Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Burma Part 2: Hospitality

This post begins part two of photos and food stories from my recent trip to Burma. Click here to read Part 1.

One of the reasons that I really fell in love with the spirit of the Burmese people was their hospitality, humility and laughter.

We experienced so much grace and were so welcomed by the people.

They gladly had us in their homes and fed us their best food. There is widespread poverty in the nation, but you would not know it when you're feasting at someone's table as a guest.

The women prepare a spread of delectable foods: rice, always a clear broth, chicken, fish, beef, raw vegetables. They work for hours on their foods, literally over a hot stove, that may even be outdoors.

And so many people gave us gifts in addition to feeding us in their homes.

I was so grateful and stunned by their generosity. What a giving culture.

Some of the differences in how they eat were that usually a few people share a bowl of broth that's in the middle of the table. Sometimes while snacking on foods, everyone would use the same spoon. Also, when hosting guests, the hostess never eats with the guests but watches over the table to ensure that everyone's plates are full at all times.

I really enjoyed the clear broth with every meal. It was full of complex vegetable and chicken flavors but tasted so simply delicious. I was also amazed by how much rice they eat. I usually had trouble finishing the big pile of rice on my plate.

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