Typewriter Find A Way in Today’s Yangon

By Gwan Ho Tong

Yangon Soul is a new column run by the MYANMORE editorial team that aims to capture snippets of the characters that make Myanmar what it is. Whether it is a profile of neighborhood personality or a look into the holdovers of a previously closed country, Yangon Soul is a chance to shed light on those who are noticed but not known.

Aung Myint has been in the typewriting business for 30 years. Before he got into this business, he was a soldier in the Burmese Army. He is now 64.

The typewriter

“Typewriters are not widely used anymore. Before computers came into Myanmar, typewriters were the only instrument that could be used to print. But now, it is the computers. Before computers took over, I used to have a lot of customers ranging from office workers, writers and lawyers. Writers would asked me to type out their books. Sometimes, it got really busy that I had to pull all-nighters just to finish my job. But after computers became popular in Myanmar, writers would just use them to print out their work. If you make mistakes you can correct on computers but on the typewriter it is hard to do so. So typewriters are going out of fashion. Fortunately, the court in Myanmar needs a special paper. The size of the paper makes it hard to print with modern technology. In this case, customers come to me.”

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Gwan Tong
Gwan is an intern at Myanmore. He enjoys philosophy, music and exploring Yangon. He will be attending university in the US next fall.

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