Young Women in Myanmar Turn Away from Traditional Neck Rings
For hundreds of years, women in Myanmar's Kayah area have worn bronze rings around their necks.
The rings are a traditional symbol of beauty. They also extend the necks of the women, making them very long.
But now, younger Kayan women are turning away from the tradition of their ancestors.
Mu Tu is one of the few women who knows how to make the traditional rings and put them on. She is 48 years old.
She says, "The shorter sets are easier to make. Everyone has their own preference. So if someone doesn't like what you've put on, you have to take it off and start over."
Maria Khaing has been wearing rings on her neck, wrists and knees since she was eight-years-old. She is now 83. She said, "My dad told me I looked like a boy. He said, 'so I will buy you a gun to hunt as a man'. But I said, 'every girl is wearing the rings, so I want to wear the rings too'."
Maria never removes the rings, even when cooking, eating or working.
"It is comfortable. At first it was hard but now it's fine. I eat and food goes down," she said.
Wearing neck rings was once expected of all Kayan women. But more and more have stopped wearing them.
Maria's granddaughter, 20-year-old Za Oo, is among those who have not kept with the tradition.
"They're heavy and uncomfortable. Also I don't know much about them, that's why I don't wear them," she said.
The rings make the women's necks very long. But they also press down on the bones around the shoulders. Wearing the rings can also cause discomfort when swallowing.
Even Mu Tu admits that safety is a concern.
"If you don't make the rings correctly, someone can choke," she said.
Experts say there are now fewer than 100 long-neck women in Myanmar. That is down from about 300 to 400 in the 1990s.
Some people wonder, however, if tourists will still come to buy goods in Kayah when the long-necked women are gone.
I'm Jonathan Evans.
1.press down 下压
Endless assignments press down upon me like a mountain.
2.At first 最初；起先
At first I felt very resentful and angry about losing my job.
3.goes down 下降；跌落
Water becomes solid when the temperature goes down to zero.
4.traditional symbol 传统象征
This openwork porcelain brush pot is decorated with a dragon, a traditional symbol of power.
5.But now, younger Kayan women are turning away from the tradition of their ancestors.
turning away from 对...感到厌烦；转向
Taking a deep breath, turning away from my work, and focusing my attention on something else is always helpful.
Japanese corporations have been turning away from production and have diverted into finance and real estate.
6.So if someone doesn't like what you've put on, you have to take it off and start over."
start over 重新开始
Our work was all for nothing, and we must start over again.
Now I have to start over again with somebody else.
穆图（Mu Tu）是少数几个知道如何制作及佩戴这些传统铜环的女性之一。她今年48岁 。
她说:“短些铜环更容易制作。每个人的喜好不一 。所以，如果别人不喜欢你做的这款，那你得拿下来重新制作 。"
玛利亚·凯（Maria Khaing）从8岁起就在脖子、手腕和膝盖处佩戴铜环。她现在已经83岁 。她说:“爸爸说我像个男孩子 。他说，‘那我给你买把枪，让你像个男人一样去打猎 。’但我说，女孩们都佩戴铜环，我也想戴铜环 。”
“现在很舒服。刚开始很难受，现在习惯了 。我吃东西，食物也会入胃消化 。”她说 。
颈环可以让女性的脖子变得细长。但是颈环也会压迫肩侧的骨骼 。佩戴颈环也会造成吞咽困难 。