Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The military regime in Burma has proclaimed a new dress code for the upcoming water festival, prohibiting attire that does not offer sufficient skin coverage.
According to the new regulation, a pavilion more than 50 feet in length must not perform “dances not compatible with traditional Burmese culture”, said an officer from the Rangoon Division General Administration Department.
He referred to “untraditional dress” and “scantily clad dress” as inappropriate for festivities and reiterated the regime’s demands that pavilions assume appropriate Burmese monikers such as Shwe Padauk and Padauk Yeik.
The background designs of pavilions should also depict traditional Burmese scenes, with revelers making use of scented water contained in silver bowls.
The water festival is scheduled to start on April 14th and end on the 16th. Those who apply for a permit to build large festival pavilions must deposit 3 million kyats (3000 US$) with authorities.
“It’s unfortunate we have to enjoy the Water Festival by wearing traditional sarongs. It would be convenient for us if they allow us to wear long pants and long-sleeved blouses which will not expose our flesh and curves,” offered a fashion model from Rangoon who wished not to be named.
This year, no pavilions will be allowed along Inya Road, University Avenue Road and some other major thoroughfares previously popular for pavilions. Pavilions will, however, be permitted along Pyi Road, Kabaaye Pagoda Road, Kandawgyi Park Street, Saya Sann Road and some other downtown motorways.
Fees for land rental, water utilization and cleaning services will be collected based on the size of pavilions and fees must be paid in advance to the Yangon (Rangoon) City Development Committee (YCDC).
Pavilions with a length of over 100 feet must pay 120,000 kyats, with water connection tax running from 60,000 kyats to 100,000 kyats based on the diameter of pipe required.