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!