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1 comments | Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Letter from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi

Mainichi Daily News
Monday, January 22, 1996

"New Year Notes"

A professor of geography in Kyoto explained to me in poetic terms his emotions as a child growing up in Japan at the end of the war. He described a day when an American soldier had appeared at his village in search of antiques. He had looked up to the tall stranger and was filled with a strong awareness of the fact that he, the little Japanese boy, was ill-nourished and puny and ill-clothed, while the big American soldier was well-dressed and obviously well-fed. He recognized the world of difference between the strong and the weak. But, the professor told me, all through his childhood, as he and his family struggled for daily survival, he would always look up toward the heavens and he knew that behind the clouds was the sun.

When he was a grown man and Japan had become an economically powerful country, he went on a field trip to an Indian village. And one day as he stood speaking to some Indian villagers he became suddenly aware that he was well-fed and well-clothed while the villagers were malnourished and poorly clothed. He and his countrymen were now cast in the role of the strong. But, he said to me with a smile, our young people these days, although they are rich and have never known what it was like not to have enough to eat, they do not look up toward the heavens, they do not care whether there are clouds or whether there is a sun behind them. I do not know how may Japanese people would share the views of this gentle professor of geography. But I think many people in Burma will recognize the instinct that makes us look up toward the heavens and the confident inner voice that tells us that behind the deeply banked clouds there is still the sun waiting to shed its light and warmth at the given hour. The beginning of a new year is a time when we all like to turn our faces towards the heavens, when we look to our friends all over the world to join us in our quest for light and warmth.


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at 2:59 PM Permalink


Anonymous Moe Moe said...

That letter also touched my heart. Have you read the whole book, "letters from Burma"? It's really good.

And, you've been tagged on my blog! :) I hope you will participate in my weekend poetry program!

6:45 PM


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