Soe Aung gathers grass to feed his cows back in the village
Everyday, Soe Aung drives his motorbike down from his mountain village of Taung Ka Maunt to pick grass near the fertile waters of Inle Lake for his two cows to eat. The 30 minute journey each way and 1 hour spent picking takes 2 hours of his day.
Soe Aung (24) and his wife Shwe Oo (23) grew up in the same Pa-O ethnic village, where her family owns the land his family's house is built on. While in school, they would go to festivals together and visit tea shops on trips to other towns. Through spending this time in each other’s company, their bond grew stronger over the years. He described it like this:
"When you fly kites close together, they dance. The strings will play and tangle. They will become one. This made love for us."
It's a custom in the village that when a young man and woman want to get married, they simply run away together to another village for a couple of days to live together. When they return, the parents understand they want to be married and plan a small event where they offer rice and curry to guests. So, when he turned 21, that's what they did.
As for the two cows, it's his hope that after 5-10 years he can sell one for $1000 and use the money to buy a smaller cow, with some money left over.