Christmas at The Maela Refugee Camp

Collection with 8 media items created by Transterra Editor

24 Dec 2013 08:00

The Thai-Burmese border area is an exotic and dangerous paradise at the same time. However, for most people, it is unknown.

Nearly 30 years ago, the first Karen minority refugees who escaped Myanmar arrived to this area. Today more than 50,000 people are living at the Maela refugee camp, situated 70 km north of MaeSot, a recently economically booming border city.

Although at first glance this might seem like an idyllic village, where the quality of life of its inhabitants is much higher than the "normal" standard of other refugees around the world, the Burmese who live in the camp have suffered the most atrocious violence by the Myanmar army. The majority of the camp resident are Christians. During Christmas Eve and holy days, they celebrate in the numerous Churches spread around the camp. Night shows and masses attract the devotes to the Churches and presents are distributed. The camp's residents have been stuck in a small corner of tropical forest with no choice but to live with dignity between the barbed wire fences surrounding the camp, under strict control of the Thai army.

A ceasefire was signed between the Karen leaders and the Myanmar authorities. However,there are many rumors about the Karen being repatriated back to their country which is a first step on the long way of reconciliation.

Karen State Christmas Burma Thailand Army Maela Refugee Camp Photocollection Collection Photo Essay

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 2
Mae La refugee camp,Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

View of C zone at Maela refugee camp where the majority of Christian Karen Burmese minority lives.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 3
Maela refugee camp Mae Sot
By vincenzo floramo
24 Dec 2013

Altar boy puts in place the wine for the Mass on Christmas Day at the Anglican Church of C zone at Maela refugees camp.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 4
Maela refugee camp Mae Sot
By vincenzo floramo
24 Dec 2013

Naw Tue Tu,65 years old listens to the priest Sermon during the Christmas day at the local Anglican Church at Mae la refugee camp.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 5
maela refugee camp Mae Sot Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
24 Dec 2013

Christmas rituals on the 25th of December at the Anglican Church at C zone of Maela refugee camp.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 6
Maela refugee camp Mae Sot
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

Naw Nu Poe, 25 years old with at her parentshome preparing the parcels for Christmas eve night celebrations with her son

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 7
Mae La refugee camp,Mae Sot, Thailand
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

Christmas decoration at the pastor house of the Baptist Church at C zone of Maela refugee camp.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 8
Maela refugee camp Mae Sot
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

Distributions of presents at the Baptist Church during the Christmas eve celebrations at Maela refugee camp.

Thumb sm
Karen Christmas 9
Maela refugee camp Mae Sot
By vincenzo floramo
23 Dec 2013

Saw Taw Kaw Si So Gay with his presents on Christmas eve at the Baptist Church of C zone at Maela refugee camp.