TODAY -

E-Pao! Features - The Precious Myanmar

The Precious Myanmar
By:- Dr. Dhanabir Laishram *



Myanmar is much more than a neighbor to the Manipuris. They are mandatory part of our history since time immemorial so in brief the History of Manipur can never be completed without the Myanmarese.

The history of the two nations before the advent of British had been a story of struggle between the two people of Burma known to the Manipuris as Awas after the Ava dynasty that ruled Myanmar from Mandalay in upper Burma.

There have been stories of triumphs and defeats on both sides of the fluctuating fortune. The decades long connection with the Myanmarese doesn't end only with the war and conflict. In the process, there had been another side of the coin where many Manipuri princesses had been married to the Ava Kings so as to foster better relationship between the erstwhile Kingdoms.

Now all these have merely become the history of the past and stories of war and hatred have been swept away by the powerful force of time, the greatest healer. Today very hospitable and cheerful Myanmarese receives us.

For the border areas, trade and commerce have already come of age and friendly ties appear to be deepening day by day. These sight and thought have made me more determined to penetrate further and further into the Teak Curtain.

Traveling into Myanmar is like a journey to the dreamland. It has its own environment and charm different from others. As our tourist bus accelerated through the stillness of the silent valley, my heart became heavy for the reasons I can't explain.

The long sleeping ranges of Ango Mountains and Molcham hill ranges came into view one after another. The exotic side of Kabaw valley and the gentle breeze that blows with a refreshing touch seems to be whispering, "Come back again".

When you travel bisecting the three provinces of Kabaw valley namely Samjok, Kaley, and Khampat in Myanmar, you will soon lose yourself at thought for this is the vast sprawling valley that Manipuris still adores. Yet again, a cruise on the Ningthi Turen (River) evoked something special.

When the light of the day sank into darkness and the roar of the stream become louder, a question sprang up in my mind: "How our forefathers had forayed here?" At far a faint galloping sound of the Manipuri warriors advancing towards Mandalay seemed to have penetrated through the ears and later I realized it was just a flashback of the history.

The journey from Kalemyu to Kalewa had been a historic journey. Kalewa is a small town by the river of Ningthi Turen. Kalewa was once an important commercial center where the activities of trade and commerce were being carried out between Myanmarese and Manipuris.

Whenever we go to any roadside eatery Inn, we are received by the hospitable Myanmarese in an adorable standing ovation. There we enjoy the same cuisine and dishes available in Manipur. They serve the same vegetable and our fish species that is already extinct in Manipur long ago.

Such species are abundantly available in Myanmar at a considerably cheap price. There are no extra charges on vegetables and rice. This is something that does not occur when we go beyond Dimapur in India.

Now the larger questions that have emerged are, where is your right direction and to whom you may give your love and compassion and from whom you received a reciprocal moral intimacy and love? The answer comes only when you take a trip to Myanmar and parts of South East Asia.

I was one of the tour members in one of the tourist packages organized by one Tour Agency Indo-Myanmar Fraternal Tourist Center in 2004, November. Among others I was touched by the striking similarities of our Kangla and Royal Palace in Mandalay.

There is strong resemblance between the Royal Palace of Mandalay and Kangla Fort in Manipur with the moat encircling them and we cannot deny the fact the Royal Palace and Kangla are of same character and models. The only heart breaking truth is that the Kangla Fort is totally neglected and is in a pathetic state.

The Lai Haraophams and sacred shrines of Umang lai are seen in Shan State in many locations as they are in Manipur. Ponies were seen grazing in the lush green fields of Shan State. The housing patterns in Shan state are very much similar to ours.

The long 24 hours journey in Shan state revealed and retold a lot of forgotten chapters of history. The traditional threshold gate of every household with three bamboo poles is exactly the same to the Manipuris traditional Konthong.

It is high time for the historians and other researchers to personally verify the place. There had been debate in Manipur to the genesis of our roots and migration chapter. Visiting of Shan State will amply provide certain clues leading to our roots and genesis. Let not big volumes in the dusty shelf argue.

It is better to go and have a physical verification for the Shan State that hardly a day or two's journey from your border. Being an educationist without practical knowledge could sometimes harmful to the society.

Lastly I would like to share one of the folklores narrated by one of the old natives in Myanmar. It is about the tale of a Naga (Dragon), which was worshipped by the Myanmarese in the olden days. The character of the Naga and the way Myanmarese worships it has the same character to our Meitei deity Pakhangba. Let us take a hard reckoning together.

