Myanmar Style Election Campaigns: Winter Melons on the Roof

One night at Casa de May, my father laments the fact that as a political science major in college, I have yet to have heard about winter melons popping up on top of marketplaces across Yangon.  By that, he means winter melons randomly hanging out on top of roofs at major markets.  One of the hottest trending stories this week!

Winter melons are called “kyauk-phayone” in Burmese language, same alphabets as “Kyant-Phont” or the incumbent USDP party.  The original market sporting the now famous melon is Insein Market, known locally as “Insein Zay-Gyi,” which – you have guessed correctly! – is composed of the same letters as Aung San Suu Kyi.

The placement of the USDP winter melon right on top of the market plaque symbolic of the opposition party is considered or rumored to be one of the many strategies to win the votes in upcoming election in Myanmar this November.  It looks like the election strategists have seriously thought their plan through to win it this year!

Several people have pointed out, however, that these trending vegetables are being used as lightning rods at markets.  But that makes up for a less interesting story, and…does that even work?

Oh Yangon and all its quirks!


4 thoughts on “Myanmar Style Election Campaigns: Winter Melons on the Roof

  1. Hi!
    My name is Marijn Veltman and i’m a 25 year old freelance (video)journalist from Holland.
    I’m currently in Yangon and am really interested in doing a story on food in Myanmar.
    I would love to get in touch with you for perhaps an interview and/or a few other story ideas I have.
    Could you be so kind to reply to me via e-mail or you can offcourse always call/text me (099 6035 38 42)
    Kind regards,


    • Hi Marijn

      Thanks for visiting me! I’m really not an expert on food and can be described as an amateur at best. Would be happy to talk to you about story angles for you. It would be too vain of me, however, to appear on TV to comment on Myanmar cuisine!


      • Thanks so much for your answer,
        I already have quite a bit of filming done, and so far have interviewed a Shan restaurant chef, a former political prisoner and a monk in a beautiful monastery. All interviews were food related and I have some interviews planned tomorrow.
        I would however still like to write an article on Yangon food to be published on a Dutch website ( or Munchies (Vice))
        I am looking for someone who wants to go to a few real Yangon food places, such as markets,
        tea houses, food stalls, or other quirky little places. Maybe discuss some issues Myanmar faces nowadays over a hot bowl of noodle soup.
        I have no idea how busy you are but if you are interested in helping me with this, that would be wonderful.
        I might be leaving Yangon this Monday though so it would have to be this weekend..
        Let me know your thoughts and maybe we can work something out 🙂


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