SURROUND SOUND COPYRIGHT 2011
Background photo courtesy of Wasitthee Chaiyakan
Burman-ness or Burmanness has a lengthy heritage in Burma Research as a term and as a state of existence. DGE Hall I believe coined the term to refer to cultural aspects of Pagan and David Steinberg referred to Burman-ness again in 1982 in his Burma, A Socialist Nation of Asia, p. 1. Burman-ness has continued to be used to refer to a phenomena that are closely related but not conceptually singular. My own use of Burman-ness as a term was to refer to the absorption of various peoples of diverse languages and cultures into a cultural, religious (Buddhist), and linguistic proto-national identity that was not self-consciously ethnic or racial that was emerging in the Konbaung period and forming the basis for the contemporary Burmese national identity. I included much of this discussion in my 2004 manuscript that was published in 2006 as Powerful Learning, but an earlier draft can be found here online. More recently, other scholars have begun to give the term related, but different meaning, to refer to a pro-Burman bias in contemporary Burmese society.