Every morning before class, public school students in Myanmar come together to sing the national anthem at a mandatory school assembly. However, teachers at one elementary school in Yangon have earned viral fame by adding another song to their assembly, one meant to teach their students about the importance of keeping their country clean.
In the widely-shared video, teachers and students at No. 2 Dagon Basic Education School can be seen singing and dancing to a tune about picking up trash and generally being a good citizen.
Thein Htein, a teacher at No. 2 Dagon, uploaded the video on Wednesday of him and three other teachers leading their students, aged 10-12, in the sing-and-dance-along session that has received 277,000 views and almost 9,000 shares on Facebook.
Here’s a loose translation of the lyrics:
Bend your knees and stretch out your hands,
Picking up after yourself, there’s fun to be had,
Turn your head and look for a trash can,
Running, picking up trash, yes, we can.
Ha, ha, ha!
Jump up and down!
The song struck a chord with netizens, with many praising the teachers for trying to instill a sense of responsibility in their students to combat the city’s mounting trash problems.
“After 50 years of military rule that destroyed Myanmar’s active and lively youth, this is how we are fixing and repairing our young people,” Ahr Nyi, a Facebook user commented on the video.
Han Ni wrote, “The kids are learning how to pick up trash these days. Now, only the adults need to do the same.”
If you’ve walked around Yangon, you can see that trash is an endemic problem, one that needs to be tackled across all sectors of society.
The most infamous example of the city’s trash problem was the landfill fire in Hlaingtharya, one of Yangon’s poorest neighborhoods, that started burning in April and blanketed much of Yangon in a cloud of poisonous gas until it was eventually put out.
Hopefully these songs will spread and help teach a new generation how to be responsible citizens.