Myanmar’s Generals Would Prefer Women Didn’t Wear no Slit Skirts

“For decades, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has tried to keep its people isolated from the outside world and its dangerous ideas about freedom.” It’s summer, it’s hot, and it’s Southeast Asia. You’d think pretty girls in short skirts would be a no-brainer. Well, not in Myanmar, where the western-culture-phobic government is fighting and losing a battle to keep control over the influx of fashionable western-style clothing the country’s young women are determined to wear. It seems Myanmar’s conservative military rulers remain very uncomfortable with the shorter, cooler hemlines of western female clothing. They still vigorously insist that women wear the beautiful but very modest longyi, a traditional Burmese garment which hangs from the waist to the feet. Well, even though the longyi is still mandatory in schools and government offices, Myanmar’s generals may have encouraged the fashion shift themselves when they left their wives and daughters to dress as they liked in Yangon (Rangoon) when the country’s capital moved to Naypyidaw in 2006. Of course, the availability of South Korean dramas on the internet and satellite TV, and an influx of western business investment, have contributed to this fashion rebellion. And a form of non-violent rebellion it is, which is good to see in a country of such beauty and history which has been so repressively ruled for so long. (L.A. Times – Myanmar Fashion Rebellion)

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