‘Karen & Me’ – Myanmar and Northern Thailand 2012

So it was here, among the hillsides and mountains between Thailand and Myanmar, beneath the tourists that are drawn to the ‘long-necks’ of the Karen people, the sub group called the Kayan Lahwi – I saw the uncertainty of a beautiful group of people caught between traditions and survival.

Many children will grow up and move to the towns and cities to pursue a career in Thailand’s rampant sex industry, and break with traditions, and the coils around their necks. To conform to a society that view them as a novel tourist attraction.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission is already engaging in long term projects to stem this flow of under-aged girls into the cities. But for me, as a mere spectator – I simply did not know what to say to that little girl – besides hello.

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