When visiting Yangon I stayed at the very hectic China Town area. Bustling local life, filled with street stalls and grungy eateries up till the very late hours, with some very diverse populations of both Burmese, Chinese, Napalese, Indians, and other origins I wasn’t really able to make out. To my great surprise, very close to my hotel at the center of China town I came across an unexpected population in the form of a Jewish community with a grand local synagogue – the Musmeah Yeshua. The Jews came here in the mid 19th century with the British colonial rule and erected a small wooden temple, which was replaced at the end of the 19th century with this nice synagogue. The local Jewish community, once numbering 2500 people, is now down to mere 19, and the prominent member of the community who kept things going has recently passed away. The place is still kept up, but it’s hard to tell for how much longer. Perhaps with Burma opening up and more locals visiting, there would be an incentive to maintain this odd and unique part of Yangon history.
Shall we go in and have a look?
An interesting unexpected find in Yangon. Go have a look if you’re in China Town and have some spare time.