Assignment Asia Episode 28: Breaking away

Few in the world would break away from tradition and the conditions they were born into. This week on Assignment Asia, we feature individuals who dared to do just that.

Deeply steeped in conservative values, Myanmar is an unlikely place for anyone to go punk. But a 21-year-old musician named Sid has adopted the unconventional lifestyle, wearing clothes and a hairstyle that others often find bizarre and shocking. Sid and his friends consider their way of life an act of rebellion against conformity, one that gives them a sense of freedom despite the consequences. Any Saputra tells their story from Yangon.

Surfing is a popular sport all over the world, but at a beach town in southern India, it has also become an instrument for change. A social worker uses surfing as an incentive for impoverished children to go to school, giving them the chance to break away from a life of destitution. In another town, a couple teaches women to surf and break the taboos their patriarchal society imposed on them. Jyothy Karat reports.

In the Philippine city of Cebu, children from the slums are getting a possible ticket out of poverty in the form of competitive ballroom dancing or dancesport. The city’s sports commission has been teaching dancesport to children like 7-year-old Rizza Mae for nearly two decades, giving them hope for a better life. Cheryl Baldicantos tells us how some poor Filipino children are realizing their dreams through dancing.

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