If Thailand is the land of smile, then Myanmar is the land of piety. Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo Pagoda) is one of the holiest sites in Myanmar. Like most religious sites, only men are allowed to go near the rock. While the men could touch the rock and many put golden stickers on it, women could only get as close as 10m from it.
As I was wandering around the rather big and modern complex, I saw a group of students rushing from one end of the plaza to the other. But every one of them would stop when they came to the Golden Rock, knelt down and offered their prayer before rushing off again. I was surprised a how well these children transformed from playful children to pious devotees. And in those seconds they knelt quietly before the Golden Rock, I felt their sincere devotion; as if they could shut out the world and tune in to god. And when they finished their prayer, they returned once again to be children, running and chasing each other.
It is nice to see that in some culture, like in Myanmar, materialism hasn’t suffocated spiritual and devotional practices.
Wish you were here,