
in his native Warkhema township,
Ayeyarwady Region.
But like all musicians with big
dreams, though, he knewto turn his
dreams into reality he needed to head
for the big city – in this case, Yangon.
And luckily, he caught a break – as
many well-known singers do gigs at
weddings, this gave the young Yan Paing
Soe a chance to get close to the limelight.
“I followed famous classic singers
Mar Mar Aye and A One USoe Myint
around whenever they performed at a
wedding,” UYan Paing Soe said.
In fact, that’s where he got his
lessons – during other people’s big days.
The wedding connections also gave
himsome crucial job experience. On
busy weekends, Mar Mar Aye and A
One USoe Myint sometimes only had
time for brief appearances, singing a
number or two before they rushing of
to do the same elsewhere. Soon, UYan
Paing Soe was stepping in to cover the
rest of the program.
He might have become famous as a
wedding singer himself, in fact, had a
twist of fate not led to something else.
One day he was singing at
a wedding where the master of
ceremonies, or MC, failed to show. Mar
Mar Aye was scheduled to sing after the
MC’s introduction; they didn’t know
what to do.
But like the consummate performers
they were, they decided the showmust
go on. “She knewI amvery good at
talking and entertaining so she asked
me to take on the MC role on his
behalf,” UYan Paing Soe remembered.
He had always been impressed by
the talents of MCs, and when he took
the stage found had the gift as well.
Soon, word spread that he was a
natural talent at capturing attention
and making guests laugh. It wasn’t long
before his friends were asking himto
MC at their children’s weddings.
“I amhappy being an MC, so I love
to act for free” – for friends, that is.
For others the demand became
too great, and he soon realised he had
found himself with the makings of a
busy, well-paying career.
Thirty-five years after he got started,
he nowplays two to five weddings
every weekend during wedding season.
Demand spiked, he said, after he
became close friends with singers and
actors in the filmindustry and was
ofered a fewleading roles, and later
acted in some supporting roles.
“When I became an actor as well as a
singer, many wedding planners wanted
to hire me. [The celebrity quality] is an
advantage,” he said.
Over the years, UYan Paing Soe has
a number of funny stories – funny in
retrospect, at least.
“Some couples can hire both an MC
and a music band with singers,” he said,
“but some can’t aford both.” So when
one couple hired himbut couldn’t
aford a band, they asked himfor help.
UYan Paing Soe has always believed
there are two kinds of crowded
occasions. Funerals are silent and a
wedding is noisy, and so if a wedding is
too quiet, it is inauspicious. To keep the
mood light at this couple’s wedding, he
decided to play a cassette to fill the gap
left by the missing band.
“I told the man at the hotel to play
the cassette when the bride and groom
made their entrance. When the couple
had taken three or four steps inside,
I winked at himas a sign to start the
cassette. The couple took more steps
but nothing was playing. I was anxious.
“Then when the couple was close
to the stage, the sound came out loudly
all of a sudden. But it wasn’t music: it
was the ‘four political and economic
objectives’ every musician’s record has to
include as an introduction!”
He said the industry has changed a
lot since his early days on the scene.
“Before 1988, there were three
or four venues in which to celebrate
weddings, such as Inya Lake, Strand
Hotel, the Chinese communal temple
in Chinatown and the Hong Kong bar.
But from1988 onward the number of
venues has increased, including Yuzana
Garden Hotel, Sedona Hotel and many
restaurants,” he said.
Another change is that MCs once
had to be married, but these days
single men and women act as MCs
as well. U Yan Paing Soe said this
helps fill the shortage of MCs – but
no matter how polished their skills at
the mic, he said, there’s one area of
experience single people still lack.
“If he is single, howhe will guide
the bride and groomif he hasn’t
experienced married life?”
