…is fast becoming an Internet phenomenon. Part “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, part authoritarian home video – there is something for everyone in this widely downloaded 10 minute slice of dictatorial life. But be warned: it could amuse, bemuse and cause outrage. Thandar Shwe is, of course, the daughter of Senior General Than Shwe, the Burmese junta supremo.
To sate your curiousity, the video of what has been dubbed the “Wedding of the Year” is now available from The Irrawaddy.
As ostentatious as it all is, much in this short film will not be surprising. Some scenes, like the sequence of bedroom shots, which begin at around the 8: 10 mark, are, however, a bit of a shock. We even see footage of Thandar Shwe being cheered to her bridal chamber by a gaggle of supportive relatives and friends. In the bedroom, the closeups of intricate craftsmanship, on both furniture and jewels, are worth dwelling on. And dwell they do.
Real questions remain about the video’s appearance on the Internet, and its relationship to power politics within the Burmese regime’s inner-circle. If anybody has any potential answers, don’t be shy about posting comments. It would be great to get some discussion going on Burma’s military elite and the implications of this video.
Thanks to Amnuayvit for the links and for prompting me to highlight this unusual window into the life of Southeast Asia’s least celebrated first family.