Burmese Malays

Source: Wikipedia

The Mergui Archipelago (also Myeik Archipelago or Myeik Kyunzu) is an archipelago in far southern Burma (Myanmar). It consists of more than 800 islands, varying in size from very small to hundreds of square kilometres, all lying in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of the Malay Peninsula near its landward (northern) end where it joins the rest of Indochina. Burmese used to call the whole Malay Peninsula as Pashu Kyun Swe or Pashu Peninsula . Occasionally the islands are referred to as the Pashu Islands because the Malay inhabitants are locally called Pashu. [1] The Burmese Malays (Malay: Melayu) are descendants of the ethnic group of Austronesian peoples predominantly inhabiting the whole of Malay Peninsula including the west coast of northern part which is inside Burma and at the Mergui Archipelago. [2]

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History

Tanintharyi Division historically included the entire Tanintharyi peninsula–today’s Tanintharyi Division, Mon State and southern Kayin State. The peninsula region was part of Thaton-based Mon kingdoms before 1057 and part of King Anawrahta‘s Pagan Empire after 1057. Soon after the fall of Pagan in 1287, the area fell to the ascendant Thai kingdom of Sukhothai, and later its successor Ayutthaya kingdom. The region reverted back to Burmese fold in 1564 when King Bayinnaung of Taungoo Dynasty conquered all of Siam. A resurgent Ayutthaya kingdom reclaimed the southern half of Tanintharyi in 1593 and the entire peninsula in 1599.[3] In 1614, King Anaukpetlun recovered the upper half of the coast to Dawei but failed to capture the rest.[4] King Alaungpaya of Konbaung Dynasty recovered the entire region for the Burmese in 1758. The Burmese used Tanintharyi as a forward base to launch several invasions of Siam in the next three decades. The Siamese tried to retake Tanintharyi in 1792 but the Burmese repelled the attacks.[5] The British gained the region after the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826). Soon after the war ended, the British and the Siamese signed a boundary demarcation treaty on 20 June 1826, and another one in 1868. [6] In the 18th century, Mergui was a port belonging to the Thai Ayutthaya Kingdom. It became an important trading center, especially for the Europeans, who would land at Mergui, travel upriver to Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) and then cross the mountains to reach Ayutthaya. The French officer Chevalier de Beauregard was made Governor of the city of Mergui after the revolt against the English there in July 1687.[7] De Beauregard was named Governor by the king of Siam Narai, in the place of the English Samuel White.[8] The French were then expelled from Mergui following the 1688 Siamese revolution. The British occupied the region after the First Anglo-Burmese War of 1826. Rakhine and Tanintharyi were transferred to British rule. In conclusion, most of the Malays who reside in southern Myanmar and Southern Thailand are of Kedahan Malay‘s descent as Kedah once was a great power in Southeast Asia’s history. Its empire stretched from southern Myanmar division of Taninthayi to the northern states of Malaysia.

Demography

The majority of Kawthaung‘s population is made up of ethnic ThaiMuslim,ThaiBuddhism, Bamar and other ethnic minorities (e.g. Shan, Karen, and Mon. The Salone (Moken), Sea Gypsies, and Malays who are all called with the name, “Pashu” by locals. Burmese Chinese and Burmese Indians, who migrated to Kawthaung during colonial rule for tin mining and other industries also inhabit Kawthaung. Total population of Pashu is less than 100,000 as many of them migrated into Malaysia, Thailand and some Pashus migrated to other parts of the Burma, especially to Rangoon. The remaining Pashu were mainly inhibited in the southern most part, Kawthaung. Kawthaung (Burmese: KawthaungMyo.png; MLCTS: kau. saung: mrui.; Thai: เกาะสอง; Malay: Pulodua) is in the southernmost part of Myanmar, located in Tanintharyi Division. During British rule in Burma between 1824 and 1948, it was known as Victoria Point. At 1859, a local Chinese and Thais group is settled at Maliwan, a place with numerous of flower trees called Maliwan in Thai Language. And at 1865, an Arab-Malay group led by Nayuda Ahmed, travelling and collecting sea products around Mergui Archipelago start to form a base and village at bay of Victoria Point. [9] Burmese Malays concentrated in Bokpyin township and villages around it and few islands in the Bay of Bengal. [10]

Language, culture and religion

These Malay ethnic group is related to the Kedahan Malay and the five southernmost provinces of Thailand (Thai Malays )which historically made up the old Malay kingdom of Patani. The most common spoken language in that area is Burmese, followed by Thai and the Burmese Malays are bilingual and speak Burmese with the distinguished Myeik ( Beik ) accent like the locals as well as Malay language which is a member of the Austronesian family of languages. Malays of Burma speak the Kedah-Perlis dialect. The ethnic Malay have had a Muslim culture since the 15th century.[11] Malay was the regional lingua franca, and Malay-based creole languages existed in the southern most part of Burma. In addition to the spoken Malay and some of their elderly members can read Jawi, Malay language written in Arabic Script. (Modern Malay is also written in Roman Script). Concentrated in Bokpyin township and villages around it and many sprawling islands in the Bay of Bengal . In Kawthaung the southernmost town of Myanmar, across Ranong in south Thailand , there are many mosques, including a large Pashu mosque. [12] There are some Pashus who have intermarried with other other Muslims in Burma. Some of their youths have taken up modern Burmese secular government education but a few of them are studying in Islamic religious schools. Burmese Malays are Sunni Muslims but as they are from Shafi Madhab or sect, slightly different from other Hanafi Madhab (sect) Muslims in Burma..