Brides and grooms sporting Western and South Korean fashions
are finding they offer more flexibility for hair and make-up
than traditional Myanmar styles
The centrepiece of a
successful wedding
ceremony isn’t the
bride – it’s the MC
Master of
ceremonies
Knowyour accessories
– for men:
gaung-baung – the Myanmar
turban, worn on wedding days
and other very special occasions
taun shei baso – a “double-
length” longyi, consisting of a
single fat piece of fabric rather
than a loop, measuring up to 15
feet long and folded around the
body. Since it’s only worn for very
special occasions, most grooms
need help to tie it.
Beyond the ordinary
Real or artificial, purchased or rented,
wedding jewellery means big business
‘Grooms show their respect and sincerity
by giving a set of diamond jewellery to
brides, spending K5 million and above.’
U Kyaw Swa Win, Taw Win Diamond Jewellery
Heart of gold
UYan Paing Soe sings on MRTV in 1986.
Photo: Youtube
Brides in white dresses get help with their tresses. Photos: Staff
Staff show off bridal jewellery at Aung Thamadi in Mandalay. Photo: Kyay Mohn Win
12 13
Asia Plaza Hotel
Roomfee No (K120,000 if fewer
than 200 people)
Capacity 700
Decorations Included (room,
backdrop – no band)
Food K5000-K7000
Booking 1 month in advance
Contact 277 Bogyoke Aung
San Road, Kyauktada
01-391070, 391105~6
www.asiaplazahotel.
com
Central Hotel
Roomfee K120,000
Capacity 500
Decorations No
Food K4000-K5000 per
person
Booking 1 month in advance
Contact 335/357 Bogyoke
Aung San Road,
Pabedan
01-241007~20
www.
centralhotelyangon.
com
Location,
location...
Beautiful venue options
for a Yangon wedding
TINYADANARHTUN
yadanar.mcm@gmail.com
Sedona Hotel
Roomfee No
Capacity 1000
Decorations Included (style to
change in October)
Food K15,000 per person
Booking 1 year in advance
Contact 1 Kabar Aye Pagoda
Road, Yankin
01-8605377,
8605366
www.sedonahotels.
com.sg
Sule Shangri-La Hotel
Roomfee No
Capacity 1000
Decorations Included (room, backdrop – no band)
Food $14-$17 per person
Booking 6 months in advance
Contact 223 Sule Pagoda Road, Pabedan,
01-242828
www.shangri-la.com/yangon/
suleshangrila/
Karaweik Palace Hotel
Roomfee No (K100,000 if fewer than 200 people)
Capacity 400 (200 in one Brahminy Duck)
Decorations Included (room, backdrop, fowers)
Food K10,000-K18,000 per person
Booking 4 months in advance
Contact Kandawgyi Lake, Mingalar Taung Nyunt, 01-290545,
09-459222222, www.karaweikpalace.com
Inya Lake Hotel
Roomfee No
Capacity 800
Decorations Included (room, backdrop,
fowers, dry ice)
Food $13-20 per person
Booking 6 months in advance
Contact 37 Kabar Aye Pagoda Road,
Mayangone
01-9662866, 9662857~59
www.inyalakehotel.com
The Strand Hotel
Roomfee $3000
Capacity 600
Decorations Included (room, backdrop,
wedding cake, servers)
Food No (arrange yourself)
Booking 2 months in advance
Contact 92 Strand Road, Kyauktada
01-243377~78, 01-243389
www.hotelthestrand.com
Belmond Governor’s Residence
Roomfee No
Capacity 160 in garden; 120 indoors
Decorations Flowers only
Food $45-$100 per person
Booking 1 month in advance
Contact 35 Taw Win Road, Dagon
01-229860, 229861
www.belmond.com/governors-residence-yangon/
Photos and information: Supplied by respective venues
14 15
LUNMINMANG
lunminlm@gmail.com
I
N countries where living
together before marriage
has become more common,
honeymoons these days seem
more about relaxing and celebrating
that starting a new life. In Myanmar,
though, where couples do not
usually live alone before marriage, it
remains what it once was elsewhere
– a chance for couples to experience
life on their own for the first time,
whether it’s out in public or in
private behind closed doors.