The regional of Burmese before 1044 was a mixture of three difficult elements:

(1) the worship of Ari Monks, who preached a form of Buddhism deteriorated almost beyond recognition, and who were great exponent of magic and alchemy;
(ii) worship of Nat-spirits, and
(iii) worship of the Naga; and definitely, the Naga that was worshiped was a dragon and not a man.

Anwrahta suppressed the existing religion into different ways. He unfrocked the Ari Monks and forced them to join his army as ordinary soldiers, thereby impressing upon the people that the monks they worshiped were inferior to him and he put images of the Nat-spirits and figures of the Naga in the attitude of worship before the images of the Buddha in his pagodas, thus impressing upon the people that their old gods themselves worship the Buddha.

Anwrahta made the ship of Ari illegal, but did not make the worship of the Naga and the Nats illegal provided the worship became subsidiary to the worship of the Buddha, and Nat and Naga temples were allowed to remain. From this it would seem possible that the Naga - lad who was said to have hidden Kyansittha was an attendant in a Naga temple, and that Kyansittha was hidden in a Naga temple.

There exists much folklore regarding the Naga. The Burmese Naga is definitely of the serpent brood. A Naga can burn anything into ashes by merely looking askance at it in anger. But this power doesn't affect the Galon, who is the arch enemy of the Naga, for the galon loves to eat Naga flesh.

A Naga is able to assume human form at will. When a Naga who has assumed human form falls sleep. He automatically becomes a Naga again. A Naga gives jewels, especially rubies, to those whom he likes or to those who worship him. There have been instances of a male Naga in the form of a human mating with a human woman and female Naga in the form of a human mating with a man.

Nagas live underground or on the floor of the sea. Whirlpools and earthquakes are often caused by the Nagas. Under each mud volcano in Minbu district, there lies a Naga who guards it. But unlike the Nat Spirit, the Naga doesn't interfere much in human affairs, and usually remains an onlooker for human being.

There are also many place-name stories which are about Nagas, for many villages in upper Burma are known by names which have some reference to the Nagas as, for example, "Naga-bo" which means "Naga Male", "Naga-Dwin", which means "Naga-Pit". The very word Naga shows that the Burmese Naga has much to do with the Indian Naga, and doubtless the Burmese Naga is also intimately connected with the Chinese dragon.

The tradition and the religious doctrines, which were practiced by the Myanmarese in those days, have striking similarities with the Manipuris beliefs. Folklores and folksongs always depict the roots and genesis of a community or a race. Closely analyzing every aspects of the traditions and culture both Myanmarese and Manipuris we can safely conclude that we originated from the same root and wholly belongs to the same forefathers and ancestors.


