Tagaung is Bamar territory

Tagaung is Bamar territory

My father was posted in Katha at the time he married my mother. She went along from Pathein after their marriage to Katha for her first visit there till near her childbirth when she went to Rangoon where my brother was born.

They returned to Katha and stayed there until my father was transferred to Bassein. I was born in Pathein but after my father was transferred to Hinthada / Henzada, Toungoo and Pathein again, he was finally transferred to Rangoon where I attended school and lived till after I got my license and worked at the Myaungmya Jute Mill Construction Project, the first of my jobs outside Yangon.

During my childhood, my parents frequently talked about their stay at Katha. From what they said, it was my understanding that there were plenty of Shan Kadus ရွမ္း ကဒူး around the area, including the family who helped at their home and also took care of my brother. Actress San Shar Tin originated from around there and she is also supposed to be a Shan Kadu. It was my impression that the area around Kathar is Shan Kadu area and the Bamars are only a minority.

When I studied history and read about Tagaung တေကာင္း, I read that Tagaung is derived from a Shan name တေကာင္. This further reinforced my belief. The TharKiWins who came from northern India ruled over the local Shan Kadus and established a city at Tagaung. It was only later when they extended their territory to other parts of Myanmar, establishing cities in MaingMao, Beikthanoe, Sriksetra, and the lower Myanmar including the Thaninaryi that they came in contact with the Bamars who they ruled and also the Mons in lower Myanmar.

There might be earlier Pyu migration into Myanmar than AbiYarzar, as it is written in Myanmar chronicles that when KanRajaGyi went away from Tagaung and reached LeiKaing / ThuNanpara taing, the population there asked for a King as there was no one to inherit the kingdo, he left his son to rule there, going on to Rakhine and settled in KyaukPadaung before shifting to Dhanyawaddy later. This part of KanRajaGyi reaching Dhanyawaddy is seen in Rakhine history and explains the Aryan features of northern Rakhines. It is also mentioned in Rakhine chronicles that Rakhine had connections with northern India since ancient times and that Marayu came from northern India to establish the first Dhanyawaddy in BC 3440.

Before going to Tagaung တေကာင္း, I had a talk with a Bamar friend from a village in Kathar ကသာ township, several miles east of the Ayeyarwaddy, and learned that the villages around there are Bamar villages. One has to look at the population of the villages to know what type of ethnic group is the main one in an area. The towns do not represent the real ethnic distribution as it consists mainly of people who settled from elsewhere. In Khamti, the Shans are the majority in the villages. In Kathar, I found out recently, it is the Bamars.

On my return from Tagaung, I talked to fellow travelers on the ShutPyay, Bamars, and they also told me the same thing. The villages in HtiJyaint ထီးဂ်ိဳင့္ township and Katha ကသာ township are all settled by Bamars. Katha and HtiJyaint townships, north of Tagaung is Bamar territory and my earlier belief that it is Shan Kadu ရွမ္း ကဒူး area is wrong. So the saying Myanmar AhSa Tagaung Ka ျမန္မာအစ တေကာင္းက has the Bamar population around Kathar, HteeJyaint and Tagaung to support it.

Actually, the word Myanmar is the same as Bamar and the usage of it to include all ethnic nationalities is a political one. Bamars are the majority in Myanmar and they have ruled Myanmar since the time of Anawratha (the Pyus ruled current day Myanmar boundaries earlier) even if not continuously, as after the fall of the Bagan was a period of smaller independent countries (Ava, Hantharwaddy, Mrauk U) until TabinShweHti united the country again under Bamar leadership, and again by U Aung Zeya after the fall of the Toungoo dynasty and whose son HsinPhyuShin extended Myanmar to the mamimum since the time of Anawratha / AhLaungSithu, including ZinMae / Chaing Mai, ArThan / Assam, Manipura.

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