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MYANMAR/BURMA

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eggshaped
213640.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:35 am Reply with quote

In the news at the moment, and threadless.

Myanmar was the last country in the world to be taken off the FATF's money laundering blacklist (Oct 2006).

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/dataoecd/46/1/39162982.pdf

 
smiley_face
213645.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:51 am Reply with quote

I'm intrigued as to why the news people keep referring to it as Burma. I thought it was meant to be called Myanmar in the same way as it's Mumbai rather than Bombay etc.

 
AlmondFacialBar
213649.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 5:58 am Reply with quote

burma is actually the pc name, whatever amnesty say. myanmar is what the junta calls the country, the elected exile government calls it burma.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Twopints
213655.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:08 am Reply with quote

smiley_face wrote:
I'm intrigued as to why the news people keep referring to it as Burma. ...


They panicked!

Twopints wonders whether anyone will get the obscure Monty Python reference

 
AlmondFacialBar
213657.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:10 am Reply with quote

Twopints wrote:
smiley_face wrote:
I'm intrigued as to why the news people keep referring to it as Burma. ...


They panicked!

Twopints wonders whether anyone will get the obscure Monty Python reference


yep! *hopeless giggling fit* and graham chapman always looked particularly enticing in curlers...

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
suze
213742.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:36 am Reply with quote

I went into this in some detail once before - it's post 61898 but it's rather long.

In a nutshell, Burma and Myanmar mean the same thing, and are respectively the colloquial and the formal way of referring to the country in its main language.

The current regime in that country asked the international community to use "Myanmar" in 1989, and that is what the United Nations calls it. For some time Mrs Aung pointedly continued to use "Burma" - as a protest against the government rather than because she dislikes the M word per se - although in more recent years she's on record as having used the M name.

The r at the end is spurious by the way - for reasons explained in the post linked above - and is not meant to be pronounced.

 
petipetra
213845.  Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:47 pm Reply with quote

^ Now that is Quite interesting. The Dutch media seem to be in disagreement in how to call it, I've heard both in the past week. Never knew why it is called Myanmar now :)
More confusing: when I was at school, it was mostly referred to as Birma. Later it was suddenly Burma, with a u. Not a major difference if pronounced in English, but it's very different in Dutch.


edit: Just checked wikipedia and found this:

That apparently says Pye Tawngsu Myanma Naingngan. Try pronouncing that one! ;)

 
dr.bob
214400.  Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:42 am Reply with quote

Wikipedia join the UN in calling it Myanmar:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma

I've spent the last few days squinting at low-res mobile phone pictures on the news and trying to figure out what on earth that thing is in the top left corner of their flag. It looked like some kind of insect to me, albeit one with four legs.

Apparently (according to http://www.enchantedlearning.com/asia/burma/flag/) it's a stalk of rice (seems so obvious now!). It symbolises agriculture, and is set inside a cog wheel (representing industry) with 14 teeth (representing the 14 administrative divisions of Burma). This is surrounded by 14 stars (also representing the 14 administrative divisions of Burma. I guess they wanted to hammer that point home). All of these designs are white (symbolising purity), set within a blue canton (blue represents peace. Ha!) in the top left corner of the main red flag (red representing courage).

 
petipetra
214651.  Fri Sep 28, 2007 1:42 pm Reply with quote

The Dutch news program NOS Journaal have today started calling it Birma again.

 
dadge
386079.  Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:02 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:

The r at the end [of Myanmar] is spurious by the way.


Quite interestingly, the r is also spurious in "Burma".

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/005024.html

 
suze
386194.  Sun Jul 27, 2008 3:55 pm Reply with quote

Ah yes, and for the same reason. Although Aung San Suu Kyi's utter objection to the name "Myanmar" seems to have faded in recent years, her movement has been known to suggest "Bama" as its preferred name for the country.

 
smiley_face
387028.  Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:30 am Reply with quote

I went to Burma today (added to Zimbabwe on the list of places I've been to but probably shouldn't have). Was chatting to a couple of Burmese people, and they all seem to call the place "Burma" (though that was in the very south of the country, so I can't really speak for the rest of the place). That said, the stamps in my passport say Myanmar. The language barrier made it a bit of a challenge to really find out quite why this was the case.

 
Troux
1057135.  Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:37 pm Reply with quote

I think we'll need to call it Myanmar if we want to squeeze anything into an upcoming QI episode.

dr.bob wrote:
Wikipedia join the UN in calling it Myanmar:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burma

I've spent the last few days squinting at low-res mobile phone pictures on the news and trying to figure out what on earth that thing is in the top left corner of their flag. It looked like some kind of insect to me, albeit one with four legs.

Apparently (according to http://www.enchantedlearning.com/asia/burma/flag/) it's a stalk of rice (seems so obvious now!). It symbolises agriculture, and is set inside a cog wheel (representing industry) with 14 teeth (representing the 14 administrative divisions of Burma). This is surrounded by 14 stars (also representing the 14 administrative divisions of Burma. I guess they wanted to hammer that point home). All of these designs are white (symbolising purity), set within a blue canton (blue represents peace. Ha!) in the top left corner of the main red flag (red representing courage).

I was scratching my head at this post, as they changed the flag in 2010 to what is basically the Lithuanian flag with a great big star sticker in the middle. However, from 1752-1885, under the Konbaung Dynasty, they boasted one of the coolest flags in human history:



I watched a documentary on Burma not too long ago (They Call it Myanmar), which was a disquieting exposť on a civilization subdued by a paranoid dictatorship and fatalistically pacified by its own religiously peaceful disposition, as well as a total lack of education. It's one of the most culturally isolated countries in the world, with less than 1% of the population having internet access. QI fact: it is the only country to abandon the traditions of metric and imperial measurement, creating its own units of measurement.

 

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