via the New York Times, 10 October 2019: This story of shifting from clay pots to plastic ones has been played out in other parts of Southeast Asia but an interesting to post here to ponder about changes in material culture. Thanks to Dr Joyce White for the heads up.
It was part of a tradition of meritorious acts embedded in Myanmar’s Buddhist-majority culture, with the neighborhood water pots refilled by retirees, housewives or anyone looking for some karmic credit for a good deed.
“Putting water out is a Buddhist ideal to be kind to others,” said U Candana Sara, a Buddhist abbot.
Now, many of these terra-cotta water pots are gone, replaced in some cases by plastic bottles with tin cups chained to them. Some of the little refreshment houses are full of litter or abandoned altogether.