“Ana” – the Burmese term for embarrassment; awkwardness; an inability to present negative information or cause concern. This is the reason why my students do not correct me in class.
Me:”And what about you? What would you like to be when you grow up?”
Student: “mumbled English”
Me: “A daughter? Um, yes, well, good… it’s good to be a part of a family, treat your parents well…”
“Ana“ ensues, as I inform them about women’s rights, feminism and the necessity of stepping outside the familial role; I’m about to set fire to my bra in an old rubbish bin, before someone finally (quietly) raises their hand, avoids eye contact and explains.
Student: “Teacha? She said DOCTOR. Not daughter.” Giggles, giggles, giggles.
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