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Photographer's Note

This cute little heartbreaker was selling smokes around Mingun Paya.

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EXTRA: A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO SMOKING IN BURMA

A smoke in Myanmar is a cheroot. Technically, a cheroot is a cylindrical cigar with both ends clipped. They are inexpensive to roll and in the 19th century they were introduced in India and Burma by the British colonialists.

In present day Myanmar a traditional cheroot is still very popular. It looks like a small cigar, but the tobacco is more like of a cigarette. At one end a rolled-up newspaper strip is used as a filter. I've been told the English-language daily "The Light of Myanmar" is particularly popular for this...

What the girl is selling here are - technically speaking - no cheroots. In the old days these closed tubes used to contain opium, but here it was plain tobacco.

The dried cover leaf is...well, I don't know, but it is very dry. This makes smoking one of these things quite a fire hazard on windy days. I got burnt holes in my (and my neighbour's) longyi to prove that!

So, folks, don't smoke this type of cheroot on a windy day!

How's that for a useful note, he?

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dedicated to the people of Burma,
the real light of Myanmar...

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scanned from analogue print

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song title reference: Led Zeppelin

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2806 W: 35 N: 5701] (30390)
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