Why did Burma Change to MyanmarWhat made Burma move to Myanmar?
You already know: Burma moved to the right side of the street 46 years ago.
There is a funny fact here for those of you who aren't historical freaks - 46 years ago, on December 6, 1970, Myanmar made the amazing transition from riding on the lefthand side of the street to the right. Renaud Egreteau, a Twitter subscriber, unveiled a Guardian story the following morning entitled "Right-hand drive without problems put into operation" to highlight the big one.
The Myanmar riders, under the leadership of the UK Imperium, initially took off from the south. Even though the UK reign ended in 1948, we stayed a left-hand traffic state for the next 22 years. But in 1970 General Ne Win - who was Prime Minister from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1974 and Head of State from 1962 to 1981 - made the decision that Myanmar would drive on the right side of the street.
But there are a few myths why the General had this abrupt change of heart, none of which really makes any sense (but not several things in this country). Theoretically, the astrologist of Win's woman said to the general that it would be better for the land if the men on the right side were cycling.
Whilst this may seem strange to some, Myanmar's astronomy is vast, so this tale may well be truth. One of the other common theories is that Ne Win had a vision that the land should change direction, and so we did. Finally, it was the general who made the decision that the land should drive on the right, and lo and behold, it was done.
Obviously, it gets even more bewildering when you consider that most of Myanmar's recent automobiles are right-hand drive, mainly because they are imported from Japan. This could change next year, however, when the new car import legislation comes into force and only left-hand drive vehicles are permitted in the state.
There you have it - the story of why Myanmar's right side streets are on the right, although there are still some signposts, especially in Yangon, pointing in the opposite directions. But, hey, what would our beautiful land be without a few excentricities?
A previous release states that the change took place on 7 December 1970, 12 years after the end of Britain's settlement. This took place on 6 December 1970, 22 years after the end of the colonisation by the United Kingdom.