In deeply religious Thailand, monks have long been revered. But badly behaved clergy, corruption scandals, and the vast wealth amassed by some temples has many asking if something is rotten at the heart of Thai Buddhism.
This week I had a 49 year-old female patient in Yangon who in the last several weeks has suddenly become extremely anxious about completing daily tasks, is having trouble with colleagues at work, is finding it difficult to sleep, and is having bouts of body temperature swings in which she suddenly felt extremely warm. She wanted to know if she was going crazy. Her menstrual cycle was unchanged, but could this be menopause? If so, what should she do?
Though sales are far from robust, the abolition of censorship by the present government has allowed the book-printing industry to flourish, says the founder of a major publishing house. U Myo Nyunt, who started Sar Pae Law Ka (The Literary World) in the early 1960s with a K10,000 manual press, was reflecting on the progress made since then.
His circuitous route to his heart’s desire has taken him through many occupations that others would consider a lifetime goal. U Win Pe, a Myanmar Academy Award winner who has been at various times radio reporter, cartoonist, writer and director, is now doing what he always wanted to do: mount a solo exhibition of his watercolours.
As much a citadel against prejudice as a holiday camp, the hilltop Hauka Bung resort – the name means “city wall” in the local language – stands at the gates of Tlangtlang township, 4928 feet (1502 metres) above sea-level, and 21 miles (33 kilometres) from Haka, the capital of Chin State.
As artists, they pushed the limits, bathing in blood, mud and urine. Vienna’s famed “Actionists”, whose avant garde movement may be the most radical in contemporary art, are the focus of a new exhibition in their home city.