By Laura Htet, UDE English
In the Myanmar calendar months of Waso and Wagaung, there are an abundance of water everywhere in the country. It is a time when low-lying areas cannot help but associate with water. It is also a time during which we can see waters wherever we look. Rain rarely stops. In such times, it is natural that rural folks seek happiness as soon as the rain stops and the weather is fine again. As they do not possess as many enjoyable things as the ones who live in urban areas, it is also natural that they will create their happiness themselves by various means. At those moments, it will be a happy time for rural children to go out and collect ripe rose-apples.
Rose-apple is a tiny fruit of reddish brown colour and has a slightly sour taste. It is enjoyable to collect those which are ripe and have already fallen to the ground from the tree. They would also be seen floating about on the surface of the water. Not only children but also the young and even the adults enjoy to do so. Some happen to eat those fruits while collecting them. After they have collected a lot of rose-apples, they happily come back to the village. Some rose-apples are distributed to neighbours and some are cooked for the family. Rose-apples together with salt-fish is a distinctive dish, a traditional meal. A dish of squeezed or a bit pounded rose-apples mixed with salt-fish is a tasteful and palatable meal for a family that loves Myanmar tradition. For rural folks, a mixture of salt-fish and rose-apples is consumed as their main dish.
We can see the steadfast association of Myanmar rural folks and rose-apples in a classic poem composed by Sayargyi Min Thu Wun. The pleasurable breath of Myanmar rural scene can be felt in this poem. We can also vividly visualize the natural and seasonal beauty. Although rose-apples can be obtained free of charge, we can hear a word of threat that is gently and beautifully composed in the poem, lest others come along and collect the fruits. It is such a classic poem that it is prescribed in the curriculum of primary level students. Therefore, everyone who has already gone through the curriculum will surely remember this poem very well. In order to feel an alternative predilection, the poem is translated into English as follows. May everyone have a pleasant sense of taste by reading it.