Myanmar Secret CityThe Myanmar Secret City
The Myanmar City Secret: The Backdrop for George Orwell's Anticolonial First Novel
Somebody, as it turns out, named George Orwell. Much of the novel's intrigue, struggles, drink and sweat still stand in the British club, as do other places such as a racecourse, a pit and a warren. There is one home that is thought to have been Orwell's in Katha and it is still in use.
At first Nyo Ko Naing, illustrator and comic artist, did not know much about the Burmese Festival, but soon realized how important they were for the city' s years. Since then he has been the city's keeper, in-house researcher, non-professional Orwell scholarship holder and literature travel director, who wants to promote Katha as a travel target.
He helps with the renovation of the former 19 th C. Commissar of Britain building, which is to open next year as a muse. In Myanmar, also known as Burma, Orwellism has increased since half a Century of armed conflict ended in 2011, although the number of tourists remains low. Katha sees 300 to 400 such visits per months, Nyo Ko Naing says.
He established the Katha Heritage Trust in 2012 and launched a press action to rescue the commissioner's home from a resident business man who wanted to turn the estate into an ice arena. On the first level are now full of stock photographs, among them one by Orwell as a young police officer and several of the author's recent profiles drawn by regionalists.
"We' re in the process of gathering material for the Katha museums, such as photographs, dates and other heritages. We' re restoring the building while keeping its pristine look. Orwell is hoping to be a draw for overseas visitors who will stay for other rides such as Katha's historic Elefant Camp, which the US authorities are making ecotourism targets in the midst of a far-reaching wood-prohibition.
12 hour rail journey from Mandalay, Katha is a small, picturesque city in the area around Saaing. At sunset, walkers and family walk along the boardwalk while the far away hills are dark. Myanmar has modernized quickly in the last five years, and Katha is no different. Now the British Club is a British co-operative.
Books: Was it profitable to collect George Orwell's entire work? Hotel Katha, which opened last year, used the Orwell link. Constructed to look like a reddish brickwork house, it features booklets at reception with cards that lead the visitor to the main attractions of the novel. Clients can view photocopies of Burmese Days and Orwell's essay in the foyer or eat at the Kyauktada Cafe & Restaurant.
Most famous for 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell is also hailed for his conviction of Burma's colonialist regime, which largely portrays the UK people of Kyauktada as racial exploits. One year later, Maung Myint Kywe won the government's most renowned literature prize for his Myint Kywe Burma interpretation of the Burmesian Days. "Thurein Win, who has been translating Orwell's essay, said in an e-mail interview: "He said that his work has been in the publisher's possession for more than 30 years.
It was Orwell who mysteriously written about the Brits and Myanmar as well. "He is not liked by some people in Burma for his provoking words, but others enjoy his writing," said Thurein Win. Orwell' most striking work by Nyo Ko Naing may trace the author's home, which he had previously mistaken for that of the Commission. Using a card from the Colonies to locate the Residenz as a two-storey wooden building on the Hauptstrasse, not far from Hotel Katha.
On a turn Orwell might enjoy, it's still taken by apoliceman. "I was told that the home you are going to live in is owned by the English author George Orwell," said Chief of State Security Myint Aung, who was recently moved to Katha. Even though the building is not open to the public, he lets nosy people browse around and has given the confidence to put a flag on the veranda that explains some fundamental stories.
"George Orwell is both beautiful and interesting," says the name.