chapter  5
Buddhism, Xenophobia and Rebellion in the 1930s
Pages 10

Following the ‘pacification’ and its humiliation of the Burman social order, Buddhism returned as a political medium in 1906 when the Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA) was established in response to Christian dominance.1 The YMBA was an imitation of the YMCA but it was a political organisation meant as an alternative to Christian influence. It was especially attractive to young Burmans who had been educated in the West. The YMBA’s goal was to halt Western influence and to regain respect for Burman culture as well as for Buddhism. This was achieved through ‘no footwear in the pagodas’ campaigns, for example. However, the Buddhist and anti-Christian content was soon reinforced with agitation against foreign power and presence.