Wai Me Phu (photo below) works as a marketing and business development executive at Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd in Yangon.
As the year draws to a close, Wai Me Phu and her coworkers at the Mitsubishi Electric Asia Pte Ltd (Yangon Branch Office) go out to celebrate. They choose a suitably popular local restaurant, often in a hotel with tasteful décor, and spend the evening forgetting business for a while.
Japan has traditional year-end parties called bonenkai, where groups will get together to let go of the stress of the year, and Wai Me Phu thinks of this party as the Myanmar Bonenkai. One thing that differentiates this event from others is the fact that family are invited to join in. Attendees enjoy a meal together (hot pot, seafood, and an international buffet have been past choices) while conversing about culture and hobbies, or sharing opinions on current events.
Dinner party at an international buffet, December 2017
The branch itself sits near the Japanese Embassy, and is a short walk from Bogyoke Park on the shore of Kandawgyi Lake, a place that offers a green respite in the city of seven million. While it is a relatively small branch, it is vital in building a brand image for the region. The job can be difficult, and deadlines are often tight, which means relief from stress and a friendly working environment are important in ensuring everything runs smoothly. Going out to eat together eases tension and the shared experience brings colleagues closer together.
The event is a good way of closing out the year and clearing the slate for the challenges and triumphs ahead.
Front view of the UBC Office Tower