Jump to content

  •     

Photo
- - - - -

The Dates for the Gay Festival in Myanmar, 2010


  • Please log in to reply
75 replies to this topic

#1 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 31 January 2010 - 07:57 AM

The Dates for the Gay Nat Festival at Taungbyone, Myanmar, 2010

This is the largest Gay Festival in all of Asia and is held yearly about 20km northeast of Mandalay, for a whole week! For this western year, 2010, the festival will be held August 15 through August 22 however the best days to attend, the heights of the celebration, will be August 20 and 21!

Thousands of people from all over Myanmar come to celebrate the Taungbyone Nats. Taungbyone is a religious ceremony to honor two Moslem brothers on the grounds of a Buddhist temple through the Nat celebrations! It is however in fact largely a gay festival. Almost all Nats in Myanmar are gay. Also many fake gay Nats show up to join in the party!

The Festival starts early in the morning and continues up to past mid-night. During the afternoon it does get a bit warm. A suggested time is from ca 6:00pm till late. There is always transportation back to Mandalay.

#2 MonkeySee

MonkeySee

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,149 posts

Posted 06 April 2010 - 07:05 PM

According to the following site, the festival is August 23-28, 2010.
Myanmar Festival Tours - Taungbyone Spiritual (Nats) Dancing Festival

#3 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 30 May 2010 - 08:34 AM

This is to reconfirm the dates for the Gay Festival in Myanmar, 2010. August 15 through August 22 however the best days to attend, the heights of the celebration, will be August 20 and 21! [the weekend]

This festival runs all day and most of the night. Sort of runs down about 2:30 in the morning. If the afternoons are hot try going about 6:20 in the evening. This is when all the 'boys' come out!

Monkeysee the dates you quoted I believe are for that company's tour. One thing on that website is certainly true: "Can study the spiritual belief and culture of Myanmar people." When you see all the boys all dress and undressed you CAN STUDY ....!

#4 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 May 2010 - 11:46 AM

This is to reconfirm the dates for the Gay Festival in Myanmar, 2010.

Can you give us more details, such as gay-friendly hotel recommendations, how to get out to where the festival is (taxi, bus, whatever), etc?

Are ATMs available? If not, is it best to bring US dollars, Thai baht, something else?

In other words, for those who are interested in going, but have never been to Myanmar, what do we need to know?

#5 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 30 May 2010 - 03:07 PM

In other words, for those who are interested in going, but have never been to Myanmar, what do we need to know?


I hate to make similar post on two different web sites. However, josan has posted this on three web site and on this one there is interest. I have been to Mt, Popa and visited the Nats when you still had to have a guide or a minder to get into Burma. I am sure this festival would be a lot of fun. However the first thing you need to know is that the elected leader of Burma Aung Sun Suu Kyi--who is presently under house arrest now for 15+ years---has asked tourist to stay away. Of course, what you do or do not do is up to your individual conscience. I, for one, will not go.

#6 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 30 May 2010 - 06:26 PM

I, for one, will not go.

I didn't say I'm going, but I do think it's important that information be posted for those who do choose to go.

The Suu Kyi vs tourism issue is a separate issue. To my mind, however, the Suu Kyi issue is one thing. Supporting gays in Burma is another and this would make for an interesting debate. While I am in full support of Suu Kyi, I also don't think a few gay farang going to Burma for a gay festival would make one iota of difference to her plight. Whether I choose to go or not, the Suu Kyi issue would be a factor in my decision, but it wouldn't be the decision-making factor.

If I decide to go, for me neither the Suu Kyi issue nor support of gays issue would be the thing that makes my decision for me. For me it would be simply whether it is something I wish to do. I don't know whether that is pure selfishness on my part or not. I don't need to go to Burma to find gay young men, especially considering where I live, so that would not be my reason. I'm also not so sure that I would want to base my decision on political issues.