Occupation

The Pashus are nowadays urbanized and active in trading in the towns and trans border traiding and only very few numbers are engaged in fishing, production of rubber and coconuts, manufacture of fermented shrimp paste, the collection of edible bird’s nests and pearl farming.

References

  1. ^ Malay of Myanmar (Burma) [1]
  2. ^ University of Texas at Austin, Perry-Castañeda Library, Map Collection, Burma (Myanmar) Maps Thematic Maps: [2]Burma – Ethnolinguistic Groups from Map No. 500425 1972 (169K) [3]
  3. ^ International Boundary Study: Burma-Thailand Boundary. Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State. 1966-02-01. http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/limitsinseas/IBS063.pdf
  4. ^ Helen James (2004). Keat Gin Ooi. ed. Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor. ABC-CLIO. p. 302. 
  5. ^ Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur P. Phayre (1967). History of Burma (2 ed.). London: Sunil Gupta. p. 219–220. 
  6. ^ Bureau of Intelligence and Research, US Department of State. 1966-02-01. http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/collection/limitsinseas/IBS063.pdf.
  7. ^ Smithies, p.99
  8. ^ English intercourse with Siam in the seventeenth century – Page 365 by John Anderson – 2000 [4]
  9. ^ Kawthaung
  10. ^ Maung-Ko Ghaffari, Yangon, Myanmar’s letter/article, published in the Sun newspaper, Malaysia on May 28, 2007. He was the Chief Editor of The Islam Alin (Light of Islam) magazine published in Yangon.
  11. ^ aseanfocus.com
  12. ^ Maung-Ko Ghaffari,

See Also

Retrieved from “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_Malays

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5 Responses to “Burmese Malays”

  1. hamdan Says:

    are thre any burma malay race in burma until now
    Yes.
    You could read in Wikipedia_Burmese Malays
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_Malays

  2. drkokogyi Says:

    Dear Encik (Mr) Hamdan,
    The place the Burmese Malays stay is quite away from my home town, Mandalay. Even from Yangon, the flight tickets were very difficult to buy (last 25 yrs ago) and need to pay about 10 times (i.e. 1000%) as the route was used by black market traders. The ships were dangerously overloaded and there were numerous incidences of shipwrecks. The roads were unusable and need to pass through “Black areas” occupied by armed rebels.
    I asked few Burmese who came here from that area.
    Most Burmese Malays or Pashus are living in Kawthaung area. Those staying in the town are well to do and are said to be traders. They are Malays of Kedah and few of Kuantan origin. They are active in border trade with Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.
    They are Sunni Shafi Muslims; speak Malay, Thai and Burmese languages. There is even their own mosque called Pashu Masjid. One patient even claimed that TDM had visited them in Kawthaung town.
    Other rural Malays are poor, fishermen and staying at 7 mile Chaung Wa (Mouth of the stream), 10 mile Chaung Wa and Aw Gyi . Those villagers were quite remote, 60-70 miles away on the off road from the Kawthaung-Boke Pyin good road built by Thailand. Roads were so bad that bullock carts and motorbikes could only drive on them. Pashu children usually left the government primary schools after Kinder garden and continued to learn at the Islamic schools. Most of them even could not speak the Burmese fluently.
    One patient told me that because they are not fluent in Burmese very simple and naive, police and motor vehicle police from Kawthaung would usually bully them to extort tea money if they see any Malay on the motorbikes. He continued that at the government propaganda functions and relays they were usually summoned like other citizens. As they are not fluent in Burmese, they could not read or understand the slogans and sometimes they just shout from the back, “same as the person in front”. These kinds of words were also heard during the anti-government protests.
    But he claimed that they could easily get the Thai and or Malaysia IC easily as they are fluent in Thai and Malay and both of the governments sympathetically treat them. Some even hold those and visit or trade or stay back in Burma!

  3. hamdan Says:

    tq for your useful info, keris is a old traditional wapon for the malay,i would like to know etheir burma malay still having this type of weapon

  4. Cabaran Dunia Backpackers Says:

    Hi..now i’m doing research of Malays in Southern Burma…we need more info about pictures and location that which part of Kawthaung are many Malays..in Malaysia were not so much info otherwise wikipedia doesn’t help us so much to find more accurate about our research.

    thanks for your helps.

  5. Mat Says:

    I wonder what variant of the the Malay language do they speak in Myanmar.

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