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HEADING TO THE LIGHT – A Small Note on Mingling with Locals in Myanmar

(Extracted from the book “When Global Meets Local – How Expatriates can Succeed in Myanmar” by Hana Bui. It is the first-time popular guidebook for expats on how to work well with local colleagues.) 

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” (Charles Dickens)

An expat may very well be lonely here if he or she only relies on relationships with other expats in Myanmar.

Any expat acquaintances are also subject to a contract term, meaning they will leave Myanmar after a short period. It is hard to find true friendships without spending time cultivating them. Further, other expats also come from alien countries. International bars and restaurants are familiar places where they mingle.

Many expats l met here confessed to a kind of “floating” sentiment of living here without family and close friends. They feel like “Nowhere is home!” Though they are wealthy, they feel life is meaninglessness from time to time.

The experience may be different if they have local friends. This is particularly true in cases where one takes time to join local cultural events, either holidays or charity activities, to experience the very “real” life of locals. These are the authentic lives of people who have suffered from a dark history of repression and the current constraints of being citizens of a country ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. At the same time, Myanmar is the most generous country in the world, too.

Helping the people here, who are still in a daily battle to meet their basic needs, is a good cause that will give meaning and purpose to life in Myanmar.

A place that you can donate or help:

Beik Hmam Shin Charity Association Bago

Phone 052 222 1326,

For English speaking: 095 107 461,

Address 2418/2419 Teiktha Road, Mazin Quarter, Bago.

Facebook: Beik Mam Shin

Places to donate in Yangon:

Places to volunteer in Yangon:


Published inIntercultural Stories

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