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Musing on work … Burma … Alright, my son? 16th of March, 2006 ANTE·MERIDIEM 12:10

Tá mé in ann Fhraincís níos fearr a scríobh ná mo comharsan. I mo thuairim, tá sé sin an-ait ar fad; tá an fear as príomhchathair an Fhrainc, agus is Éireannach mé féin. Níos mó, tá mé gach lá ag caint as Gearmánais, agus níl aiméar ar bith agam caint as Fhraincís.

Joel of Far Outliers has, as so often, an interesting post up: http://​faroutliers.​blogspot.​com/​2006/​03/​burmas-martial-legacy.​html . It’s about Burma, its effective militaristic tendencies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and an ungrounded British reluctance to recruit the ethnic Burmese as soldiers thereafter. This offers perhaps a partial insight into why the country turned in on itself after independence, in contrast to Pakistan and India and how they engaged energetically with the wider world; no exposure to Western modes of thinking via the army. Of course, there were lots of other avenues of deep engagement with the West available in the Raj; cf. http://​en.​wikipedia.​org/​wiki/​Muhammad_Iqbal , http://​en.​wikipedia.​org/​wiki/​Muhammad_Ali_Jinnah , Gandhi (who was a barrister, remember), but I suspect this ungrounded reluctance reflected how the British on a wider level approached the Burmese.

Word of the day: «Писаҷон, писарам» means “my son,” and is used as a form of address (a vocative) in Tajik, much like Cockneys do. “A mhic” is Irish for the same thing.

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