What are People from Burma CalledHow are people from Burma called?
Burmese Culture | Inside Burma Tours
Myanmar has a populace of about 51 million people, of which about 68% are part of the Bamar people. Burma's authorities have identified eight large tribal peoples (Bamar, Chin, Shan, Karen, Rakhine, Mon, Kayah and Kachin). These comprise a totality of 135 separate ethnical groups - a deceptive categorisation that summarises ethnical minority groups not according to language or genetics, but according to geograph.
The Shan "Major National Race of Ethnics " comprises a group of 33 groups, including at least four very different linguistic family. Besides these "official" ethnical groups, there are a number of minority groups that are not recognized by the Myanmar state. Among them are the Chinese, Panthay, Myanmar Indians, Rohingya, Anglo-Burmese, Lisu, Rawang, Naga, Padaung and Gurkha, who together make up about 10% of the country's people.
Bamar people (also referred to as the Burmans ) are the predominant ethnical group of Burma and number about 30 million people. Bamar speaks the Myanmarese and mainly lives in the Irawaddy Plain, which includes the Magwe, Sagaing, Mandalay, Bago, Yangon and Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) departments. Migrating here from what is now Yunnan in China, they displaced and absorbed the former Mon and Pyu tribes that once ruled the area.
As the Bamar people make up the vast majority of Burma's people, their traditions and identities are intimately linked to Burma's nationwide identities as a whole. Bamar clothing is a kind of armour called the long-gyi (male) or the htamin (female), with golden jewelry, scarfs, turban and mandarin coats, often wore on particular events.
Although you will still see many Burmese in old-fashioned clothes today, the trends are moving more and more towards westerly clothes and make-up, especially in the city centers. Moken are a group of nomads within the Bamar tribe, living on wood boat on the oceans around the Mergui (Myeik) archipelago in southernmost Burma - some believe since 2000 BC!
Moken are known as salon (or "sea gypsies") in Myanmar and number only 2,000 to 3,000 people. According to the Burma government's ranking, the Shan people are the next most densely populated National People' Group, accounting for 9% of the country's overall populace. Most of the Shan are in Shan state and are a part of the Tai tribal community, whose offspring can be found throughout Southeast Asia.
Shan tribes include a large number of different Tai tribes, many of whom have their own nationalities. However, most Shan speakers are both Shan (a member of the Tai-Kadai lineage, close relatives to Thai and Lao) and Myanmar. The Shan have been fighting for freedom from the remainder of Burma for many years, with temporary emergence of civilian wars between the Myanmar army and two large Shan state troops.
Although one of these forces was formally disbanded after the surrender in 2005, the other is still fighting the guerilla war against the Myanmar army. A lot of people have escaped from Burma to Thailand and have adopted low-paid work as a preferred option to repression under Burma's army regimew. The Wa, who according to the Myanmar authorities are formally part of the people of the northern part of the Shaan state and the eastern part of Kachin state.
Today, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) is said to have approximately 30,000 people and has exercised effective control over the area where the Wa live since the fall of the Communist Party of Burma in 1989. While the UWSA, which the US regards as a drug-trafficking organisation, regards its area as a special administrative region, this is not recognized by the Myanmar authorities, despite the fact that the UWSA often joins forces with the Myanmar army against nationalistic Shan-regiments.
Karen (also known as Kayin, Kariang or Yang people), the next biggest national race in Burma, is an overarching concept that refers to a mixed fabric of different ethnical groups that have no characteristics other than geographic area. Although there has been a feeling of a single Karen ethnical identities since the 18th century, there is indeed no single Karen linguistic, cultural, religious or physical trait within the group - a variety that reflects the traps of the Myanmar government's ethnical classifications system.
It is estimated that the Karen make up about 7% of Burma's total populace, although their number is hard to gauge due to the absence of accurate information on the Burmese people' s censuses. Karen is part of the Tibeto-Burman linguistic group and consists of three major arms (Sgaw, Pwo and Pa'o), in which there are about a ten different (also incomprehensible ) vernaculars.
Most of the people are Theravada Buddhists who also practice animation, although there is also a high proportion of Christians (about 25%). The Karen have been trying since the 1940' to found an autonomous state called Kawthoolei, which encompasses approximately the present Karen state. They were the biggest of the 20 minorities who participated in an uprising against Burma's army regime in the 1980' and the dispute (known as'the longest civilian struggle in the world') has continued to this date, claiming several hundred thousand human life and causing many displaced people to escape to Thailand.
