Friday, January 04, 2013

Myanmar's Thanaka Wood - PhotoHunt

PhotoHunt theme : Add/Show a Glimpse of You

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Before I left for Myanmar, several girlfriends requested that I bring back Thanaka powder for them. Prior to my trip to Myanmar, I didn't know what Thanaka is. I am not familiar with cosmetics :P

It is a special cream or powder made out of Thanaka trees which grow abundantly in central Myanmar. This yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from the ground bark represents an important part of Myanmar tradition.

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In Myanmar, everywhere that I go, I see this paste applied on the faces and sometimes the arms of women and girls. Some men and boys apply it too. It is a distinctive feature of Myanmar.

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On my second day in Myanmar, my tour guide brought us to a street market. The women in our tour group was immediately fascinated by this unique wood and its powder when I was haggling over the price with the hawker.

The hawker was selling Thanaka in its natural state as small logs individually or in bundles. It is also available as a paste or in powder form.

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Had I bought the log, I would have to grind the bark or wood of the Thanaka tree with a small amount water on a circular stone slab called kyauk pyin which has a channel round the rim for the water to drain into. It is more sensible to buy the ground powder. All I have to do is to add water to it and then I could apply the paste to my face :).

Myanmar Market

One of our tour members was shooting away while the tour guide was giving an introduction of Myanmar's street market, you can catch a glimpse of me in the picture.

We can buy Thanka powder in Singapore too as there are many Myanmar citizens working and residing here.


42 comments:

  1. Very interesting ECL and another thing I learned today thanks to you! Happy Weekend!!:-)

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    Replies
    1. You're welcomed Jackie. We are constantly learning something new every day. :)

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  2. Great shots and interesting post. Happy New Year!

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  3. I've never heard of this paste before. Wonder what it's supposed to do when applied?

    Thanks for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party :)

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to the Burmese tour guide, they use it to shield their skin from the damaging and ageing effects of the very strong tropical sun.

      Thanaka also moisturises skin and has antibacterial properties, so one can use it to prevent acne from breaking out.

      Delete
  4. what does this powder do? does it beautify? remove wrinkles?

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    Replies
    1. Thanaka powder ahs been used by Burmese women for more than 2000 years. It gives a cooling sensation and provides protection from sunburn. It is believed to help remove acne and promote smooth skin. It is also an anti-fungal.

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  5. i hope the powder will make you look younger fast. happy weekend dear. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha.... unfortunately, applying Thanaka powder on the face doesn't make one look younger.

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  6. Did you try it? This is the first I've heard of this paste too :)

    my Photo Hunt blog entry!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I did try it on my face. It gives a cooling sensation. I didn't dare to venture out with the paste on my face though. :D

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  7. Interesting post! Does the powder work like bedak sejuk?

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    Replies
    1. Both Thanaka paste and bedak sejuk gives the skin a cooling sensation and makes the skin smooth.

      Thanaka has a fragrant sandalwood scent but bedak sejuk is stinky and the smell will linger.

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    2. Note : Bedak sejuk (Cooling Rice Powder) is a traditional rice powder used in Malaysia for it's cooling, soothing properties.

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  8. Very interesting and I love how our PhotoHunt theme's each week teach me more about the world.

    I have added my entry at http://hindmarsh-island.com/?p=1043

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    Replies
    1. Glad you love it. I hope my weekly Photohunt post is interesting and informative to readers and that all could learn more about the world around us.

      Delete
  9. I am not familiar with Thanka powder until your post so this is news to me. Is it good for the skin or is used to accentuate one's beauty?

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    1. I was told it is good for the skin. Many Burmese use it and they are not shy to apply it on their faces and go out with it.

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  10. Nunca tinha ouvido falar nesse pó ou cosmético. Legal tuas fotos! beijos,chica

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Translation : Never heard of this powder or cosmetic. Cool your photos! kisses, chica

      It is commonly used by the people of Myanmar.

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  11. Replies
    1. Yes, tried it at home, I dare not go out with the paste on my face. :D

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  12. What is the purpose using this paste? Does it tighten the skin, bringing along with its use, a special glow to the skin?

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    Replies
    1. It has antibacterial properties so one can use it to prevent acne from breaking out. It moisturises the skin and shield one's skin from the damaging and ageing effects of the very and strong tropical sun.

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  13. If it blocks the rays of the sun... that might be for me. (at least my dermatologist would think so)

    Thanks for always adding to the PhotoHunt!
    We'll be 'celebrating' next weekend~
    Sandi

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    Replies
    1. The tour guide says it shields the harmful effects of the sun's ray. Maybe you can try it, it is affordable and easy to use.

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  14. Who knows what we add to our lives...mine is up and the coffee is on.

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  15. Presume those expensive branded cream would be out of biz there haha. Think its quite safe and best to use the natural ones than those chemically produced. No?

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    Replies
    1. Ever since the country opens up to the world, the ladies in Myanmar are trying International brand cosmetics. I would think the natural ones are better for the skin. :P

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  16. gosto de ler suas histórias acompanhada das imagens...bela participação, um abraço!

    http://compiladodeideia.blogspot.com.br/2013/01/add.html

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    Replies
    1. Translation : I enjoy reading your stories accompanied by beautiful pictures ... share a hug!

      Hi Vane,
      Thanks for stopping by. Glad that you enjoy my posts. :)

      Delete
  17. Hi ECL, very interesting post. I think I would've opted for the powder over the bark too. :) Very nice to catch a glimpse of you. Thanks so much for sharing your photos of this tour and this natural product. I bet it's so much better for our skin.

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. Trekcapri,
      When travelling overseas, I have to consider the extra luggage I have to bring back too. The log of Thanaka wood is a great souvenir though.

      Delete
  18. Now that's very interesting, but for what is it good, other then looking like a ghost with a beauty mask ?
    I see that you kept yourself normal for the "glimpse" photo, lol !

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    Replies
    1. hahaha.... husband gets a fright when he sees me in the night with the paste all over my face.

      I should have taken a picture of my face covered with the paste. LOL

      Delete
  19. Well, I am not familiar with cosmetics too :)
    Nice pics,
    Kiss

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  20. my friend goes to Burma to teach English. I give her a love gift, and she brought me a wooden spacula, Good for those non stick fry pams.

    BTW, be4 u go to Japan, yr mum probably says, dun eat that KIA SI fish.

    I had a chance, I was Kiasi, and I didn't regret when my sis is still alif.

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    Replies
    1. There are some unique products in Myanmar that would be great as gifts.

      I am scared but I would like to try. Pray that I am lucky. So stressed just to eat the puffer fish. LOL

      Delete

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