Aung San Suu Kyi gave her Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech this summer, twenty-one years after she'd been awarded it. Finally released from house arrest and able to travel outside of Burma, she also just accepted the Congressional Medal of Honor in Washington DC. Forty years after her last visit she's returned to San Francisco with, as she notes, "flowers in her hair." Home to the largest Burmese community in the United States, San Francisco is an obvious stop on her victory lap.
|Aung San Suu Kyi|
So I was expecting someone austere, someone rather serious after all that she'd been through. But instead I discovered Aung San Suu Kyi is funny and irreverent, keeping her audience in constant stitches. Her Oxford-accented English is charming, but it's in Burmese that she's most animated. She conducted the majority of the morning in Burmese, a gutsy choice after receiving the key to San Francisco from Mayor Ed Lee (in one of the most off-topic speeches I'd ever heard) and being lauded by Representative Nancy Pelosi. But Aung San Suu Kyi is here to connect with and ask for support from a Burmese community that's been splintered from their homeland for decades.
|Not So Sure About Bo|
Huge thanks to Cleo for getting me a ticket to see The Lady. And props to Burma Superstar Restaurant for underwriting a serious portion of the event.