Students opt for staycation or travelling or contributing voluntary services during the summer vacation

  • Tommy Pauk
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In Myanmar, all the schools, colleges and universities are usually closed for three consecutive months in summer. The students of all levels can enjoy a long summer vacation. Normally, the summer vacation begins from the first week of March to the end of May. During that period of time, the Myanmar New Year public holiday and Thingyan Water Festival are included. The primary students, secondary students and university students in Myanmar have so full of fun and enjoyment on a long summer vacation. When schools, colleges and universities are closed for summer vacation, all students can enjoy leisure or relaxation at home with their family. The boarding school students and the students who stay at university hostels go back home when the summer vacation falls officially. As for the students who have sat for the matriculation examination can get relaxed during summer vacation. They have to spend the summer vacation beneficially for them while waiting for the matriculation results which are normally announced in June. Then they can opt whatever they like to do with the consent of their parents or guardians. Some secondary and tertiary students take part in voluntary services in their community or various places in Myanmar such as literacy campaign and charitable services. Parents and guardians also support or fulfill the wish of their children for joining voluntary services willingly. Their good will and intention to contribute voluntary services are encouraging. Some students take the summer martial arts course (Judo, Karate, Myanma Martial Arts etc) or summer computer courses or summer swimming training course or summer English speaking course, summer Basic Red cross course and summer traditional ethic course (conducted by Buddhist monks at Buddhist Monasteries). The Lu-Ye-Chun students (the outstanding students from secondary schools and universities) are annually chosen by state to visit Lu-Ye- Chun recreation camps in Inlay lake area (Khaung Dine) and Ngapali beach (Shwe War Chine) during summer vacation.
The students those who are the members of scouts and members of Myanmar Trekking and Mountaineering participate in their respective activities. These two activities also contribute to the communities, people and environment as the student scouts and mountaineering members help the local people and community while they work or climb to the summit. Not only they help the local people but also they make effort to conserve the natural environment along the route. The student scouts participate in scouting activities which contribute to the communities and they learn the socio-economic development of the designated areas in Myanmar. Thus, the students gain knowledge about the life of the people in some areas and experience of voluntary services there. The activities done by the student scouts are beneficial both for the students and the local people concerned.
Few students prefer staycation rather than visiting some interesting places in Myanmar on summer vacation, but most of the students like to visit various interesting places or wildlife sanctuary or seaside resorts or waterfall resorts or famous pagoda sites or tourist attractions in Myanmar. They visit these places with their family or friends or relatives together. Normally, they go on a pilgrimage tour in Myanmar on summer vacation. The students who belong to the well-to-do families go on a tour of a foreign country. Otherwise, these students and their families visit hill station in Myanmar where cooler weather prevails in summer e.g. Pyin Oo Lwin (A hill station of Myanmar). There they enjoy their leisure and recreation comfortably.
The options or choices for spending summer vacation depend on the individual students’ desire or hobby or support of the parents. If the parents cannot provide their children with financial support for travelling to foreign countries during summer vacation, the students concerned cannot choose traveling abroad on summer vacation. In this case, it is totally impossible for those students to fulfill his wish while having summer vacation. This is an exceptional case that not all students can take the option of visiting a foreign country during summer vacation.
The students take staycation because they do not want to travel to another location in Myanmar in the period of summer vacation. They spend a vacation at their home or near their home and participate in leisure activities within driving distance. The students belonged to close-knit families help their parents as much as they can. For example; doing household chores, helping their parents in family business or in the shops or working on the farm of their parents during summer vacation. The students who opt staycation usually visit or sightsee nearby their homes. Also they contribute voluntary services to their community and within their location where they live. Actually they do not spend the summer vacation idly. Being staycationers, the students help their parents, community and do some charitable work actively. They are not indolent indeed.
Anyway, all the students in Myanmar merrily participate in Myanmar Traditional Water Festival or Thingyan Festival during the summer holiday. Sequentially, they enjoy Myanmar New Year celebration in connection with Thingyan Festival. Some students do meritorious deeds and do meditation at meditation centers. Some students are ordained as Buddhist monks. In Myanmar, as for Students, they do a lot of beneficial activities for them and communities or country and ritual practices apart from taking relaxation and recreation during the long summer vacation. They do not waste the precious time and spend the long summer vacation according to the helpful guidelines of parents, teachers and government. A very harmonious relationship between parents and children is seen vividly in Myanmar society.

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