Burma or Myanmar

Up until recently it was not that hard to know what to call that plot of land just west of Thailand. If you had respect for the Junta that renamed it from Burma to Myanmar, you called it whatever they wanted to call it. If you did not have respect for the Junta you simply called it Burma. But now that democracy is once again sprouting in that plot of land just to the west of Thailand, there is now some dispute as what to call it.

So here we are looking at a country who seems to be having a bit of an identity crisis. For what it is worth and for the sake of political correctness (yes it does apply because it is politics) knowing what to call that plot of land more or less comes down to what the respected people in that country want to call it. For the people wanting to be called Burmese or Myanmarian may simply come down to what rolls off the tongue easier.

Now for what it is worth, some companies have discovered that the name for their company that they selected has been renamed by the people. Friendly Ice Cream restaurant chain simply renamed themselves Friendly’s because that is what everyone called them. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC, and the list goes on and on. So a name like Myanmar that sounds more like some polymer material used in industry does not flow off the tongue easy unless you are a manufacturing or design engineer.

So a bit of a dilemma is going on and it may take a while to sort it out. Going back to calling the place Burma has its advantage. For starters most maps including Google maps show both names, so it is not like it needs to be rediscovered. Second the name Burma has a rich history while Myanmar’s only history thus far is to be a place run by a Junta, with protestors being jailed or shot in the streets causing the streets literally to run red with blood. So just on that alone, tossing the name Myanmar is a fairly good idea.

As for each person deciding what to call the place, we feel to each their own. Some may prefer to be called Burmese and others Myanmarian, and no doubt there will be some sort of push in the country for one or the other. The good thing about that it will be a democratic process something very far from the Junta’s idea of how things should be.

As for us at Connecting the Dots, we will stay with calling that plot of land just west of Thailand Burma simply because it embraces the rich history of that country that should not be forgotten because of a Junta. But if the entire country decides on naming the country Bob or George or whatever they decide, we will call it whatever they want.


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