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Planet Burma - Calendar 2002/2003
REFERENCE! Comprehensive Calendar of Burmese Nat and Pagoda Festivals for the Year 2003.
Britain-Burma Society
Regular meetings are at: the Medical Society of London, 11 Chandos Street, LONDON W.1.
Admission is 5.00 per person.
Meetings are confined to members and their guests - and are subject to reporting restrictions.
NB - Click HERE for some non-Society coming events in the UK.
Members can click on grey buttons, for a Flierlier, a  Summaryummary or an illustrated Reporteport on some events.
2002 2003
Thursday 7th February 2002
"Life in the Southern Chin Hills" Flier for membersSummary for members
by Helga So-Hartmann

Our speaker has been based in Burma since 1975, studying the various dialects of the Southern Chin Hills. She married a Chin and most of the people she knows are also Chin. With the help of a wealth of photographs she talked of the nature and lives of these little- known peoples, whose territory is still largely off limits to foreigners.
Monday, 3rd February 2003
Burma 1999 - 2002 Flier for membersSummary for members
by Victoria Billing
Victoria has just completed a tour of duty as Second Secretary in the British embassy in Rangoon. She gave a general survey of the situation in Burma, and showed photographs of the many parts of it that she has visited.
Tuesday 19th March 2002
Forbidden Tracts Flier for members
a talk by Shelby Tucker
Our speaker went to Burma in 1989 to fulfil a pledge made to himself three decades earlier while hitchhiking along the Thai-Burmese border. His illicit journey across the Yunnan border into Burma in 1989 had been preceded by many other equally daring journeys, in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

But if his little trip across Burma via insurgent-infested hills started as a dare, it turned into something much more interesting as Shelby Tucker spent weeks among the various ethnic peoples and rebel armies along Burma's northern border area - Kachins, Shans and Communist Party of Burma. He was particularly fascinated by the Kachins, and has been ever since.

Tuesday 11th March 2003
Pre-Colonial Burmese Boats Flier for members
by Dr Michael Charney
Mike Charney is Lecturer in South-East Asian History at SOAS but Burmese boats are his fascination. They have taken him upriver on the Kaladan and Irrawaddy; he has admired them on temple walls in , Mrauk-U and Pegu, and dug them out from palm-leaf manuscripts, in archives and libraries in Burma, India, Europe and North America.

Mike Charney showed us photographs of temple murals, river navigation and old Burmese drawings to give us a feel for life afloat in precolonial days.

Tuesday 7th May 2002
  Kelly's Burma Campaign Flier for members
by Desmond Kelly MD,FRCP,FRPsych

Desmond Kelly left Burma precipitately in 1942, at the age of seven. But his father Norman Kelly stayed on to fight after the retreat of the main force of the British Army, organizing the Chin Levies from among local people where he lived in the Chin Hills. They were supported by the 17th Indian Division, whose members were to win more Victoria Crosses than any other division of the British Army. Desmond, who grew up in the Shan States, is now completing a book about the perils Norman Kelly and his brave companions faced in holding up the Japanese advance into India. The book - also to be called Kelly's Burma Campaign - will be on sale towards the end of 2002.
Thursday 8th May 2003
  ELEPHANTS Flier for membersSummary for members
by Daw Khyne U Mar, BVS, MPhil, MSc

We are fortunate to hear from one of the world's greatest experts on elephants: Daw Khyne U Mar, who until 1999 was head of the Veterinary Division in Burma's Ministry of Forestry, which meant she had in her care 2700 Government-employed elephants, and kept up a stud book of all Government-owned working elephants employed for the last 50 years. More recently, many other countries of Asia have been seeking her advice on the proper care and management of elephants, as the old knowledge dwindles and new problems arise. She gives a PowerPoint lecture on elephants she has known, using a data projector onto the big screen.
Wednesday 12th June 2002
The Art of Tattoo Flier for membersSummary for members
by Will Womack

Tattooing may be newly fashionable in the west, but in Burma its use is deeply rooted in tradition and history. Writing 100 years ago, Sir George Scott said "there is not a single up-country man who is not decorated with the dark blue tracery."

