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"Lucky" white elephants fêted in Burma

As reforms churn on, government hails rare beasts as harbingers of luck
Myanmar burma elephants 2011 11 24Enlarge
A photo posted to Ground Report shows two white elephants during celebrations in Burma (officially called Myanmar) to honor the rare beats. (Ground Report/Creative Commons/Courtesy)

The surreal pace of change in Burma (officially called Myanmar) has begged the question: is prosperity and change really coming to one of Asia's most blighted states?

You bet it is.

What else could explain the recent discovery of two white elephants, now receiving a warm government reception in the Burma's capital?

Burma's army-backed government, soon to receive a historic visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, believes the recently discovered pachyderms signal good fortune, according to the AFP. 

Throughout much of Southeast Asia, white elephants (which are really a fleshy pink color) are historically considered harbingers of good luck.

The new arrivals bring the number of white elephants owned by the Burmese government up to seven.

Let's hope the new pair are luckier than the previous five, who have failed to stop a ruling military cabal from running Burma into the ground over the last 50 years. (Unless, of course, white elephants only shower prosperity on top-tier Burmese generals.)

"Burma Rebooted," Global Post's three-part series reported from inside the isolated nation, is here.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/lucky-white-elephants-fêted-burma

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