Or, in an agricultural family, the wife may be helping with the planting, the reaping, the winnowing.If her husband is a cartman, a Burmese woman may perform her share of the labor.For centuries —even before recorded history, from all we can deduce—Burmese women have accepted as their right a high measure of independence.
Here too, Burmese women find that their traditional law recognizes them equally with men, and all through our history we have had full inheritance rights.
These rights are ensured by the rather odd fact that under Burmese Buddhist Law neither a man nor a woman can write a will.
On a street there is nothing unusual in the sight of a man walking ahead while his wife follows a few paces behind carrying the bundles.
The apparent paradox of these observations is, in fact, quite an accurate indication of the rather special place that Burmese women occupy in our society.
My cook's husband, for instance, has three wives, and another of my servants two.