To tell the truth, I don't really know for sure why I would go, if I go. I've never been to the Phuket gay festival either. Why would I decide to go to Burma, but not go to the Phuket gay festival or vice-versa? Why would I decide to do both? Why would I decide to do neither? At the moment I can't answer any of those, even for myself.

#7 billyhouston

billyhouston

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 79 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 05:25 AM

Aung San Suu Kyi is but one voice, albeit the most important one, within the (now disbanded) NLD. Many former members of this organisation take a diametrically opposite view with regard to tourism. My experience has been that for every person who wants tourists to avoid the country, I can show you ten, or more, who take the opposite view. This applies equally to those within Myanmar and those who are refugees, having fled the country. Tourists, as well as seeing what goes on in the country can also enable its citizens to learn what is going on in the outside world.

Political correctness is a modern absurdity and there is nothing more absurd than insisting on referring to the country as 'Burma' other than during the period 1885 to 1948. There are many reasons to call the country Myanmar and, similarly, many reasons not to call it Burma.

Please do not allow yourselves to be controlled by the 'chattering classes', who have their own agenda, and, instead, study the situation and make your own decision whether or not to visit Myanmar.

'The River of Lost Footsteps' by Thant Myint-U and 'From the Land of Green Ghosts' by Pascal Khoo Thwe make interesting reading.

#8 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 May 2010 - 07:01 AM

There are many reasons to call the country Myanmar and, similarly, many reasons not to call it Burma.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but what are some of those reasons?

#9 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:31 AM

First, the "virgin queen of the Western powers" did NOT ask people not to travel to Myanmar! This has been stated and clarified repeatedly in the international news. Why would she ask that her own people be harmed? Sadly the truth is that Western sanctions have only strengthen the military government and seriously harmed the lives of the people of Myanmar.

Second, I am not talking politics with my posts. The group within Myanmar I work with is promoting gay rights and culture in Myanmar. Right now Myanmar gays are about where Thai gays were 20 years ago. But Myanmar is changing fast. For the last month a group of our guys have been in training in Thailand concerning the management of gay businesses and gay websites.

Many of us gay folks believe that we have a responsibility to help and assist gay movements anywhere in the world. When one group gains a few rights the whole society gains a little bit. Not to engage and assist is like a denial of who you really are.

Third, Gays in Myanmar are networking very fast. Last August we publicized the Nat Festival near Mandalay and many, many came and met for the first time.

Last February we sent out over 400 emails to every gay Myanmar person we could find and ask them all to come meet at a club for Valentines Day. Over 250 showed up and many were shocked to see their neighbors and work mates there. One young man was with his friends when he heard a voice he knew. Turning around he was looking into the face of his own half-brother! They both lived in the same house but did not know!

There are several gay websites in Myanmar. The largest and most popular is Sign In to Myanmar Gay Education - Myanmar Gay Education [Sorry it is in Burmese] It connects Myanmar gays all over the world. There are members of the medical field and from the Myanmar Navy who are members of this website.

There are now several gay friendly bars and night clubs in Yangon and one openly gay club owned by a very gay group from Singapore. These clubs mostly operate as meeting places for the various gay groups on special days. Gays all have their favorite tea shops in Yangon and Mandalay where they all meet almost every evening. The group I meet with is in front of the main police station in downtown Yangon. Last year one of the policemen came out to our table and asked if he could bring his little brother to sit with us!

There are gay groups all over the country working in Aids Education and one of our groups has taken over the funding of an orphanage that was going to be forced to close because of the lack of funds.

Fourth, in Myanmar the whole gay scene is overlaid by the very deep beliefs in Nats, or spirits as they are called in Thailand. In Myanmar almost ALL Nats are gay! So when there is a Nat festival anywhere in the country all of the Nats and their followers go to the festival. Almost all of these are gay! Last year we went to the Nat Festival near Mandalay with one of the most well know Nats in Yangon. We, his followers, were about 40 in number and trust me we are all gay!

