Gay people in Myanmar have adopted a secret language

 | 
05/28/2020

Wednesday has just turned into Thursday in Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, and pleasure-seekers are on the prowl in a glitzy neighbourhood. Drivers slow down to inspect sex workers waiting by the kerb. Three of them, all transgender women, chat brightly. Your correspondent tries to eavesdrop but even her translator cannot understand. Theresa, the most forthright of the three, withdraws the lollipop from her mouth. “Yeah, we’re speaking bansaka,” she shrugs. A dialect of Burmese spoken by gay and transgender people in Myanmar, bansaka, meaning slang, involves switching vowels within words (coffee, a loan word from English, becomes keefaw) and giving new meaning to Burmese words. Puns feature heavily. Asin, an adjective used to describe gemstones of great clarity, refers to an attractive man. Neologisms often riff on popular culture. To say one likes reading Tayza magazine, once popular among young men, is to signal that one is attracted to such people.

Regions: ,

Share this:

Latest Global News

Added on: 06/19/2024
06/19/2024
In a momentous occasion for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, the senate in Thailand senate has overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage legislation. The vote, passing 130 …
Added on: 06/19/2024
06/19/2024
An alleged gay, identified as “Junior”, has been mercilessly beaten for allegedly attempting to have a sexual affair with a young man in Assin …
Added on: 06/19/2024
06/19/2024
Dayling Ramírez says that each day that passes is a challenge to overcome because, despite having survived the persecution of the Mara Salvatrucha gang …

Explore LGBTQ+ Issues

Other News from ,

Added on: 06/19/2024
In a momentous occasion for LGBTQ+ rights in Asia, the senate in Thailand senate has overwhelmingly approved same-sex marriage legislation. The vote, passing 130 …
Added on: 06/18/2024
In a world where acceptance and safety often seem difficult to attain, many queer individuals also struggle to find a safe space to express …
Added on: 06/18/2024
Thailand’s senate has passed the final reading of a historic marriage equality bill, paving the way for the country to become the first in …