Myanmar Spring Chronicle – October 25
MoeMaKa, October 26, 2023
The New Normal life of Myanmar people
People talked about new normal after 2020 Covid-19 outbreak. People were living a new normal life by wearing masks, keeping distance from one another, and washing hands in personal life, as well as in social life, economic life, and political life. Basic manual laborers have to work more than before during the Covid-19 lockdown, and there are also those who live idly because they can’t do anything. Middle-class workers work from home. The economy has shrunk from working extensively, and there are people who have to work and live within their reach. During elections and protests, people wear masks and then take them off. Advance voting in elections has become more favored. They rely extensively on technology and the internet.
Then, when the 2021 military council staged a violent coup, they had to jump from the Covid new normal to the new normal of the Spring Revolution. It can be said that the new normal and networks that have been connected and learned during the Covid period have flowed into the spring revolution. The new normal of the spring revolution has included an armed revolution. The lives of daily wage workers and salaried employees that have turned their backs on have become involved. The public’s right to self-defense also comes along with it. It includes a lot of sacrifices, including having a comfortable life along with their homes and assets. Like this, Myanmar people are living the new normal, which is not even returning to the level of lives during the Covid period, don’t mention lives before the Covid.
In conversations at meetings with friends, they say that they are trying to get comfortable with the current changes and be happy. I think I should use the words of Uncle Tu-Mee, an author of MoeMaKa, saying that it is a period of going to bed with worries, and washing our faces with anxiety. While talking to writers, poets, and journalists who migrated to the border areas, I see that their family members and children are struggling to live around in schools, hospitals, and markets across the border. When I meet armed youths, I see their enthusiastic faces and I don’t have the courage to ask them if they are really okay anymore. I would like to say that this is the new normal life of our Myanmar people.
The headlines are showing only Myanmar’s New Normal. For example, when you copy and paste the feed from Delta News Agency –
- Summit the name of a female lawyer to be allowed to visit Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in prison
- The NUG defense minister said that the victory of the Aung Ja Battle is important for the revolution
- UN Human Rights High Commissioner urges continued sanctions on Myanmar’s military
- Attempts to prosecute ten people, including military leaders, for their crimes in the Philippines
- NUG Acting President urges for more integration with ethnic alliances militarily and politically
- More than 3,000 locals have been in trouble for food due to the invasion of junta troops in Pauk for more than ten days
- Residents in the south of Kale Township are worried about food shortages.
These are the daily news headlines about the new normal life of Myanmar people.
Children and young people who are still in basic education and their parents in Myanmar are living in the new normal of education. There are children studying under teachers who don’t do CDM in government schools, as well as those who are studying in private online schools or online schools recognized by NUG. In controlled areas of war-torn regions, where the flares of war have spread and active, self-helped schools have opened by the CDM teachers and spring revolutionary warriors catered for the local residents. I have heard people in some regions asking whether it is enough if they pass the 4th grade or whether it is enough for the late teens to study up to the 8th grade. I don’t know whether it could be said that parents and students themselves are thinking about an accommodating new normal life that is in line with the current reality on the ground.
In the United States, they discuss the new normal life beyond the Covid. They said they couldn’t go back to their original lives after the Covid pandemic. The news reported that there are only more crises and challenges with uphill and headwinds. Even the American people and the government are facing federal budget deficits, raising the federal interest rate above 5%, and inflation. In addition to supporting Ukraine in the war, the burden of the United States having to intervene in the Israel-Palestine war is mounting. In a peculiar new normal situation, the government and the MPs, who came into power through the election, are raising questions about their election again and opposing it. It remains to be seen how they will struggle to exist with democracy standards, human rights standards, and mutual respect between the minority and the majority.
Whatever the situation is, it is not that the suffering Myanmar people are passing through the New Normal by sitting idly and watching or suffering. Just like the self-reliant education sector, in the health sector, the Myanmar people have become more self-reliant and inclined toward rural-based traditional medicine. In trading and commerce, they follow the corresponding tax collection as much as possible. During the interim period, they observed any group that emerged. A philanthropist leader of a local group in Magway said that when the revolutionary organizations are fighting against the military council and their lackeys, they accept the difficulties and challenges they are facing, considering that these are something they have to face and overcome. He also gave an example that, in the past, they used to ask just like the passengers ask the driver when they will arrive the destination, but now they do not ask anymore.
As people who are facing all kinds of crises and blockades, they try to enjoy together with others if there is an event to be happy according to the season and tradition as a kind of relaxation of mind. Also, in times of struggle and fighting, they have to run, risking their lives. They have to make progress and develop themselves in the midst of such situations and limitations. According to a person close to the support network, when the public’s income is low, inflation is at its worst, and job opportunities are scarce, the strength of support from Myanmar people abroad has become more important in order to compensate for the weakening of the local people’s support for the revolution.
I would like to say that for the people of Myanmar and for the revolutionary forces, they need to get the good new normal life that they wish and want to build as soon as possible.