Myanmar is very safe. Probably one of the safest places in the world. Gay tourists are welcome in Myanmar. Local gays can travel with you all over the country. You often see local boys with their farang boyfriends in trendy restaurants in Yangon or at the beach. The one NO NO is if you are interested in underage children please do not come. The government will make you most unwelcome!

#10 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:40 AM

"Political correctness is a modern absurdity and there is nothing more absurd than insisting on referring to the country as 'Burma' other than during the period 1885 to 1948. There are many reasons to call the country Myanmar and, similarly, many reasons not to call it Burma."

Gaybutton: 1885 to 1948 was the British invasion and occupation of Myanmar. During the British colonial periods the good Brits went around renaming everything 'in their light'! The name Burma and Rangoon are British occupation names and signify the oppression of the Myanmar people.

#11 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:53 AM

Can you give us more details, such as gay-friendly hotel recommendations, how to get out to where the festival is (taxi, bus, whatever), etc?

Are ATMs available? If not, is it best to bring US dollars, Thai baht, something else?

ATMs are not available because of western sanctions. Bring newer clean 100 dollar bills. Thai Baht is also accepted most places in Yangon. Don't worry about bringing a stack of money. Just like in Thailand, keep it out of sight. No problems in Myanmar.

Get a hotel in Mandalay and tell the desk you want a taxi to take you to the festival. Or walk outside your hotel you will see many local drivers who will take you. You can have them wait for you if you want but there are many ways to get back into Mandalay from the festival: bus, motorbike, taxi.

Gay-friendly hotel? To tell you the truth I have never been in a hotel in Myanmar that was not gay friendly! My boy friend and I travel all over the country together and have never had any problems at hotels or restaurants.

You can get some friendly travel tips from The Torn Tree forum on the Lonely Planet website. Just go down to Asia - South-East Asia Mainland and click on Myanmar.

.

#12 josan

josan

    Associate

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 48 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:58 AM

Sorry, the address of the new gay website did not copy and past well! The address is:

Myanmar Gay Education

#13 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 10:22 AM

First, the "virgin queen of the Western powers" did NOT ask people not to travel to Myanmar!



Hardly a proper name for the daughter of the hero of the Burmese revolution, Nobel prize winner, and elected leader of Burma. She did say this in a direct interview on several occasion. All reports she has changed her mind are second hand.
Aung San Suu Kyi Interview | The Progressive

#14 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:53 AM

Gay-friendly hotel? To tell you the truth I have never been in a hotel in Myanmar that was not gay friendly!

Can you make any specific hotel recommendations in both Mandalay and Yangon, including contact information?

I seem to recall reading that now foreigners can enter the country without a visa and get one at the airport upon arrival. Is that correct?

#15 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:02 PM

"Political correctness is a modern absurdity and there is nothing more absurd than insisting on referring to the country as 'Burma' other than during the period 1885 to 1948. There are many reasons to call the country Myanmar and, similarly, many reasons not to call it Burma."

Gaybutton: 1885 to 1948 was the British invasion and occupation of Myanmar. During the British colonial periods the good Brits went around renaming everything 'in their light'! The name Burma and Rangoon are British occupation names and signify the oppression of the Myanmar people.


