Initiated by @myaesthetics__, @caffinated_pages_ and @br_randall, #FreedomStartsWithBooks campaign is to support the Burmese book lovers who have been impacted by the military coup in Myanmar (Burma). My answers are as follows:
- I’d like to consider myself as a reader although I haven’t explored multiple facets of literature which I plan to uncover as I continue my reading journey. I’ve been bookstagramming for nearly five years mixing with my personal photos. Slightly over a year ago, I started this account to share my book reviews and to assimilate from others in this bookstagram community.
- Before the coup, I read one or two books weekly when I’m not in the chasm of reading slump. I mainly enjoy fiction books and try to interlace non-fictions between my fictional ride. The longest I have been in the reading hiatus is not more than two weeks.
- Since the coup has started, I couldn’t read or do any other activities that I usually enjoy. Like many other Burmese, I spent most of my time reading news and sharing them across various social media platforms. Although I managed to came out of my reading slump nearly after a month, it was still difficult to focus on my reading.
- I try to take mini breaks from reading the news and reduce my time on social media. I occasionally exercise the cognitive thinking process, as well.
- I picked books about students movements, revolutions, racial discrimination, etc in Myanmar and in other countries. As the situations are relatable and so close to home, it’s not difficult to concentrate anymore. Besides, the narrative is different from news and articles I’ve been reading everyday, I can easily absorb. That’s how I recovered my reading momentum.
- I think revolution and literature are interrelated. Because of the revolutions, many have voiced out and penned their thoughts and experiences. They share their traumas and pain as well as the inspiring occurrences and success stories in their lives. Similarly, through literature, people get inspirations, learn to fight against the oppressions and try to overthrow the years (decades) long dictatorship.
- The coup by junta may have negative impacts on many of us yet we still can take responsibility in our actions and transform them into positive impacts. We shall try to find out about the things we didn’t know and also unlearn the made-up history we had been taught. From that, we can share what we’ve come to know with the rests.
These are my additional thoughts:
- If you are, like me, living under a safe roof and have food for your daily meal, please know that we are very fortunate. Try no to judge others for doing this and not doing that. There are several IDPs and CDM employees who have suffered so much in this coup. Also there are many ethnic groups who have been suffering these adversities for years long. In this dark time, to have empathy and compassion is as important as to be in solidarity. Well, actually, it will be great to have such mindset all the time, not just during the dark time.
- To quote the words spoken by genius Tyrion Lannister at the series finale of Game of Thrones..