That leaves the punk rockers, who know what it’s like to be outsiders.
During military rule, the tiny punk community practiced and performed in secret, often in abandoned buildings, by the railroad tracks or in private, before a small group of close friends. While others were cowed by the constant threat of arrest and imprisonment, they screamed out about abuses at the hands of the army and asked why politically-connected businessmen were getting rich while everyone else suffered.
Today they have a new battleground, religious intolerance. And they aren’t about to shy away.
Kyaw Kyaw of Rebel Riot likes to say that while he can’t change the world, or Myanmar, or even Yangon, he can at least influence those around him.
‘‘They can arrest us, we don’t care,’’ says this 26-year-old son of a police officer. ‘‘Or we can be attacked by certain groups. We don’t care, we've prepared ourselves for this mentally. But we want to speak our minds.’’