I received an e -mail today from Estelle, formally introducing me to the teachers in Maesot that will be teaching the Art project we are working on.
It made me laugh out loud intially but as I read on I felt I had just learned a little about how the structure of burmese society works. Read this section:
'Mrs Thompson is a ceramic artist and she is the head of the art department at Sundorne school. Ma Nge Lay (a very beautiful and clever lady) is our Maesot Project Officer. She is also an experienced teacher. Ko Wunna Saw (also good looking and very kind) is an artist and our Maesot Art team leader.
Ma means sister and Ko means brother and it is a polite way to address people who are of similar age. It also makes people become family.'
It made me laugh that I was not beautiful or clever, its not traditional to address people here with these greetings, hence none for me!
With the Burmese it seems there is respect for each other at every level of society.
I know Estelle is refered to by the students she works with us 'Dao' meaning Aunt.