ABSTRACT

Myanmar is known for its engaging history, rich cultural heritage, and diverse ethnic communities. Its tumultuous political past has been discussed by academics and policy makers for decades, however, the land of the Shwedagon cannot only be defined by conflict and contestation. Myanmar is complex and multi-layered with innumerable issues shaping its identity and manifold interpretations creating its distinctiveness. A deeper comprehension of its past glory with thoughtful deliberation on its socio-economic challenges help to understand the country better. This book fills this gap by focusing on four broad themes––reminiscence, restoration, re-evaluation, and resurrection. It studies interconnected issues ranging from nostalgia and belonging to Myanmar’s contribution to art and heritage (through its museums, cinema, folk traditions); from the problems of landlessness, resource dispossession and climate change to the experience of marginalized groups. The author weaves these themes into a common narrative of discovering Myanmar through a holistic lens. The book aims to explore the country through its history, culture, communities, and challenges.

 

A unique contribution, the book highlights the myriad facets of Myanmar by contemplating on its inherent strengths and visible weaknesses. It would be indispensable for scholars and researchers of Southeast Asian studies, Asian studies, area studies, Myanmar studies, political studies, cultural studies, and sociology.

Preface

 

Acknowledgements

 

List of Abbreviations

           

Introduction    

 

 

Section One - Reminiscence 

 

Chapter 1: A Walk Down Memory Lane      

 

Chapter 2: The Diary of a Quiet Man

 

Chapter 3: Memories for a Lifetime

 

Chapter 4: Familiarity across Borders

 

Chapter 5: Eric Arthur Blair’s Burma

 

 

Section Two - Restoration

           

Chapter 6: Rhythms of Folk Traditions         

 

Chapter 7: Lost Glory: Reviving Arakan Art

           

Chapter 8: Museums Matter

 

Chapter 9: The Fading Spotlights

 

Chapter 10: Sour, Salty and Spicy (chin ngan sat)

 

 

Section Three - Re-evaluation          

 

Chapter 11: Climate Change: A Permanent Reality for Myanmar    

 

Chapter 12: Beneath the Still Waters

 

Chapter 13: Beyond the Silent Fields

 

Chapter 14: Feeding the Hungry Souls

 

Chapter 15: Boats and Balloons

 

 

Section Four - Resurrection  

 

Chapter 16: Justice for All     

 

Chapter 17: The Smile of the ‘Other’: Chin Refugees in India

 

Chapter 18: Plea of the Helpless        

 

Chapter 19: One Step at a Time         

 

Chapter 20: The Young Collective 

 

Conclusion     

 

Glossary

           

Bibliography

 

Index