Claudio Varaldi – Serendipity of burman people

Claudio Varaldi – Serendipity of burman people

In loving memory of Burman people

Today bees cannot produce their own honey, mushrooms cannot get out of the ground (…) When will the sobs end And when will the bells ring again Gently?

U Ba Gyan

Once upon a time there was a people called Burma, who lived in a bright and colorful world. The inhabitants were known for their joie de vivre and hospitable nature. They were an ancient civilization, but still today they maintained their simplicity and their love for life.

In Burma, life was a succession of festivals and celebrations. Every day there was a reason to celebrate: the birth of a child, the bountiful harvest, a sporting victory or even just the beauty of the world around them. The Burmese believed that happiness was contagious and that they should share it with others.

Daily life was permeated by a strong community. Families lived close to each other, and often gathered to cook together and share food. Children played together, building sand castles on the beach or inventing games in the forest. Adults cared for the elderly and sick, working together to keep their society strong and healthy.


There is a special word to express the correct way to behave with others: Ana. From an early age, Burmese are educated not to do anything that could cause embarrassment or discomfort to others and  this translates into a peaceful, reserved and extremely modest nature.

It is a kind of reluctance, hesitation and avoiding physical and visual contact with the interlocutor, based on the fear that any word or action may offend or create embarrassment in the person with whom you speak.

In sacred places and homes, you enter after taking off your shoes. It is a form of respect and a hygienic practice. The rule also applies to those places of worship in the open air, no matter if it rained and the dirt roads have turned into muddy pools.

The monks

The monks are considered the protectors of the people: with their frugal lifestyle, years of study on sacred texts and long hours of daily meditation, they help the entire community on the path to enlightenment. The fact that they live on alms can lead us Westerners astray. It is not a matter of almsgiving, but of an act that brings value to those who give, not to those who receive.

People in meditation

In every temple you visit in Myanmar, you see people sitting, quiet, with their eyes closed. They are meditating.

Emptying the mind of all thought and finding oneself in the constant flow of one’s breath is for Buddhists the closest thing to our prayer.

Buddhists do not conceive of any higher God. The spiritual journey ends in the search for inner peace. That is the reward that the meditator receives. Liberation from the vortex of thoughts.


Men, women, young and old: everyone has their attitude, their dexterity, their knowledge: it is a spectacle to see what they are able to recreate, with the few tools they have available, if not patience, tenacity, ability.


Few peoples have a smile in their eyes, and Burmese children are a concentrate of sweetness, beauty, innocence, curiosity.

I pray for you, that you will not have to cry again, because yours is the Kingdom of Smiles.

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