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Individual Documents

Title: Thangyat: Traditional Songs Hard to Suppress
Date of publication: April 2008
Description/subject: "Thangyat is one of the oldest examples of Burmese folk art. Usually amusing and satirical, Thangyat combines poetry, dance and music and is sung to the beat of a traditional drum on festive occasions. In the past, during the Burmese New Year water festivals, or Thingyan, young people would publicly recite humorous Thangyat lyrics, which freely criticize everything from politics to social behavior. But the Burmese military generals have changed all that. In 1989, a year after taking power, the generals lost their sense of humor and banned public performances of Thangyat. However, Thangyat is still kept alive by exiled Burmese communities..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 16, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 April 2008

Title: When the British Lit up the Burmese Sky
Date of publication: November 2004
Description/subject: Hot-air balloon contest dates back to colonial times... "There can’t be many indigenous festive traditions in Burma that owe their existence to the British. One of the most popular festivals in Taunggyi, capital of Shan State, dates back, however, to Britain’s annexation of upper Burma in the late 19th century. The British colonial and military officers stationed in Taunggyi at that time organized the first hot-air balloon contests, which are now a highlight of the Tazaungdaing festival of light, celebrated in late November. The first of the contests organized so enthusiastically by the British was held in 1894, nine years after the annexation of upper Burma..."
Author/creator: Nanda Chann
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 12, No. 10
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 31 January 2005