Arakan by Enriquez, C. M. (Colin Metcalfe) - Thar Le Zwa သာလီစြ - Arakan Monitor

Thar Le Zwa သာလီစြ - Arakan Monitor

Thar Le Zwa: Arakan Monitor

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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Arakan by Enriquez, C. M. (Colin Metcalfe)


Arakan is a long strip of sea-coast completely cut out from land communication with the rest of Burma by ranges of high hills called the Yomas. There are three possible passes across the Yomas, but at present the roads are not sufficiently good to encourage commerce between Arakan and the Irrawaddy Valley. On the other hand communications between Arakan and India are fairly good. Akyab reads Indian and not Burmese newspapers. It has four mails a week from Calcutta, and only one from Burma. Calcutta is more accessible than Rangoon, and will be very much more so in a few years when the Indian railway is extended from Chittagong (its present terminus) to Akyab.

Besides all this, the Aiakanese though apprehensive about the steady invasion of their country by hordes of Chittagonians, are still more resentful of their racebrothers the Burmese, who in 1784, in the reign of Bodaw Paya, annexed their territory, treated them with terrible harshness, and committed the unforgivable crime of removing to Mandalay the Mahamuni Buddha, an image round which the religious and political history of Arakan centered from remote ages. Nursing these old wrongs, the Arakanese have no desire to break down the political and geographical barriers which separate them from the rest of Burma. They are keen Buddhists, their origin is identical with that of the Burmese, and their language is not very difierent. But, like the Karens, they hold themselves aloof, brood over their injuries, and gladly accentuate their isolation. It is a curious attitude, though one may sympathize, and understand it. But it is none the less unfortunate for the future of Arakan. The only scientific way of destroying these prejudices is by improving land communications with Burma, and thus encouraging trade and intercourse.

The Arakanese possess most of the characteristics of the Burmese without perhaps inheriting their peculiar charm. They are, however, even more intelligent, and most of the leading " Burmans " in Rangoon are really of Arakanese descent. One very remarkable result of Indian influence is the seclusion in which the Arakanese keep their women. The streets of Akyab are empty of women, who are in fact " purda." Nothing strikes one so forcibly as this after Burma, where the Burmese woman, with all her charm of dress and manner, is so tremendously in evidence.DOWNLOAD Full eBook HERE

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