The idea of the honeymoon as a
trip dates to the early 1800s in Great
Britain, when couples would travel
to visit relatives who were unable
to come for the wedding. This was
known as an “English-style voyage”
when the fashion spread to the rest
of Europe – and now it’s taken over
the world.
Somewhere along the way, of
course, the purpose has changed
from visiting relatives’ homes to
leaving family behind.
The non-travelling honeymoon –
a special post-wedding period, spent
at home – dates back much further
in time. As for the name, there
are a number of explanations, and
many are contradictory. The Oxford
English Dictionary cites a mention
in 1552 from an early dictionary,
Richard Huloet’s Abecedarium
Anglico Latinum:
“Hony mone, a term proverbially
applied to such as be newly married,
which will not fall out at the first,
but th’one loveth the other at the
beginning exceedingly, the likelihood
of their exceadinge love appearing
to aswage, ye which time the vulgar
people call the hony mone.”
In other words, the love is never
as sweet as in the early stages – and
that phase is bound to end soon.
But other explanations are
cheerier: Some say the name comes
from a month-long period in which
the couple were brought gifts of
mead to encourage fertility.
However it came about, the
honeymoon is popular in Myanmar
too. Photos taken during this period
will remind a long-married couple
of their first days of getting to know
one another as husband and wife.
To close out our special Wedding
supplement, The Myanmar Times
spoke to two local travel agents –
Sun Far Travels & Tours Co, Ltd and
Thousand Islands Travels & Tours
– to map out the options for those
deciding where to spend their first
days of married life.
Romantic Myanmar
For those whose budget is more suited
to domestic travel, why not head to
one of Myanmar’s glorious beaches?
Whether it’s Myeik, Kawthaung, Ngwe
Saung, Chaung Tha, or Ngapali, the
lazy waterside atmosphere is perfect
for bonding. One particular spot
recommended by local tour operaters
is Kawthaung’s Adaman Resort, with
its unique feature of coral reefs for
visitors and small islands that can be
visited by boats.
For those looking for a cozy private
getaway, an unexpected but highly
recommended place for honeymooners
is Popa Mountain Resort, located
halfway up Mt Popa. Honeymooners
who visit this place say it is very
peaceful and quiet – just what
you want after all the flurry of the
wedding. The weather is pleasant and
the views are a reward of their own.
Want something even more remote
and intimate? Putao in Kachin State
ofers stunning views and activities.
Hike in the foothills of snow-capped
mountains, or just nestle down
together away fromit all. Either way,
Malikha Lodge and Putao Trekking
House ofer options that can’t be beat.
For a memorable cultural
experience, many choose to go to
Inlay, Bagan, Mrauk Oo or Mandalay.
Other inland honeymoon destinations,
for those looking to see an area they
haven’t been to before, include Kalaw,
Pindaya and Pyin Oo Lwin.
The world at your fingertips
For those with more to spend, most
honeymooners choose Phuket,
Pattaya or Bangkok in Thailand; Bali
in Indonesia; Hanoi and Halong Bay
in Vietnam; or Sentosa in Singapore.
As these three regional countries
share a common Southeast Asian
heritage, they aren’t too far removed
fromMyanmar. But they also have a
trace of the exotic bound to excite the
blood of any young couple.
Couples are also lately showing
signs of interest in South Korea,
enjoying the chance to delve into a
diferent region without going too far
abroad. Jeju and Seoul are popular
choices.
Some couples want to take a
honeymoon trip as well as a shopping
tour. They usually choose Singapore,
Seoul or Bangkok, as these places
ofer vast choice at a more reasonable
price than heading all the way to
Europe, which requires a good deal
more investment, in time and money.
For those willing to take that
plunge of leaving the continent,
Brazil’s Rio De Janeiro and Ipanema
Beach, Canada’s Niagara Falls,
and New Zealand’s Auckland are
top-ranking choices, with local tour
operators are working hard to cater
to that demand.
