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Click on Myanmar's tracks | The Myanmar Times
The new website will present Burma's story in many different ways. Thant Myint-U started a new website entitled'Lost Footsteps' on May 15th. For months, he and his developers and translation teams have worked to provide a user-friendly on-line portal where experts and those inquisitive can satisfy their curiosity about Myanmar's past.
"The website says: "Challenge the often two-dimensional and non-critical view of Myanmar's story. The story is often used as a policy instrument and as a means of division. "The story is also about sensitivity, about empathizing with others, about the position of others, about the other' value, about the point of view of others," says Dr. Thant Myint-U, whose Facebook page was the trigger for the work.
Between 2012-2018, the writer published over 4,000 Facebook postings, most of which concerned Myanmar's past. They have been assembled and interpreted by his staff to make Burma's story available to the most important people: the Myanmaris. Indeed, Myanmar's historical education is in a bad state.
"It is a very propaganda story from a single perspective," says website publisher and interpreter Zin Mar Myint. Myanmar story can be very different from a Bamar or Karen view, as the studies of text books show. She added that story is learned by heart, not critical.
Moreover, the story is not seen as an important issue that should be examined in comparison to the medical field. "Historical education is not promoted at schools and is never an important field of studies in comparison to other subjects," added Zin Mar Myint. It will also try to expand the Burmese's perspective on their own legacy.
Mr Footstep has made very revealing contributions about little-known ethnic groups such as the Myanmar Jews who gave Rangoon a major, the powerful Muslim Panthays or a small Chinese Orthodox community who provided the Myanmar monarchs with delicate soldiers. Even more important, Myanmar can learnt a lot from others. "It is more important, I think, to consider world histories for teaching.
Today, Myanmar is in many ways similar to the European and New World nations of the latter part of the nineteenth centuries, America during the guild era," says Thant Myint-U, referring to the semi-democracy of the day, the pace of technology changes, rapidly growing economies, and growing inequality, socialism and minority-volution.
Myanmar's seeming drop in interest in the story is not unprecedented - its influence can be felt elsewhere. For example, in the US, a 2016 National Center for Education Statistics survey showed that the number of graduates with a Bachelor's or Ph.
That was the third year in a row that a decrease was recorded. It is indeed difficult to conceive who has the luxuries of studying in Myanmar, where only one in ten pupils finishes their studies. However, almost every young person in Burma has a smart phone - hence the importance of such an initative.
They are rather frangmented, which suits the website's guiding principle. Policy makers have a tendency to interpret narratives as consistent and straightforward with a beginning and an end. But, as the website shows, the storyline is more complicated than an action. This website contains a useful time line in which the visitor can keep up to date.
Myint-U's art of writing also does a lot to help. The website had an amazing 15. Of these, only 20% were outside Burma, the remainder were local or at least Myanmar residents, according to Li Jia Li, the website developers. It also finds that 80% of the site's traffic took place on the Burmese language one.
In the translation of the contributions from English into Myanmar, the staff tried to use a simple Myanmar language that even a high school student could grasp, said Su Nwe, one of the interpreters and web managers. However, some parts are rather scarce - like the section on prehistoric Myanmar, which currently only has one contribution.
Thant Myint-U explains that many areas of investigation are hardly known. Hopefully his website will arouse interest in this area, and others will take it upon themselves to reveal Myanmar's wealthy and intricate past. Most Footsteps is a website run as a joint venture of'U Thant House', a gallery and a forum.
To find out more, please visit: https://www.lostfootsteps. org/en .