human moments #2

I think my appearance rather startled this baby Burmese boy. After all, who wouldn't be frightened by a tall strange ugly creature with a huge long nose and skin as pale as the moon? His elder brother didn't seem so intimidated however. A 24mm wide angle lens is responsible for all that wonderful distortion. Burmese use white powder on their faces for health reasons.
All throughout Asia, you see very young children minding their even younger brothers or sisters propped up on their hip like this. It is such a common and familiar stance. It's almost as though the shape of the waist and hip bone was designed just for this purpose.

Children natuarally grow up sharing the responsiblity of taking care of their siblings while mum and dad are engaged in other tasks. The extended family system, a strong community spirit, watchful neighbours, makes raising children seem so effortless.

Talk about issues of responsibility regarding young children. An image just flashed through my mind. I remember seeing a young Balinese father riding his bicycle just on twilight. He was wobbling along the road steering his bike with one hand. In the other he carried an eight month old baby. I blinked. That is something we would never think of doing. As he passed, I noticed sticking out of a leather belt around his sarong was a razor sharp sickle. I found the sight alarming. My mind imagined the potential disaster which could have resulted from such a combination. For him, any accident would have been just fate.

or old balinese dancer?
© david.atkinson@rmit.edu.au
created 29 october 1998