People of the Chin region are living in the mountains of West Burmas, bordered by India and Bangladesh and approximately equivalent to the Chin state. There are 53 different races of Chin (according to the Myanmar government's formal list). They descend from the Tibeto-Burmen and call themselves "mountain tribes" (Zo-mi or Lai-mi).
Zo (or Kuki), who live across the Indian state of Mizoram, and the tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, speak the same languages, cultures and descent as the Burmese Chinese. Because of the effort of US Missionary workers during the UK colonisation, it is assumed that about 80-90% of Chinese practice Christianity - but the state also has the highest animist incidence in the state.
Like most parts of Burma, the Chinese practice animistic convictions at the same time as organizedism. Some Chin people used to have a kind of spider's web design on their faces with black outlines. Every trunk had its own way of getting a chin-cloth, so it was possible to recognize where a chin-woman came from by the line on her face.
Although it is said that the tradition was to prevent men from the neighboring kingdom of Rakhine from thieving young Chin wives, the line was probably also seen as a sign of femininity and beautifulness. In 1960 the Chinese regime forbade the use of the face tattoo. The practice became extinct among the Chin people.
Nevertheless, one can still meet some older females who carry such signs, and there are a small number of younger Chin females who only had tattoos done in the end of the 1990s to keep the traditions intact. Known as therakanese people, the Rakhine people make up about 5% of Burma's total ethnical community and live mainly in the state of Rakhine, on the west shore of Burma.
Arakans have been in the area since the founding of the first Rakhine Kingdom in 3.325 B.C. and are said to have practiced Buddhism during the Buddha's own life. The Iraqi people's relationships are also to be found in south-eastern Bangladesh and India.
Separated from Burma's land by the Arakan mountain range, the Iraqi civilization is very similar to Burma's dominating civilization, but keeps vestiges of Indian clout. rakanese is very similar to the Myanmar standards, and the two are generally understood by each other. Fears among the Arakans that they would soon become a majority in their traditional state resulted in fights between Rakhine and Rohingya Muslims, who also live in Rakhine State, in 2012.
Rohingya are currently not recognised by the junta as Burma nationals, although many have been living in Burma for generation and are claiming to be native to the state of Rakhine. It is believed that most Rohingya emigrated from Bengal to Burma during Britain's nineteenth c. In fact, it is believed that most Rohingya emigrated to Burma during the war.
Today, intermittent battles continue in the state of Rakhine, where the Rohingya's statute is still not known. At the moment there are no tourist trips to the state (except to the Ngapali seaside resort). Burma's people make up about 2% of the Burmese people and live mainly in Mon State, Bago Division, the Irrawaddy Delta and along the south Thai-Brains.
One of the first tribes to establish themselves in Southeast Asia, the Mon had a great impact on Burma's metropolitan art and are attributed to the expansion of Theravada Buddhism in Indochina. The Mon people have a tradition of speaking the Mon tongue, an Australian related to the Khmer, but now it is in decay and the vast majority of the Mon tribes are now unilingual in Myanmar.
The Mon, like many of Burma's minorities, have on several separate occasions stood up to the Burma army government, with opposition persisting until 1995. Aka the Kayah or Karenni, the Red Karen are a Chinese-Tibetan ethnical majority mainly found in Burma's Kayah state.
Even a sub-group of the Karen, this group can be further broken down into a number of smaller ethnical groups, namely the Geko, Geba, Padaung, Bres, Manu-Manaus, Yintale, Yinbaw, Bwe, Shan and Pao. The Red Karen used to live in an autonomous group of states called Karenni, which had hostile links with Burma but were not officially part of it until 1947.
Padaung (also known as the Kayan Lahwi) are one of the most popular Red Karen strains, easy to recognize by their long throats, which are extended with cuirals. Burma's last and smallest of the large national ethnic races are the Kachin, also known as the Jingpo people.
The members of this group are located in the Kachin Hills of Burma's north Kachin state, as well as in the bordering areas of China and India. As with the other "ethnic races" in Burma, the concept of Kachin includes various ethnical and language groups, such as the Rawang, Lisu, Zaiwa, Lashi/Lachik, Lawngwaw and Jinghpaw.
Over half of the Kachin are Christians, a significant majority follow Buddhism and some follow animation. Kachin language" can be used for a wide range of different foreign currencies, all related to the Sino-Tibetan linguistic group, but the most widely used is Jingpo.
Kachin are known for their good combat and jungles survivability, their intricate relationships between the clans, their craftmanship, and their herb healings. The Kachin people have been struggling for Burma's independency since 1961, with various cease-fire treaties giving way to more and more wars. The Kachin state is still plagued by civil disturbances and it is recommended that visitors keep away from this area.