Cháng Zhēng or original Long March of the Tibeto-Burmans

  Cháng Zhēng  or original Long March

of the Tibeto-Burmans  

Dear Nan, let’s talk about last group of our ancestors, the Tibeto-Burman group which I had already mentioned in last letter.

Our Shwe Bama spoken language is derived from this Tibeto-Burman group. U Bamar, Daw Chin, Ko Kachin, Ma Rahkine, Ma Inthar, Ko Naga, Daw Yaw, Ko Mro, Daw Lisu, U Kadu, Ma Hpon, Daw Maru, U Lashi, Ma Rawang, Daw Azi, Daw Nung, U Daru, U Gauri, Ma Lahu, Ma Lolo and others have descended from the Tibeto-Burman group.

Darling, they migrated downwards from Daw Tibet’s village, U Ta Yoke’s village tract. They are now spread widely and staying in Shwe Bama village, U Tayoke’s village and Ko Kala’s village.

Do you remember darling, in 2002 there was a U Kachin’s international conference held in Shwe Bama village. U Kachin‘s cousin brothers from U Tayoke’s village and Ko Kala’s village attended.

Ko Chin, Ko Kachin and Ko Naga‘s relatives are also on both sides of Indo-Burma-China borders.

Buddhist Rakhines in Bangladesh are known as Marghs.

Dear Nan, as you already know, our ethnic brothers spread in our village tract widely viz:

U Ka Yin, Daw Daw Mon, Daw Daw Shan, Ko Intha, U Kayah, Ma Palaung, Ko Aka, and Ma Pa-o usual ly stayed in the east and southeast of the Shwe Bama village tract.

And Ko Kachin, Daw Wa and U Kokang stayed in the north and east of our village tract.

Daw Chin and U Yakhine are mainly in the west.

Dear Nan, the latest research reports about the Tibeto-Burman group of languages is strange, almost unbelievable and contrary to the usual facts mentioned in our history text books that according to the the latest research and concepts,  Sino-Tibetan language is  just a sub-group of  the Tibeto-Burman language family.

Tibeto-Burman group of languages is spoken in various central and south Asian countries, including Shwe Bama village, northern part of Ko Thai Land village, southern part of U Tayoke’s village tract (Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai, Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan), Daw Nepal’s village, U Bhutan’s village, Ko Kala’s village tract (Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir), and western part of U Pakistan’s village.

Dear darling, at that time you amazed me by telling me that the Tibeto-Burman group of languages subfamily includes approximately 350 languages. Our Shwe Bama language has the most speakers (approximately 35 million).

Dear Nan, you will be surprised by my new findings that some linguists (including Shafer 1966 and George van Driem) advocate elevating “Tibeto-Burman” to displace “Sino-Tibetan” as the top-tier language family, with the Chinese languages (Sinitic) classified as a branch of the Tibeto-Burman/Sino-Tibetan family.

In simple layman terms, Chinese language is now under Tibeto-Burman language family. It is facinating to know that the great China or U Tayoke got the language from our ancestors!

As I had stated, in the 9th century the Shwe Bama and our Ethnic minorities migrated from the then U Tayoke-Daw Tibet border region into the valley of the Ayeyarwady which is now the heart of the Shwe Bama golden Pavalion.

Dear darling, our Shwe Bama village tract has experienced a long history of migration along fluid frontiers and numerous conflicts among various ethnic groups.

We are between two big neighbours or world’s greatest civilizations, U Tayoke and U Kala’s village tracts. And our country is the only highway those big neighbours could travel, trade or migrate because they are divided by the very high Himalayan Mountain Ranges.

When there were wars or struggles for power to control a village kingdom, our village tract became a safe heaven of refuge.

Or if there were any famine, bad weather, diseases of humans, animals or plants our country was always ready to provide a greener pasture and cleaner water.

So our Golden Shwe Bama village became the melting pot of two civilizations. Sorry Nan, I forgot to acknowledge that you told me about these facts in my first letter: our spoken language is from Tibeto-Burman group and related to U Tayoke’s language but our written language is from Brami script of Ko Kala’s village tract. And even our vowels or way of pronouncing is the same as southern Ko Kala’s few languages. So some of those Indians could even read written Burmese correctly but could not understand much. But as our spoken language is similar to U Tayoke, they could understand some of our spoken words.

Our lower half of the national dress is from Ko Kala and upper half from U Tayoke. And we got the religion, culture, arts etc from our big neighbours.

But I am glad and feel proud because we had adapted all we got, modified to suit our needs and now almost all of our nationalities have our own unique languages, personalities, national dresses, traditions, cultures etc that we all could proud of.

Dear darling, I am sad to tell you about this, but anyway you had already known it. Because of the bad SPDC government, now our country is suffering the reversal of fate, totally in a different state, we are in the reverse gear mode.

Our Shwe Bama village tract’s long tradition of giving refuge to all our neighbours in need, immigrant’s heaven, is sadly changed.

Now many of our people are refugees, working legally and illegally abroad and we are in the emigration mode.

Last time our country was a paradise for all of us, citizens and foreigners.

Now we had lost our paradise like the Athu Yar Nat Min who was removed and replaced by the Tha Gar Min and sent to Athuyakae.

But sadly, our SPDC is not Tha Gar Min or King of the angels, but acting like the King of the devils. They could not get or enjoy the Paradise stolen from us because they had just ruined our paradise and are collecting endless sins, preparing to go to hell, where they belong, in the next life.

I hope and strongly believe that our lost or ruined paradise could be rebuilt by our united workforce once we got our democracy. As you always said when I was a little bit disturbed with the never stopping visitors, Ain thar hma_ Ei lar thi” in Burmese, which means only when the host (home) is pleasant, the guests would come.

Yes dear, now I could accept your foresighted ideas of trying to be at the upper end of charity chain of events. I like your concept of “to be a donating person or paying hand is better than the receiving hand or a person in need”.

We have to thank God for chosen us in that position although we are not rich. We have to build back our country to regain our previous golden paradise status.

In the past we gained a lot; Brain Gain from immigrants, but now we are emigrating out from our mother land in droves and started to suffer the effect of Brain Drain. May be that is one of the SPDC Generals charitable idea of serving the world with our Shwe Bama’s brains, skills and labour.

I am surprised with your never ending optimistic views that now many of our brothers and sisters are abroad, got a lot of experiences in almost every field. Once there is democracy and real open door economic policy, we all could contribute the rapid leap forward of our beloved country and we could hope to overtake Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and all he ASEAN countries.

And I now could apply your Pollyanna’s optimistic views and could even see your temporary departure from me in t he fits of anger as a blessing in disguise for me. Because of that only I came to know Dr Tayza and Burma Digest and also have a chance to write love letters to you distantly following the paths of Nehru.

Sorry again dear, I know this is the kind of gloating you hate most, and I had mentioned his name for three times already just to irritate you. But I hope you could already understand and forgive me at the end as I could not stop teasing you. And I don’t know why God matched two of us as life partners, you are always serious and hate fooling around and I am very light hearted and always search the funny side of any events around us.

Dear Nan, time is up because I foolishly waste it with the other subjects to impress you! I have to stop now but please reserve your judgment; don’t give your final verdict to fail me now. I will definitely continue to answer your remaining questions and impress you in my next letters.

I hope to probe one of our ancestors, U Pyu and his civilizations next week but if Dr Tayza and Burma Digest Editorials thought otherwise and decided to stop their special courier service I have no choice but to stop nagging you.

Good-bye darling

Yours with love

(Ko Tin Nwe)

BO AUNG DIN  

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