Lin Hsin-ching /photos courtesy of Chuang Kung-ju /tr. by Phil Newell
Walking on the streets of Yangon,
all the faces you see—whether in concentration,
daydreaming, happy, or hard to read—have a “golden” luster.
Each and every one is a wonder to the passing traveler.
In fact the coloration is a traditional cosmetic,
called thanaka, derived from the wood of various trees,
including the thanaka tree, and having a fragrance like sandalwood.
It gently but indomitably resists the oppressively intense rays of the sun, not unlike this land’s non-violent revolution, that has become known around the world.