03.12.2013 - 03.12.2013 37 °C
Today, marks the day of the one stop I was very keen to visit, the Taukkyan War Memorial and Cemetery. Not for any particularly sentimental reason, but rather for an historical experience and to understand the impact World War 2 had on Myanmar.
My mother, fled post was Burma (in the 1940’s part of British India) as a child in the 1950’s in the midst of political uncertainty and Burma’s ever growing list of limitations placed on the populations rights. Limiting its international exposure to unstable economy, political unrest was then Burma’s way of preventing further world leading countries intervention.
But, back to the trip up to Mingaladon via taxi, which took approximately 1 hour. I would suggest that you ask the taxi driver to stay as it was difficult to procure a taxi for the trip back into Yangon.
The memorial and cemetery are kept in pristine condition and the graves of the soldiers that rest here are cleaned and polished every other day. The pillars with the names of the fallen whose bodies were never recovered or identified are deeply moving and a reminder of the immense loss war causes. What is heartening to see is there is no segregation of nationalities, and plaques are scattered with Burmese, Indian, Nepalese, British, Australian and New Zealand Troops in amongst each other.
The trip back to Yangon is quietly reflective. Following our visit we head to a sentimental sight for my family. Saint Mary’s Cathedral. This is the place where my Mother and Aunty’s were baptised. It was nice to hear the story of who my Grandfather would come to this very place and pray to have a son and ended up with 3 daughters. The Cathedral has beautifully maintained wooden carved pews and seeing the sun light up the stained glass windows adds an completely other dimension to this place.
Following an emotionally draining day, we head out to one of our favourite (and only recurring) restaurants of our trip for dinner. We can sit on the outdoor balcony, order drinks and just relax for the rest of the evening until tomorrow.