By Jonathan Falla
The Karen, one in every of Burma's many minority peoples, were waging an more and more determined struggle for autonomy opposed to the Burmese executive for the reason that 1949. Karen society in Burma has been little studied because the Twenties, and up to date writers were compelled (by Burma's "closed door" rules) to be aware of Karen refugee groups in Thailand. This e-book is a portrait of an historical tradition remolded to the needs of ethnic uprising. the image is enriched with old comparisons and relies on pictures of person Karen as they fight to protect their lifestyle and to maintain their trust of their personal independence. There are chapters on tune, meals, love, the styles of the rebels' wooded area and river lifestyles, at the Karen army hierarchy and its weaponry, on ladies and on mercenaries, at the language and the symbols of insurgent nationalism. Jonathan Falla has led a various existence. He attended the college of Cambridge and is the founding father of the Cambridge Poetry Society. He has labored in Indonesia and Uganda and has written a number of performs, being named one in every of Britain's so much Promising Playwrights in 1983. Falla spent an unlawful yr in Burma dwelling with the Karen rebels. presently, he lives in Scotland and works as a nurse.
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Extra resources for True Love and Bartholomew: Rebels on the Burmese Border
Bastion looked crestfallen and muttered that he didn't know, he'd only read the story from the book and didn't understand all the old words. That evening I asked another young soldier-teacher to explain this discrepancy - but he didn't know either, saying 'I'm from Rangoon'. There seemed to be a flaw in the whole foundation myth of the Karen people. ' 'That's it. He left us behind. ' 'Right, we're orphans. ' The origins of the Karen have been debated ever since the American Baptist missions began to take an interest in the early nineteenth century.
In the water they found some snails, and on the bank there was roselle (hibiscus) growing. They'd never tried eating either but they looked good, so fires were lit and snails and roselle put on to boil. After a while someone poked one of the snails with a knife and said, 'It's still hard. ' So they waited, but after several hours the snails were still hard and the blood (which was of course the colour from the roselle) was still bright. Toh Meh Pah grew impatient, wanting to move on; after another hour he announced that he was going ahead with his family, and that they'd blaze a trail by cutting down banana trees so that his brother could follow when the snails were cooked and eaten.
Off he went. But, wait as the brother's family might, the snails never cooked - until at last some Chinese travellers came by and laughed at them and showed them how to take the end off the snails and suck out the contents. They ate quickly and set off to follow Toh Meh Pah - but they'd waited so long that the bananas had grown up again and the trail was obscured. And that was the last the Karen ever saw of Toh Meh Pah, or his children, or his magic comb. 'Thank you', I said, 'but isn't there something wrong?