Tattooing - mostly with the figures of animals - gives the wearer three advantages: decoration, magic charms and a proof of courage - since there is a great deal of pain involved in accepting these designs.

Wednesday 18th June 2003
Family Routes Flier for membersSummary for members
by Wendy Law-Yone
One of the best-known Burmese novelists outside Burma will read from her latest book and talk about how she came to write it.

Wendy Law-Yone grew up in U Nu's Burma - her father was EM Law-Yone, the founder and publisher of the Rangoon Nation. Her life has been a varied one - she fell in love successively with German, Russian and French literature, and got herself a degree in Comparative Literature from Eckerd College in Florida. She published two novels in the USA: The Coffin Tree and Irrawaddy Tango. The book she has now been writing is about the "Burma Road", and her researches into the lives of her two grandfathers, one a Yunnanese merchant, the other a British colonial officer.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2002
The October Reception Flier for members
Our year started off on a high note with a glass of wine, despite a complete London Underground strike, which meant that all who arrived for the meeting did so after walking an average of a mile from their rail terminus. We toasted Vicky Bowman, who was to start her duties as HM Ambassador in Rangoon in December, and she replied with a short and amusing speech.

Wednesday 1st October 2003
The October Reception Flier for members
A chance to meet up over a glass of wine at the beginning of the Society's year.
Although as usual there was no formal speech, Anna Allott gave a little presentation about a number of self-help projects that are now going on in Burma, run by monasteries or other philanthropic institutions.

Thursday, 7th November 2002
A Dawn Like Thunder Flier for members
by Norma Joseph FRGS FRSGS

This was a definitive portrait of the Irrawaddy, brought to life by the stunning photography of Norma and Maurice Joseph, who had spent five months travelling up and down the 1300 miles from the confluence of the Nmai Hka and Mali Hka rivers south to the sea. They travelled in a variety of craft, and the photographs depicted historic towns and picturesque villages along the way.
Thursday, 6th November 2003
First Impressions of a Third Secretary Flier for membersSummary for members
by Martin Morland CMG
Martin Morland's talk concentrated mostly on his first posting to Burma, at the end of the 1950s, though he did also make some camparisons with his second posting, as British Ambassador to Burma, in 1986-90.

U Nu was Prime Minister when Martin Morland arrived, an unknown young diplomat learning the Burmese language and fascinated with this unique country. U Nu was soon succeeded by General Ne Win. Martin had two 3-month periods in Mandalay, and travelled widely in Shan and Kachin States. And in Rangoon too, as junior Secretary he had scope for a rich and varied social life, with a number of international visitors and even a white elephant.

Thursday, 12th December 2002
Magic Places, Magic Times Flier for membersSummary for members
by Sir Nicholas Fenn and Lady Fenn

In the 1960s, Burma and the Fenns had the joint good fortune to meet each other for the first time: a particularly appreciative young diplomatic couple in one of the world's least-known, individual and fascinating lands. Two years after their arrival, General Ne Win took power - and his project of a truly Burmese Burma was still under way when the Fenns returned as ambassador and wife in 1982.
Nick and Sue love telling stories, and Sue had photographic skills to capture the many faces of Burma in those days, in addition to coping with more than her share of adventures as a diplomatic wife and mother.

Thursday 11th December 2003
Second Chance in Mandalay Flier for membersSummary for members
by Diana Millington

Up to the age of 16 she knew nothing about her real father, or the childhood she nearly had in Burma, her birth on the run from Japanaese soldiers, or even her grandfather who had first come to Burma in 1904.

It was only when her husband, Graham Millington, was posted to head the British Council in Burma, in the year 2000, that she was able to follow up some of this history - and to make her own contribution. She was invited to teach English at Paung Daw Oo monastery school near Mandalay. And, discovering how few books the students had at their disposal, she was inspired to build a library as a donation. She tells her story in pictures, via data projector on the big screen.

2001-2002 Calendar.