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Burmese also known as “Burmans”, “Myanmarese” Pitek, Emily
The Burmese (otherwise known as Burmans) inhabit the central plain of Burma, which is located in the Union of Burma (renamed Myanmar as of 1990). From 1885 to 1948 the British held control over Burma, after which Burma gained independence. The Burmans live in village communities, which are administered by an elected headman. The headman is the primary link between the village and the Union of Burma. Buddhism is deeply ingrained within Burmese society; “… Buddhism, as the villagers understand it, is the master artifice for giving unity, coherence, and meaning to their personal lives and to the world in which they live (Nash, 1965:104).” While the Union of Burma and village politics remains secular, Buddhism permeates all other aspects of Burman society. This entry focuses on the village of Nondwin around the time of 1960 as an example of a typical rural Burmese community.
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