One particular spot that can’t go
unmentioned, according to an ofcial
from Sun Far Travels and Tours, is
Kani, in the Maldives.
“Maldives is a very beautiful
and pleasant destination to take a
honeymoon or a family trip,” the agent
said, praising its weather, high levels
of service in hotels, and peace and
tranquility. Visitors are flocking to its
beach villas for snorkelling and sailing.
Another choice you can never
overlook is the City of Love. Visit
Paris and you can see everything
fromDisneyland to Versailles (the
Disneyland of its day, at least for
Marie Antoinette and her friends); the
Louvre; the Eifel Tower; Notre Dame
Cathedral; Sacre Coeur Basilica; the
Arc de Triomphe; and round it all of
with shopping at the Champs Elysees.
One thing you won’t be able to do,
though, is put a lock on the Pont des
Arts bridge and throw away the key, as
thousands of couples in love have done
the past few years. Ofcials have just
announced they’ll be removing the
railings and replacing themwith glass.
Ah well. Plenty of other places to
feel romantic. Is it any coincidence
that travel season and wedding
season both start at the same time,
with the full moon of Thadingyut,
falling this year on October 8?
There’s a whole world out there,
you two lovebirds. Go exploring.
Top choices at
home and abroad Honeymoons
Aquarius
Jan 20-Feb 18
Pisces
Feb 19-March 20
Aries
March 21-April 19
Taurus
April 20-May 20
Gemini
May 21-June 20
Cancer
June 21-July 22
Ideal partners Gemini, Libra, Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Aries, Scorpio, Taurus, Virgo,
Capricorn
Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio,
Pisces
Virgo, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio,
Pisces
Libra, Aquarius, Aries, Leo,
Sagittarius
Scorpio, Pisces, Virgo, Capricorn,
Taurus
Special match Taurus for business Sagittarius makes you open-minded
and kind
Aquaries to bring good fortune with
others
Leo for compatibility Virgo to make you famous and
bring good friends
Leo for special luck
Keys to marriage Be humble and not boastful Positive discussion every day Vitamins, carminatives and less
greed
Mutual understanding and
coordination
Faithfulness Mutual adoration without doubt
To have children Take good care of health, particularly
blood issues, and hold back your
anger
Do meritorious deeds to three
treasured people and share the
merits earned with others
Know your feelings and take refuge
in three treasured people
Balanced diet and avoid pleasure-
seeking and temptation
Spend time together and build
mutual respect
Mental strength and stress-free
living
Your colours Sky blue, red and yellow for
wisdom, kindness and good deeds
White, blue and yellow for peace
and honesty in your social and
business life
Green, blue, purple and white for
strength of love and kindness
Red, yellow, and pink for reputation,
pearl white for compatibility
Red, yellow and sky blue for peace
and good reputation
White, yellow and pink for luck and
power
Your jewels Sapphire, diamond and ruby for
power and selfess spirit
Pearl, topaz and diamond for glory,
wisdomand greatness
Jade, emerald and sapphire for
prosperity
Ruby and diamond for respect Emerald and sapphire for boosting
social skills
Pearl, emerald, jade, platinum, ruby
for glory, peace and happiness
Your flowers Flowers with red, blue and purple
colours and white lotuses for
faithfulness and kindness
White or yellow chrysanthemums for
safety and leadership
Purple, green and blue orchids for
longlasting love
Wear red or yellow roses for wishes
coming true
Gladiolus and other fowers for
eased burdens
Orchids for wishes coming true
Knowyour add-ons:
from head to toe
sadone – a bun of fake hair worn
on top of the bride’s head to
make her own hair look longer
ka-di-ba pha-nat – thick-
soled velvet slippers especially
designed and ordered for the
wedding ceremony, worn by both
bride and groom
A couple sets off on the road ahead. Photo: Lwin Ko Taik
Ma Ei Thandar
30, Printing executive assistant
I
AMgoing to marry in October. I have
decided to marry because I trust him. I
believe that he can provide for me so that
I can live decently. I also trust his talents
and his love.
