Hnin Yee Htun's decision to return to Myanmar in 2015 was impulsive, but she has come to see it as propitious. Hnin was born in 1988, two days before a nationwide uprising plunged the country, then known as Burma, into anarchy and thrust Aung San Suu Kyi into the political spotlight. Hnin fled with her family to a refugee camp across the border in Thailand soon after, and settled in Australia in 2002.
Against that background, it seems auspicious that Hnin's bar in Yangon began trading a month after Suu Kyi's party swept Myanmar's 2015 elections, the tumult of the past and the hopes of the present bookending her departure and return -- and before the country's recent tragic Rohingya refugee exodus cast a pall over the national mood. Yet, while Myanmar is once again at the heart of international uproar, a youthful momentum has taken hold in recent years that cannot be easily stopped.