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Anthony Payne "The Golden Land" 6th October 21

Our last meeting we had a lovely gentleman Mr Anthony Payne, talking to us all about his trip with his wife to Burma. Myanmar or Burma officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is a country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is bordered by Bangladesh and India at its northwest, China to its northeast, Laos and Thailand at its east and southeast and the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal at its south and southwest. Myanmar is the largest country in Mainland Southeast Asia and tenth largest in Asia by area. Mr Payne travelled to Burma in 2017. Burma in the olden days attracted travellers and precious stones including diamonds, gold rubies and aquamarine could be found and other items including teak and bamboo. Suvannabburmi is the Burmese word for THE GOLDEN LAND. Burma is now known as Myanmar meaning Myan: swift and Mar: diligent. Burma has a population of 54 million 80% more population than the United Kingdom and is three times the size of the United Kingdom. There are one hundred and thirty different Ethnic groups and one hundred and ten languages spoken. The currency is the Kwat and a mythical lion on each banknote. In the dry season when river levels are low, farmers get ready for growing season and harvest.
1886 : Burma became an administrative province of British ruled India with its capital Rangoon.
1937: Britain separates Burma from India and makes it a crown colony.
1948: Burma became independent with U Ni as Prime Minister.
Places of interest include Shwedagon Pagoda, Mandalay Hill and Ananda Temple.
In Yanggong Elephants are used for transport and work. In the mid 1800’s General Onsan had thirty wives and one hundred children, and on his death bed each child than visited him was murdered.
The Burmese language is very difficult and the traffic is appalling. Burma is a very poor and primitive country whereby primitive modes of transport and used including the tuck tuck. There are rules on the railway system including no smoking. no litter dropping and no signs of affection are to be shown.
Little boys attended monasteries and girls nunneries. The establishments provided a social education for the children. The nuns wore pink. Monks would carry a begging bowl and women would fill them with rice to provide meals for the children. The children would wash the Buddha and gain Merits.
At one time there were thirteen thousand Pagodas in Burma, nowadays there are only two thousand.
There are lots of markets selling everything form flowers, spices, dried fish and jewellery. Young women would sit weaving and making clay pots to sell as their wares. Men would go Palm tapping for juices used in fermenting for alcoholic spirits. Sharoots and tobacco leaves were grinded to use for facial masks to prevent them from burning in the intense heat.