Myanmar or Burma - Learn a Little about This 2 Names
by Blake Johnson Jun 23, 2017
"Myanmar or Burmar?" is an often-asked question for many tourists travelling this country. In this post, we will help you answer this question most simply by its etymological history.
Burma is used as the official English name of the country until 1989. At that time, Burma’s military government decided to "escape" from the English name that the former colonial rulers chose as well as change the name of other place. It bases on Burmese.
Nowadays, Republic of the Union of Myanmar becomes the official English name of the country instead of Burma. It’s related to linguistic aspect.
Myanmar is a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual country. The Burmese, a majority ethnic group, dominates in the whole country. In Burmese, "Bama" is the spoken name of this ethnic group, and "Myanma" is the written version. So, the name of Myanmar is used for an official one.
This controversy is only about the English name. So the regime still uses "Burma" in its own country, and even in the national anthem. Many people hadn't accepted the name Myanmar. It is because of that the minority people had considered Burma as an English name for the whole country. Moreover, they had thought that Myanmar is the name reflecting a policy of domination.
In 2012, when President Obama visited Myanmar/Burmar, he used both appellations interchangeably. Additionally, in November 2015 Aung San Suu Kyi explained that everyone could use any name they wanted, "because there is nothing in the constitution of our country that says that you must use any term in particular”.
Myanmar now is changing a lot, but still a mysterious land for tourists all over the world, not only in its name but also in each destination, culture as well as people here. All are waiting you to explore, consider our Myanmar River Cruises to discover more the Golden Land of Burma.