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Happy Chinese New Year in Lin Htet Ag's home

Published Feb 11, 2016

Being invited in the home of a Burmese young guy during the Chinese New Year celebration.

His name is Lin Htet Ag.

He is 19 years old and he is wearing a hat with a hip-hop street style with the sign “move on”. He likes loud music, and this is what made me knock his door.

“Hello!”  I am trying to put my voice louder than his music, trying to make him see me through the door.

“Hey!” he says when he realized that a foreigner is on the door step of his home and with a friendly gesture he opens the door.

“My name is Htet Ag.”

He is a DJ or at least this is what he wants to do. He loves music and in the same moment Beyoncé’s show plays on his TV. His room is like a small warehouse. In the center there is a table with offers for the New Year. The previous night he and his family had a dinner.

It is according to the tradition that people celebrate the New Year by cleaning their home, decorate the home with red colored things, they should offer to children pocket money in red envelopes to protect them from the bad spirit and the last night the whole family will stay awake to see the fireworks on the sky.

I ask him if their parents are from Myanmar and he brings a picture of his grandparents.

“My grandpa is from Chine. He moved to Myanmar when he fell in love with my grandma and because of the war they had to leave from China. Yesterday we’ve been all together, having dinner to celebrate the New Year”

“And these are my awards from school. I study English”. I can see how proud he feels and I smile.

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

He puts out his mobile and he show me a picture with a young beautiful girl with red hair.

“Yes, she is 20 years old and we wil get married in a couple of years, cause now we cannot afford it”

He shows me my tattoo on my hand...

“I will do one on my right hand as well. My parents name. And my girlfriend’s name on my chest.

So, I feel it the moment to ask him, what I ask for the last months.

“What is the meaning of Love?”

“Love is passion”, he replies spontaneously.

It was exactly what you could feel from that young man.

And this is what I kept in my mind.

Lin Htet Ag, has dreams. He is young, and he is passionate with what he loves.

I thank him and while I close the door I can hear the last hit of Rhianna from his speakers.

Lin Htet Ag’s home is on 19th street, in Yangon, where most people know it as China Town. Currently there is a Chinese street market due to the New Year.

Ο Lin Htet Ag didn’t know me but he welcomed me in his home like I was his friend. So simple...

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