It is widely believed in Myanmar that if a man comes in contact with a woman's panties or sarong they can rob him of his power.In 2007 one Thai-based group launched a global 'panties for peace' campaign, in which supporters were encouraged to send women's underwear to Burmese embassies, in the hope that contact with such garments would weaken the regime's hpoun, or spiritual power. It is widely rumoured that, before a foreign envoy visits Burma, an article of female underwear or a piece of a pregnant woman's sarong is hidden in the ceiling of the visitor's hotel suite, to weaken their hpoun and thus their negotiating position.The group's website explains: The Burma military regime is not only brutal but very superstitious.They believe that contact with a woman's panties or sarong can rob them of their power.Virginity has traditionally been greatly prized in modest Burma-Myanmar. If you have some laundry done at a guesthouse, some people make take offense to washing your under garments.A 1997 English language tourist brochure referred to Burma as "The Land of Virgins and the Restful Nights" and said its "trademark" virgins are famous for their "clear skin." But things are changing "Traditionally there was a big value on virginity," one magazine editor told the Los Angeles Times. Parents can't control their kids so strictly anymore." Condoms were banned until 1993. If you wash them yourself do so in a bucket, don’t do it in the sink.
Even though the military government passed a decree in early 1999 forbidding women from working at bars as pat of a campaign against prostitution, something the military government is adamantly against, there are los of prostitutes in Chinatown. There is a superstition in Myanmar that contact with women’s garments, especially underwear, can sap men of their strength.
[Source: Andrew Selth, a Research Fellow at the Griffith Asia Institute, The Interpeter, October 22, 2009] The Daily Mail reported: “Burma's iron-fisted - yet superstitious - military junta believe touching lady's underwear will "rob them of power", organisers say.
And Lanna Action for Burma hope their "Panties for Peace" campaign will help oust the oppressive rulers who ruthlessly crushed recent democracy protests.
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