Myanmar state media is really, really into Breastfeeding Week

Last week was global Breastfeeding Week, a noble campaign that aims to promote health and end discriminatory practices against women.

In typical Myanmar-style, state media opted to mark the occasion with verse. Multiple, multiple verses.

On Tuesday, the government-run Global New Light of Myanmar published its fourth poem about breastfeeding in as many days.

This is not that unusual: the paper is known for goofy educational material. There are frequent cartoons about issues like trash. And who could forget the recent ode to gridlock in Yangon?

But this current run marks something of a streak. ‘Breast-feeding is the Best’ came first, on page of the Saturday August 8 edition. Since then, the same slot has been filled daily with a similar verse.

(In case you’re not, er, abreast of the situation, we’re publishing the poems in full below.)

The first espoused the “vast array of benefits” that come from feeding a child its mother’s milk, including nutrition, emotional bonds. Plus, it’s cheaper than formula.

The poem was authored by Aye Phyu, who is also credited for all those that followed. 

Things got a bit more personal on Sunday, with ‘Knot the Closest Tie through Breastfeeding’ which was more concerned with the “precious moments” that come with breast-feeding.

As with all great dramas, however, the climax came in Act III. ‘The Best Times for a Breast-fed Baby’, published on Monday, which reenacted the act of birth from the point of view of a terrified infant.

“Everything’s extremely bright/ The whole world full of light/ Gripped with so much fright/ I shut my eyes pretty tight/ Stripped off [sic] warmth and security/ In no time, feeling cold and hungry I greatly yearned for anything.”

It was followed on Tuesday by the far more humdrum ‘Breastfeeding: an effective intervention’.

Are there more to come? How many more rhymes can they find for ‘breast’? Stay tuned.

Header photo: Wikicommons
All others: Global New Light of Myanmar

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