* Dr. Dhanabir Laishram , Dept. of Political Sciences, Manipur University, wrote this article.
(Courtesy: Indo Myanmar Fraternal Alliance, Manipur)
This article was webcasted on 17 October 2005.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Yaoshang Thabal Chongba #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 8 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Impact of Covid-19 on mobile phone users
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • International Day of Indigenous Peoples
  • A call against systematic inequalities
  • August Diary :: Poem
  • A tale of Friendships Unlocked !
  • A Nuclear Free Future
  • Stay positive on Northeast plan
  • Is MSPDCL taking advantage of COVID-19
  • Folk Dance @Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 7 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Written obituary :: Poem
  • Truth unearth by COVID-19 pandemic
  • Clarification from SKY Hospital
  • COVID-19: Orders - 7 Aug: Govt of Manipur
  • Children's psychology & lockdown intervention
  • No confidence & godfather
  • Death in childbirth in the 21st century !
  • Need for a suitable pandemic model
  • Phuba Khuman in Senapati dist #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 6 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Thoubalphobia- Malemnganbi's Child Delivery
  • Why not establish veterinary college, Manipur
  • India-Myanmar Convergence :: Webinar
  • National Education Policy : A New Horizon
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Wanted : Total figure of local transmission
  • Lets appreciates the thousands heroes
  • Become an Amateur Astronomer
  • COVID-19 Status 5 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Aton Loukhamba, Hatneihoi: eMing
  • BIG 17th call : Biotech Ignition Grant
  • Maya Kuki- 3 titles at IAWA India 2020
  • 2020 :: Poem
  • What is Intellectual Property Right (IPR)?
  • Art of running a coalition Govt
  • Traditional Raas Dance #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 4 August: Govt of Manipur
  • 2 from Manipur clear Civil Services Exam
  • Education Policy: Prospects & Way Forward
  • Appeal to stop Chromite mining
  • Agri-enterprises for Atmanirbhar North-East
  • Changes to make-up during COVID-19
  • Time to act sensibly
  • Barricading or brainstorming?
  • Tarao Laimanai, Chandel #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 3 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Ravi's take on China factor in NE Insurgency
  • Opportunities in post COVID days
  • Shifting of drug supply trend in Manipur
  • Hope in COVID Era !! :: Poem
  • Press Communique from NPF [3 Aug]
  • Stand on ST demand
  • Culturals @ Sangai Fest 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 2 August: Govt of Manipur
  • Misinterpretation of Naga Political Settlement
  • Home returnees, unemployment & ILPS
  • NEP to adversely affect future of North-east
  • Conflicts of laws on Child Marriage & POSCO
  • His Stoic Endurance :: Poem
  • 'Declare relatives working in Naga movement'
  • Rise from July 1 to August 1
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • COVID-19 Status 1 August: Govt of Manipur
  • CCC @ Khongnangkhong [Aug 1]: Gallery
  • Where are the men in family planning ?
  • Asymptomatic & Rapid Antigen Testing
  • Cosmic Lover :: Poem
  • Incremental benefit of cleaning Nambul River
  • Why only 5 Kg of rice to cardholders?
  • Imphal View from Nongmai Ching #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Id-Ul-Azha celebrated by Meitei Pangal
  • COVID-19 & its detection strategy
  • Physical Education & Sports @ MU
  • Naming the COVID vaccine
  • Withdraw MoUs signed for mining
  • More deaths, more concern
  • Ailing Nambul River recovering
  • Dr TS Gangte: Pioneer of higher education
  • COVID-19 Status 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • August Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Hand sanitizer @Kakching [Jul 29]: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Orders / Memo on 30 July : Govt of Manipur
  • National Education Policy 2020
  • A Golden Jubilee Reunion :: Poem
  • Employment options in Insurance Industry
  • The Political life of the State
  • Recording death tally at four
  • Hentak :: An indigenous Manipuri food
  • COVID-19 Status 29 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Enforcement of COVID-19 Guidelines
  • My Love :: Poem
  • LPG management and supply
  • International Faculty Development Program
  • High-end Forensic Geology in crime scenes
  • Covid-19: Impact in Manipur :: Photos/News..
  • Manipur on the map of COVID death
  • Checking corruption: greatest joke of the year
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Plantation is no less a serious business
  • COVID-19 : Impact on mobility of women
  • Appeal to stop Mining in Ukhrul, Kamjong..
  • Making sense of lockdown
  • Non-Discrimination in combating COVID-19
  • Zeiladjang @ Makuai, Tamenglong : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Chassad & the Question of Justice
  • Online Training program for Police Officer
  • Proposal of Online Education: Its impact
  • The walls of Roman Londinium
  • Reminiscence of coming :: Book Review
  • Seeking to set house in order
  • The dawn of a new-normalcy
  • Imphal during lockdown [26 July] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Delimitation amasung yelhoumee Meetei..
  • Investigative Journalism training conducted
  • Gas Balloons :: Poem
  • Career in insurance: Jobs for millions
  • Meet model teacher helping students
  • Understanding total figure of 2212
  • Manipur Art Fest 2019 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 July : Govt of Manipur
  • PM calls for Vocal for Local to Manipur
  • Makhol_ Discussing Arts E2 with Astad Deboo
