Mandalay was the first city that we set our foot in Myanmar. It was the first introduction of the Burmese traditions and cultures that were full of awe for us. It’s like seeing Indonesia back again in the 70s. The people wears a sarong, eats betel all the time, and their physical appearance looks like Indonesian so much. This impression made me feel that Burmese just like Indonesian. Friendly, nice and amazing people that worked hard to get through the day. We got to know the culture, even more, when we first acknowledge the existence of The Moustache Brothers show.
To be honest, I did not even know about its existence until I checked out my travel apps that recommend us to see the show. Arma was super excited as I recall one of the references mentioned that it was “satire performance against Myanmar government”. And so we went there totally blank after spending one whole day going around the city by walking. The show itself starts at 8.30 pm and we were already tired of getting lost and trying the Burmese street food on the road.
What is The Moustache Brothers?
The Moustache Brothers are a comedic group that was famous in the 1990s because of their jokes and rants against the Myanmar military government. Their performance even was brought into prisons because of their political satire mixed into classical Burmese theatre. The Moustache Brothers itself originally was founded by U Par Par Lay, U Lu Zaw, and U Lu Maw. Par Par Lay and Lu Maw were real life brothers, while the trio’s third member, Lu Zaw, is their cousin. They have spent almost 7 years in prison due to their civilisation of the Myanmar government. Sadly, Par Par Lay died on 2013 with many rumours behind his death. After that, Lu Maw continued to run the performance along with Lu Zaw and it has become a famous classical Burmese must-see theatre in Mandalay.
We also got the chance to even talked with Lu Maw’s daughter and his grandchild who will even perform on the stage. She expressed that she wanted to continue her father show and follow his path. It was such a nice glimpse to see that The Moustache Brothers won’t die near the future.
What can we watch?
Oh, plenty. Expect Lu Maw to keep their jokes style on the stage with satire political comments, it was not only for the Myanmar government but also other intrigued rumoured countries. They also introduced us their puppet show that I thought had some resemblance with Wayang Indonesia. It was a nice combination with Burmese traditional song, dances and theatre with stunning outfit and mask!
I will let the picture shows you how amazing it was!
When and where can we watch it?
The show itself holds at Par Par Lay house in Mandalay. The exact address is on the 39th St, 80/81 Mandalay, Burma. The show always on every day from 8.30 pm. You can go there right away and buy the ticket there.
How much the price ticket?
Last time I went there it was K10,000 which is around 7-8$ per person. Expect to bring more money as they sell plenty of souvenirs for you to buy at the end of the show. I got myself a nice t-shirt from them to commemorate the experience!
Overall it was a nice experience for us to spend the first night in Mandalay. We got to know a good side and amazing culture of the Burmese people. One of the show that I truly recommend when you get the chance to visit Mandalay!
The Moustache Brothers
39th St, 80/81 Mandalay Myanmar
Written by: Marina Utami
Date Visited: 22.03.2015
© 2017 Writing & Images copyright of Marina Utami.