Ricky looks to wipe the stain clean from his country’s past and start fresh
Relishing the chance to vote in a (relatively) legitimate election, Ricky kept a reminder of that day close at hand for nearly four months afterward.
On election day, November 8, 2015, citizens had to dip their finger in ink after casting their ballot; a measure put in place to prevent anyone from voting multiple times. However, the people of Myanmar know as well as anyone that a ballot cast is hardly proof of forthcoming progress.
For almost 50 years, they've been relying on the hope that positive change and a better future will be realized. A hope that has been frustrated over and over again: election after election, protest after protest, just for the same or worse circumstance to prevail.
Given the track record of past elections in the country, Ricky was ready to believe progress had been made, only when he had seen it. Despite the announcement of a landslide victory for Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Su Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party after the elections, he kept his inky reminder of election day on his fingernail, promising only to remove it when the NLD had taken their place in parliament.
When the new government convened in March 2016 for the first time, the dawn of a brighter future had at last arrived.
Ricky, finally, had a clean nail.