You said that your message was not political but just gay related. What you are saying in the above is 100% political and a great distortion of the facts. The man who kicked the British out of Burma in 1948 (Aung San Suu Kyi's father) called the country Burma and it stayed that way under several changes of leadership until 1988 when the present Military Junta (SLORC) renamed it Myanmar. The Burmese people were never asked what they wanted their country called and the freely elected leader of Burma (Aung Sam Suu Kyi) calls the country Burma along with Australia, the US. the UK. France and Germany to name a few. Furthermore, Burma comes from the largest ethnic group the Burmans, but this name is less formal then the name Myanmar (which is the formal name of the Burman people). Many of the minority groups in Burma have objected to this name change, and this government has been engaged in an ethnic cleansing of these groups. Where do you think the Karen come from in Thailand? To call this name change Political correctness is at the best a very cheap shot on your part.
Secondly, you stated in an earlier message that there is no reason anyone would not want tourist to come to this country. Strange that you would ignore the fact that the generals who run this country are doing so in order to line their own pockets at the expense of their people. For example, the present leader of the SLORC recently spent 40 million USD on his daughter's wedding. The village of Bagan was moved far away from the ruins (depriving many Burmese of a livelihood), new general owned hotels were built and now all the money tourist spend goes directly into the general's pockets. Many of the generals have established themselves as secret partners in almost every business in Burma and like the Mafia they take their rake off. How safe is a country with a 400,000 man army that routinely shoots its own people.
Amnesty International, Human Rights watch, and other groups have repeatedly detailed a gruesome litany of abuses, including murder, torture, rape, detention without trial, massive forced relocation, and forced labor.

Political correctness my Ass.

How about answering one question. What business do you or your boyfriend own that benefits from tourism?

#16 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:28 PM

Amnesty International, Human Rights watch, and other groups have repeatedly detailed a gruesome litany of abuses, including murder, torture, rape, detention without trial, massive forced relocation, and forced labor.

Political correctness my Ass.

How about answering one question. What business do you or your boyfriend own that benefits from tourism?

The USA and the UK have been guilty of many of the same things, haven't they? But I don't see people trying to convince others not to visit the USA or the UK. I also think it's unfair to start suggesting that josan must have an ulterior motive for his stance.

I am sympathetic to Suu Kyi's plight and her cause and I have no respect at all for the junta, but quite frankly I doubt that my own decision as to whether or not to visit Myanmar-Burma, or whatever you want to call it, is going to be influenced by politics or the opinions of others, no matter how strong those opinions may be, that if you visit the country, then you are a bad person. I decide things for myself. I don't let other people decide for me.

I don't like the junta. I am sympathetic to Suu Kyi. I know the country is guilty of human rights abuses. But speaking only for myself, it won't be any of those that determine my decision as to whether to visit the country.

#17 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:51 PM

The USA and the UK have been guilty of many of the same things, haven't they? But I don't see people trying to convince others not to visit the USA or the UK.

Rarely a state policy like it is in Burma.

I also think it's unfair to start suggesting that josan must have an ulterior motive for his stance.

Even after he mistakes facts about Burma and the country? You did read my post, yes?

I don't like the junta. I am sympathetic to Suu Kyi. I know the country is guilty of human rights abuses. But speaking only for myself, it won't be any of those that determine my decision as to whether to visit the country.


I could not agree more and completely support you right to choose. I only started this because he belittled a real a person and a problem, and played loose with facts. Do not you remember reading this, " Of course, what you do or do not do is up to your individual conscience. I, for one, will not go."
After this message we got the belittling of Aung san suu Kyi and then the distortion of facts. Why was he so defensive. My question stands and I do not think it is unfair.

#18 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:55 PM

I'm not trying to be flippant, but what are some of those reasons?


Do you notice your question was not answered?

#19 Gaybutton

Gaybutton

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,329 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 31 May 2010 - 01:32 PM

Do you notice your question was not answered?

I thought he did in this post:

There are many reasons to call the country Myanmar and, similarly, many reasons not to call it Burma."

Gaybutton: 1885 to 1948 was the British invasion and occupation of Myanmar. During the British colonial periods the good Brits went around renaming everything 'in their light'! The name Burma and Rangoon are British occupation names and signify the oppression of the Myanmar people.



#20 KhorTose

KhorTose

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,637 posts

Posted 31 May 2010 - 01:44 PM

I thought he did in this post:


You did not ask the question of Josan but of billyHoustan. What josan said was a distortion of facts. Billyhoustan, by the way, does extensive business in Myanmar going back to his post on flying to Burma using Asia Airlines, Air Mandalay, etc. So I know where he is coming from already and what interest he is protecting. Once again hitting my theme that my question to Josan is a fair one.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users