  • Society :: Poem
  • IQs & EQs of politicians
  • Living with COVID 19
  • 'Blood donors should be welcome'
  • Bracing for the worst
  • Princess & Political Agent launch #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Virus Fabrics Spray by Kakchingtambam Kiran
  • Tales from a conflict zone :: Poem
  • Why Manipur senior IPS officer shot himself
  • Anti Defection Law: Big Debate
  • COVID-19 vaccine : So near and yet so far
  • Central observers here after trip to Delhi
  • The limitation on Free Speech
  • Impact of COVID-19 on transgender
  • COVID-19 Status 23 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Love Story of Tonu Laijing Lembi
  • 29th NAMA Virtual Convention 2020
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #2
  • Seeking NHRC to intervent in Akhil Gogoi case
  • Impacts of COVID-19 on agriculture : Paper
  • Lockdown & opening doors to outsiders
  • In search of the elusive leader
  • Anti-Repression Day #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Race Apart ? :: Poem
  • Of political instability, COVID & war on drug
  • Preventing skin damage due to face masks
  • Issues raised by NPF Legislature Wing
  • Webninar : How to develop skills in writings
  • Nonsensical rush for fuel
  • When the virus starts attacking
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #3
  • COVID-19 Status 21 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Negatives turning positive, catastrophe in wait?
  • Environmental change : Uttarakhand : Rvw
  • Empathy Campaign at Imphal Airport
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Liezietsu [21 Jul]
  • Responsible conduct- Jiribam to Thoubal
  • BJP may be in trouble..
  • The Princess & Political Agent launch : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Governor & Maharani launch Binodini's Book
  • Mount Koubru: Its dying glory, & way forward
  • Govt expenditures on education in Manipur
  • 2nd Online Career counseling in IT
  • The last of the oaks :: Poem
  • Rising cases of infection
  • Manipur today is living on mercy of Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Commerce stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #3: Gallery
  • Loktak Lake: A gem perishing front of our eye
  • Man behind 'Save Nambul'
  • X-rays and applications
  • COVID-19 pandemic & existential crisis
  • Training programme on mushroom cultivation
  • Best result in last three years
  • HSE Toppers - Science stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding disasters & disaster mgmt #1
  • Salam Sangita : NE Women Success Stories
  • Subconscious Mind in COVID Era :: Poem
  • In quest of leadership
  • 4 BJP Ministers' visit to Delhi
  • HSE Toppers - Arts stream : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Between hospitals and hope
  • War on drugs: A losing battle in Manipur
  • Rays of the Setting Sun :: Poem
  • What actually LOP meant & intended : NPF
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie Liezietsu
  • Posers over Delhi trip
  • The face of justice
  • Class XII Result : Highest Marks
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • Class XII Result : District PC
  • Class XII Result : Science
  • Class XII Result : Arts
  • Class XII Result : Commerce
  • COVID-19 Status 16 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Training programme on mushroom : Gallery
  • Diplomacy in Power & Leadership
  • PPE distributed to Community Health Centre
  • Think population studies as career
  • Intensify agitations as Govt fails to act
  • The Jiribam and Thoubal experience
  • Discovery of Thangjing hill range waterfall
  • Anti-Repression Day #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Accelerating rights of women, post-COVID
  • Pregnancy and mental health
  • COVID 19 Pandemic - A Thought ! :: Poem
  • Shining spot in Kangpokpi district
  • A co-incidence or something more?
  • Heritage Park @ Sangai Festival : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 July : Govt of Manipur
  • EEVFAM Foundation day : Gallery
  • Rise of emotionalism & loss of rationalism
  • Delimitation 4.0 in Manipur
  • 52 films compete at KASHISH 2020
  • Western slopes :: Poem
  • Batting for revival of Kamjong AC
  • Mining MoUs & Concerns in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Agriculture innovation to achieve food security
  • Lines for Children :: Poem
  • School business: True lies
  • 'Call for PDA Govt to step down is justified'
  • Donation of PPE to Chief Minister by SBI
  • Understanding containment zone
  • COVID-19 and the way forward
  • Licypriya low-cost 'Face Shields' : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 July : Govt of Manipur
  • Airlifting of organic Pineapples : Gallery
  • Annual Orphanage Visit at Pune
  • Licypriya Kangujam low-cost 'Face Shields'
  • 9th Manipuri Film Awards (MANIFA) Result
  • Twists & turns in resignation drama
  • Cheers to Tangkhul Forum of COVID-19
  • 11 July 2020 : World Population Day
  • Yaoshang Halankar @BijoyGovinda #2: Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #2
  • Barak waterfall @ Tamenglong #2 : Gallery
  • Changing nature of Meiteilon- Pabung/Papa
  • Kanglen Aarti katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Eikhoigi Puwarini Nambul Turel #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur & the Lushai Expedition, 1871-72 #1
  • Takhelchangbam Kunjabihari : Wari Liba
  • I Rise :: Film Scenes : eRang
  • Class X (HSLC) Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Merit List
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Result Sheet
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Subject Toppers
  • Class X Exam 2020 : Statistics Abstract
  • Motsillaba Mingsel :: eRang Photos
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • SPONSORED ADS