Today is the first day of Burmese year 1376. I got up early and took Sabbath as a merit. I also listen to Dhamma audios online. Normally, when in my country, I go to pagodas and make some donations to the monasteries on this special day. Now, my family is going on a trip to the beach without me. What a miss! Missing them so much but I need to focus only on the exam. Fighting AMMK!
I have just submitted the updated CV, personal site and blog, which is the last assessment from skills 2 or for this whole trimester. Now, I’m planning for the exams and allocating the topics to study for each day. I think Applied molecular microbiology will be the most difficult exam for me among three modules, as I have to write 4 essays in 3 hours. I have to practice and improve my hand writing speed prior to the exam so as to get the marks that I want. Now, I’m concentrating only on Integrated cell biology, the first exam which I have to sit on 23rd April.
Today is the third day of “Thingyan Water Festival” which is the most beautiful and exciting festival in our country. It is celebrated at the end of our Burmese year so as to welcome new year. It is held normally for 4 days but sometimes 5 days in accordance with the Burmese calendar. This year is 1375 for our burmese year and on 17th April 2014 at dawn, it will be 1376 as a day we recognized is not the same as others. Generally, people around the world recognize a day from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm but for us, a day starts from the dawn and ends on the next day just before dawn. This is the only festival in which all the people across the country participate and enjoy. Not only in Myanmar (burma) but in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and even in some states in China, people also celebrate this, the name of the festival is different, though. So, I’m really missing this festival. Most young people, including me, throwing water to each other during this festival, but some people, especially elder people usually go to meditation centre to practice meditation as our country is Theravada Buddhism. In addition, some people donate Burmese traditional foods like “Mont lone yay paw” to everyone passing by and playing with water. On the first day of new year, we usually do merits such as taking Sabbath, going to pagodas and buying alive animals like chicken, fishes to save their lives from butchering. Some young people usually wash their grandparents hairs and cut their nails on that day as a merit. I never missed this festival and this is the first time I’m away from my country during this festival. Now I’m listening to the Thingyan songs. Just like me, everyone in my country always listen to those songs when the festival is drawing near. Oh… I feel missing more as I write this post… That’s terrible for me!
We did “Mont lone yay paw”, the Burmese traditional food, which we usually eat in Thingyan Water Festival. Moreover, we did Vermicelli salad, which is Rakhine Traditional food. Rakhine is one of the ethnic groups in our country and most of them live in Rakhine State which is located in western part of our country. Burmese students in caledonian court came and joined this party. We also treated these foods to other students in that flat. However, they said that Vermicelli salad was quite spicy and they can’t eat. As for us, we are used to it and we don’t feel spicy. But some people have some coursework and they wanted to go back early. So we finished party before 9 pm, which is just started at 7 pm. Before going back home, we throw water each other as a celebration of Thingyan Water Festival, even though the weather is cold outside. Whatever, we enjoyed that moment although we could not participate in the real festival in our country.
Today, I went shopping with my friend from Burma. Although he lives next door, we didn’t meet each other these days as we had a lot of assessments from our modules. We did shopping without any stress and we chatted about our experience and hurdles from the university. After coming back from going shopping, I cooked the curry for the first time since March. I only ate noodles and bread during this period. Now, I can eat rice and curry, which is my favorite meal and no need to eat noodle any more.
Today is the last day for this trimester. I think there will be no more classes although we have trimester C, which is only for MSc project. So we will only have to do laboratory works and reports in next trimester. Our last lecture for this program is from Professor Bartholomew, who is one of my favourite lecturers. He is very patient and good at teaching. His explanation were really efficient and I don’t need to revise or read again his lecture notes to understand after his class. However, most of the lecturers are quite good at teaching and I’m pleased to choose this university for my further studying. I will be missing the lectures and also classmates after this program in this university.
Finally we finished data analysis test, which I’m really concerned. I think I did do well but not the best. Now half of my stress has been relieved following this test, although I have a lot of coursework remained to do. I hope the results of this test will be fine.
I have never missed this day on my life. Happy birthday, mom! I’m really sorry for that I could not be with you on this day. You’re the one I love most and the only one who understand me most. You know everything what I want and need, and fulfill as much as you can. I really appreciate you not only for giving birth, but for allowing me to lead my career as I want, too. I love you and miss you, mom…