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Can We Settle on Whether to Call it Myanmar or Burma?

Can We Settle on Whether to Call it Myanmar or Burma?

Old Jan 11th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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Can We Settle on Whether to Call it Myanmar or Burma?

Well, this would be a good topic for a troll post but inappropriate for the lounge. Anyway, as many of you know, I am not a troll However, when posting responses or questions on this I am lost as to what is best. My preference is Myanmar because Burma is a Colonial term created by the Brits (is that a politically correct term?). Myanmar is the traditional name of the country, which unfortunately seems to have been brought back by the military Junta and thus folks tend to resist using it. Your thoughts?
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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I thought the name Burma derived from the name of the most prominent ethnic group: Bamar (??)
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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It's complicated. The name Burma was derived from the name of largest ethnic group, so some feel it isn't as inclusive as Myanmar which does not refer to just one of the many ethnic groups in the country. It was also the name that the Brits used, a minus for being a colonial name. But it is also the name that the pro-democracy groups both inside and outside the country use.

While Myanmar derives from one traditional name of the country, its adoption by the junta makes many (myself included) uncomfortable.

So I often find myself using both terms, preferring Burma.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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According to my 10th ed. Lonely Planet "Britain renamed "Myanma" [sic] as Burma (after the majority Bamar or Burmese, people); the junta restored the original name of Myanmar in 1989."

The Burmese may be the largest ethnic group, but they aren't the only one, and I seem to remember reading that the other ethnic groups would prefer to call the country something other than Burma. And just as I go along with the Indian government and use Kolkata and not Calcutta, I do the same with Myanmar.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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who says you are not a troll... its an endearing term is it not?

i like burma, beacuse for most of my life that is the name which has been used... of course it may not be PC, but tides are changing on PCness, thank god..

plus don't you think it is a lovely exotic name?

i'd rather be burmesse than myanmaresse, would't you?
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 03:21 PM
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troll......

<i>i'd rather be burmesse than myanmaresse, would't you?</i>

can't believe I am saying this but how can you not see the logic of this post?

Aloha!
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Sort of like the name Bangkok. No local would call Bangkok - Bangkok in Thai but they don't mind it when foreigners call the city under that name or refer the city to foreigners under that name.

For Thais we still call Burma or Myanmar - "Pah Ma" in conversation but officially it's Myanmar.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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When we visited the border area of Burma on a day trip from Thailand, our Thai guide told us that that the Burmese citizens preferred to call their country "Burma" because of the negative connotation associated with the evil dudes who renamed it "Myanmar."

What does Hillary Clinton call it? It's complicated. Check out this Washington Post piece, which states that the NYT uses Myanmar, Wikipedia prefers Burma, and Lonely Planet covers all bases with "Myanmar (Burma)."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...8rCO_blog.html
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Long but interesting article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Burma
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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I like Burma because I don't have to stop and think how to spell it.....
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:11 PM
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I found that thenames were used interchangeably by the locals while in the country.

'Burma' sounds much more romantic!
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:24 PM
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I agree with Femi. Burma just has that exotic sound to it. And like Bob, that's what I originally heard it called in school. Ok, that makes me soound as old as Bob----- if not older. And Lucy has a got point. Frankly, Hanuman's Pah Ma might be the easiest, but since I'm not usually speaking with Thais, I don't think anyone would get it.

Craig - are you getting bored? Resorting to trolling? Jan. has a way of being that kind of month.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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Still looking for the edit button - Lucy has a good point.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:34 PM
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who cares what hillary thinks or does....
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 02:23 AM
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Just read today that Aung San Suu Kyi used the name Burma in a speech, so that makes the decission for me.
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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Craig " the Brits (is that a politically correct term?)" - We English have no problem with you Yanks referring to us by that term! Cant speak for the rest of the UK - though!
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 06:38 AM
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Thanks for all of your replies - some of them even put a smile on my face this morning...
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 06:41 AM
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If we could resolve this, Craig, they'd send us to the middle east.
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 09:13 PM
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Crell - LOL .
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Now that the US will restore diplomatic relations, it seems we're going with Myanmar. Burma, for better or worse, will go the way of Siam, Ceylon and the Dutch East Indies.
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