The world is full of funny things going on. Sharon Stone meant well when saying that the earth quake in China is retribution for Tibet policy and Dior had to come out to rescue their products sold in China. As Chinese become affluent, the luxury brands are making growth in the new markets. As Hong Kong reduced restrictions in wine imports, all European wineries are rushing in to market their high priced wines. The new Russians are building palace like mansions and they wear expensive European watches.
As a Burmese I always feel sad and angry when I buy something made in China which is unavoidable. I am glad I am contributing some to a poor chinese family but why can’t I do the same for a Burmese as well?
When I see the stories of China in National Geographic magazines as the Chinese leaving their farms to become construction workers in the cities , it makes me wonder why their communism and agricultural revolution had failed. Why can’t Chinese farmers prosper in their own villages?The impressive Shanghai skyline with skyscrapers built during this past two decades when we Burmese were left to struggle alone without any outside investments and aid, made me so sick of international politics.
As poor people in US can afford cheap goods imported from China, the rich people of China who exploit cheap labor can afford luxury goods imported from US and Europe. I can never buy a mink coat or an expensive watch thinking of what that amount can feed families in my country. But I have seen rich people from Yangon crazy about brand names. It is their freedom to do whatever they want with their wealth if they get it from fair and clean business. I will understand that they will need it if they are in a society where they are expected to dress up in brand name dresses and watches. We still do not have that kind of society yet, I hope. We do have a society where we wear diamonds and precious stones since old days. The same people usually do charity at monasteries and pagodas so they are always admired by the public. Rich people in Burma are usually not despised by poor people as long as they are good Buddhists.
My friends from India are so proud that they now have on Indian man as the world’s richest list. Yet we all know that there are millions of Indians living in poverty.
Everyday people in US this week find gas prices 4 $ which I thought was impossible a few years back. Many Americans have cut back their costs today staying home cheap and there is no problem about that they said. May be their good days are over and it is time to go back to old fashioned thrifty days. Yet, things are still awfully cheap whatever you need if you do not go for brand names. ( You just need to shop in Walmart and Dollar General.) The fact is, socialism is in the West and capitalism now starting in the East — the world is making the balancing act.
So where will my country fits in today to join without blessing from the West, and find our own path in this world? Go back to socialism? NO! Communism? NO Way ! go forward with capitalism? or as usual our Burmese way , our own unique way? Buddhism plus capitalism? There we go again, lets follow a path the world has not known yet. We always have to be strange though we are the most simple, honest , conservative , liberal and capitalist country as we always are. There must be a veil to be lifted out of our face for the world to know our real nature. Who will do that? How to do that ?