I spent a lot of time with the youth in Myanmar. It's amazing to see although this is a third world country the children are very happy. I spent time with young monks, school children and other youths that are not in either place. Some school children have a bench to sit on while other sit on a concrete floor.

You will see on the faces a verity of designs with a paste type looking substance on their face and sometimes their arms. It has two purposes... It's a form of sunblock as well as makeup, hence the reason for the design.

What I found fascinating was how they played and what they played with. Rubber bands where the hit of the show. You have the young monks favorite pass time was to shoot them in the air and try to catch them coming down. While other children played a game like monopoly excepted their board was the dirt... In one of the images you will see who is winning with the amount of rubber bands around his ankle.

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At various ages these young girls and boys are brought to the monastery for reasons of religion, orphaned and brought by the parents as they could no longer take care of them. There is no specific day, time or age they must be to become a young monk or nun. It is a village celebration when the master monk decides to have the ceremony. All young boys and girls have their head shaved with just water and a straight razor. As painful as it was for them they are excited an honored after...

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© 2016 Jodi Champagne

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