History of Southeast Asia

History of Southeast Asia

Episode 112: Yesterday's Burma, Today's Myanmar

June 26, 2021

All right, Episode 112 of the podcast is now available! Today we pay another visit to Burma, to look at what happened from late 1988 to 2011. To start with, from this time onward, the country will usually be called Myanmar. During this period, the military is still in charge, and while the generals aren't as eccentric as Ne Win, the general who ran the show in Episode 101, they pull one crazy stunt: a new capital city is built from scratch, and the government is suddenly ordered to move to it, without previous warning. Also, we see Aung San Suu Kyi become a heroine in the eyes of the outside world, as she resists the generals. Finally, hear how a handful of Burmese discover punk rock, and use it as another way to express political opposition.

A punk with a monk in Myanmar.

Here is the 2012 National Geographic photo mentioned in the episode. It shows an improbable couple, a punk and a monk, getting along fine on the streets of Yangon.

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