I know there will be difculties and
we have to face them. I amnot afraid to face these difculties. If
we trust each other, we believe we can overcome the problems
however difcult they are.
I still don’t know how I should make good use of the love in
my life. But I understand the need to make the marriage safe and
happy. I know if one makes a mistake, the trust will be finished.
So it is important to continue to have trust.
U Myo Min Soe
36, Trader
T
HE main things are coordination and
understanding. Love is also required.
We have eight years of married life. We
don’t have big problems, though we do
have some small bickering. The marriage
will not be okay if the husband is doing
what he wants and the wife is doing just what she likes to do. It
is necessary to understand the minds and feelings of each other.
It’s give-and-take
The reason why we got married is we thought we can
understand each other well. We also thought we could maintain
our marriage. I am happy with my married life. We now have
two children.
DawHla Hla Thwin
53, Bank employee
I
DON’T mean “Don’t love each
other,” but understanding is more
important. When we were young we
built our married life with both love and
understanding. Now we have had 28 years
of married life.
We have passed through many difculties together. Life is
not always a bed of roses. Married life can have problems and
difculties. If a couple doesn’t have the ability to face these
problems, the marriage will not last long. Marriage is the
merging of two lives. We can’t look at fromonly one perspective.
We have to look after both and share both. For us, there have not
been big problems. But we need to be patient.
Leo
July 23-Aug 22
Virgo
Aug 23-Sept 22
Libra
Sept 23-Oct 22
Scorpio
Oct 23-Nov 21
Sagittarius
Nov 22-Dec 21
Capricorn
Dec 22-Jan 19
Sagittarius, Aries, Libra, Aquarius,
Gemini
Capricorn, Taurus, Scorpio, Pisces,
Cancer
Aquarius, Gemini, Sagittarius, Leo Pisces, Aries, Capricorn, Taurus,
Virgo
Aries, Leo, Aquarius, Gemini, Libra Taurus, Virgo, Pisces, Aries,
Scorpio
Scorpio will keep you safe from
harm
Sagittarius brings good results
through discussion
Aries, for business Leo brings power and promotion Virgo makes you stronger
physically and mentally
Libra brings love and respect from
others
Flexibility, balancing needs of
yourself and others, and sympathy
Avoid superstition and take refuge
in three treasured people
Politeness and trust Don’t over-worry or think too much Mutual trust, happiness and
understanding
Mutual understanding and patience
Don’t get overwhelmed by
unwanted thoughts or strict rules
Monitor drugs and blood pressure Guard against infectious diseases Don’t ignore reason, and accept
positive discussion
Create happiness and be mentally
strong
Wise up and drop your
stubbornness
Red and yellow for power Green, purple, blue, yellow or white
for happiness and health
Sky blue and purple for reputation
and more friends
Yellow, white and green for
business
Red, yellow and orange for good
deeds, honesty and bravery
Dark blue and green for balance
between work and social life
Ruby, topaz, amber for mental
growth
Emerald, jade, sapphire for
brightness and peace
Sapphire, tourmaline and pearl for
confdence and love
Sapphire, emerald, topaz, pearl for
luck and health
Diamond, emerald and ruby for
power, health and peace
Sapphire, emerald and pearl for
extraordinary ideas and good
friends
Eugenia leaves, coconut fowers
and red roses for success and
business growth
Any that are red, blue and purple,
and also white lotus
Anything bright for harmonious
socialisation and luck
Red roses and red gladiulus for
love and kindness
Red/yellow roses, or white/yellow
chrysanthemums, for popularity
and business
Fragrance of sandalwood or
jasmine for glory and success
What makes a good marriage?
WITH
AUNGKYAWNYUNT
How
to
happily-
ever-
after
Predictions by
AUNGMYINKYAW
4th foor, 113
Thamain Bayan Road,
Tarmwe township, Yangon
09-73135632
williameaste@gmail.com
16

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