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.





List of Abbreviations





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