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Planet Burma - Calendar 2005/2006
REFERENCE! Comprehensive Calendar of Burmese Nat and Pagoda Festivals for the Year 2006.
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, and a  Summaryummary on some events.
Monday 7th February 2005
Colonial Prisons of Burma Flier for members
by Professor Ian Brown

Prisons built in Burma by the British were quite something, as one influential visitor pointed out in no uncertain terms. In the mid-1920s Sir Alexander Paterson, a foremost prison reformer, paid an official visit and had some striking comments to make about the effectiveness of the prison system he found, and about the alleged criminality of the population. He was particularly concerned that juveniles should be given proper treatment.

The visit of this forceful and forward-thinking man was to have quite an impact on the community he met.

Tuesday 31st January 2006
Unlocked: Secrets of the Sazigyo Tapes
by Ralph Isaacs

There are many secret keys to worlds of Burmese culture, and who better than Ralph Isaacs to discover them? Ralph's story began innocently enough in 1991, with a bag of dirty cotton tapes mixed with termite earth, for sale on the Shwedagon Pagoda steps. Ralph was intrigued enough top investigate - and found these were sazigyo - manuscript-binding tapes, whose fascinating message remained long after the palm leaf manuscripts they were supposed to serve had crumbled away.

Sazigyos have a whole language and mystique and tradition of their own, on which Ralph has made himself an expert - and being the showman he is, you can be sure of a consummate exposition.

Wednesday 16th March 2005
Stories Told by Burmese Lacquerware Flier for members
by Sylvia Lu

You can read quite a lot in a Burmese lacquer pot, if you know how to do it. Burmese dynastic history; legend and religious stories; changing styles of art and architecture - and all in the midst of a wealth of densely patterned embellishment.

Sylvia (Fraser) Lu must be the world's best known writer on Burmese crafts of all kinds, and we are delighted to welcome her.

Thursday 9th March 2006
Getting into Burmese Paintings
by John Glass
This will be a real feast for the eyes as John Glass takes us through the story of Burmese contemporary paining, artist by artist, with all their most famous works in full detail on the big screen.
Tuesday 17th May 2005
Changing Faces of Thingyan Flier for membersSummary for members
by Peter Evans

Peter Evans arrived to us hotfoot from the Water Festival in Rangoon, though fortunately he had a chance to change into some dry clothes first. He showed dozens of photos and film clips on the big screen, displaying the vitality with which Thingyan is still celebrated, and illustrating the way the festival continues to evolve, in terms of music, clothing and other respects.

See an illustrated report of the meeting.

There is also a full version of the talk in the members' area of this web site, along with 25 or 30 of the photos, for members of the Britain-Burma Society.

Friday 5th May 2006
Burmese Maps and Cartography
by Philip Plumb
Anyone who has travelled in Burma is likely to have developed an interest in the maps that are available - simply because places and routes can be so hard to locate. Actually, it is said that the Japanese forces that invaded Burma in 1942, and so bewildered the British army by popping up hundreds of miles from where they were supposed to be, were simply finding country roads on orthodox British maps - so they were better than the British at map reading.

Which roads and villages do you put on the map? With many names in a state of flux, how do you decide which to use? Cartographers always have these challenges to face - and Philip Plumb will take us through the solutions they came up with in the case of Burma.

Friday 17th June 2005
Creating Burma in Chiang Mai Flier for members
by Phyu Cyn and Penny Leicester
Nothing beats a lively radio soap opera for getting the AIDS education message to local people, and that is just as valid in Burma as elsewhere.

Penny and Phyu Cyn were involved in putting together such a series for Burma, and just to make things really interesting, they did it in the middle of Thailand, There were tears as well as well as laughs, and a slowly-building trust with local communities.

The talk was illustrated with photos and video, on the big screen.

Thursday 15th June 2006
Tourism in Burma

The Britain-Burma Society does not promote or organize tourism to Burma, and we're not about to start now. Since the Burmese opposition led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has requested foreign tourists not to visit Burma, this has become a political issue. We are non-political by constitution, and it would not be appropriate for us to meddle.

However, tourism is certainly a reality, and Burma is one of the world's most attractive potential destinations for the tourist, so it would be wrong for us not to turn the eye of analysis onto the Burmese tourist scene from time to time. Much has changed and evolved as the years have gone by - and those who have been until recently working with tourists in Burma know more than anybody the great attractions of it as well as the considerable dangers for the unwary.

Tuesday 4th October 2005
The October Reception Flier for members

A chance to meet up over a glass of wine at the beginning of the Society's year, to welcome new members and new students of Burmese at SOAS.

Tuesday 3rd October 2006
The October Reception

Thursday, 10th November 2005
Old and Bold Soldiers of Burma Flier for membersSummary for members
by Lt Col Sam Pope, OBE, RM
The Burma Campaign of World War Two is not a forgotten war as far as we are concerned - nor is the gallantry of local Burmese soldiers fighting against the Japanese forgotten.

Sam Pope told some remarkable stories of the contribution made by different peoples of Burma, and of his journeys to meet some of these ageing soldiers, and repay them in some small measure for what we owe them.

Tuesday, 7th November 2006

Thursday 15th December 2005
Timber and Conflict
by Susanne Kempel

The NGO Global Witness recently released a report on the status of Burma's forests, which raised concerns that Chinese firms are said to be removing timber at an alarming rate from the north of the country.

Susanne Kempel has studied Burma's forests, and presented an illustrated survey of the subject. NB - we don't unfortunately have a full Internet version of her talk; but the Global Witness report can itself be seen on that organization's web site.

Thursday 14th December 2006

2004-2005 Calendar.