Rain or shine, umbrellas are a fixture on the streets of Yangon. They have at least two uses we’re well-acquainted with: 1) downpour preparedness, and 2) sun avoidance.
But 28-year-old Alyne Tamir, girlfriend of monumentally annoying “influencer” Nas Daily and proud holder of her own 1.1 million followers under the online nom de plume Dear Alyne, this weekend shone a light on their titillating third use — hiding PDAs from prying eyes.
To be fair, she’s not wrong. In picturesque spots around Yangon, such as Kandawgyi park, Inya Lake, and People’s park, you can spot umbrellas dotting the landscape, serving as face-shielding canopies for canoodling couples.
Known locally as “a twal”, or “umbrella lovers,” these young couples are generally believed to hide their makeout sessions to avoid pressure from their prudish families, though as Myanmar has slowly opened up to the world, attitudes have shifted.
Unsurprisingly, her one-minute primer on the subject — both she and Nas Daily’s videos all have a 60-second cap — found plenty of unsuspecting parasol paramours cuddling in the park as examples.
We’re pretty agnostic as to whether or not this is good or bad for the country’s image abroad (where most of the duo’s audience exists), that’s something you can decide for yourselves, though we probably lean “cute and relatively harmless.”
Either way, in a society that still prizes traditional male and female roles, intergenerational living, saving sex (and even kissing) for after marriage, and obedience to one’s elders, it’s safe to say umbrella snogging will be around for the near future.