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Encyclopedia > Karen people
Karen
Total population

7,400,000

Regions with significant populations
Burma: 7,000,000


Thailand:  400,000

Language(s)
Karen
Religion(s)
Buddhism, Christianity, Animism

The Karen (Burmese: ; MLCTS: kayin lu myo:), self-titled Pwa Ka Nyaw Po, and also known in Thailand as the Kariang (Thai: กะเหรี่ยง) or Yang, are an ethnic group in Burma and Thailand. The Karen make up approximately 1 in 7 of the total Burmese population of 47 million people.[1] The Karelian language is a variety closely related to Finnish, with which it is not necessarily mutually intelligible. ... A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang Gompa, India. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... This article or section uses Burmese characters which may be rendered incorrectly. ...



The Karen have fought for independence from Burma since 31 January 1949. Consequently, 31 January is recognized as Revolutionary Day amongst the Karen. is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 31st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Distribution

The Karen people live mostly in the hilly eastern border region of Burma,[2] primarily in Karen State, with some in Kayah State (Karenni State), southern Shan State (MoBye Region), Ayeyarwady Division (Irrawaddy Division), Southern Kawthoolei (Tenasserim Coastal Region) and in western Thailand. As with many widely-used ethnonyms — e.g., Eskimo, Miao — Karen was originally applied pejoratively by enemies. However, the term has since been claimed by the Karen themselves as a badge of pride. The Kayin State is a [[administrative divisions of Burma and also known as Karen state. ... Kayah, also called Karenni State is a state of Myanmar. ... Shan State is a state located in Myanmar (Burma), which takes its name from the Shan people, the majority ethnic group in the Shan State. ... Ayeyarwady Division is a division of Myanmar, occupying the delta region of the Ayeyarwady or Irrawaddy River. ... Tanintharyi Division, better known by the old name Tenasserim, is a division of Myanmar, covering the long narrow southern part of the country on the Kra Isthmus. ... An ethnonym (Gk. ... For other uses, see Eskimo (disambiguation). ... Hmong may refer to: Hmong people, an ethnic group in China and Southeast Asia Hmong language, a cluster of closely related Hmong-Mien languages Hmong customs and culture Category: ...


The total number of Karen is difficult to estimate. The last reliable census of Burma was conducted in the 1930s. A 2006 VOA article cites an estimate of seven million in Burma. There are another 400,000[3] Karen in Thailand, where they are by far the largest of the hill tribes. Voice of America logo Voice of America (VOA), is the official external radio and television broadcasting service of the United States federal government. ... Akha girl. ...


History

A Karen village in Thailand.
A Karen village in Thailand.

The Karen people's ancestors were from Tibet. They were Tibetan refugees. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 1. ... This article is about historical/cultural Tibet. ... This article is about historical/cultural Tibet. ...


During World War II the Japanese occupied the region, long-term tensions between the Karen and Burma turned into open fighting. As a consequence, many villages were destroyed and massacres committed by both the Japanese and the Burma Independence Army (BIA) troops who helped the Japanese invade the country. Among the victims were a pre-war Cabinet minister Saw Pe Tha and his family. A government report later claimed the 'excesses of the BIA' and 'the loyalty of the Karens towards the British' as the reasons. The intervention by Colonel Suzuki Keiji, the Japanese commander of the BIA, after meeting a Karen delegation led by Saw Tha Din, appeared to have prevented further atrocities.[3] Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Burma National Army was originally organized by the Minami Kikan as the Burmese Independence Army in December of 1941 , where it then served as an auxiliary of the Imperial Japanese Army. ...


The Karen people aspired to have the areas where they were the majority formed into a subdivision or "state" within Burma similar to what the Shan, Kachin and Chin peoples had been given. A goodwill mission led by Saw Tha Din and Saw Ba U Gyi to London in August 1946 failed to receive any encouragement from the British government for any separatist demands. When a delegation of representatives of the Governor's Executive Council headed by Aung San was invited to London to negotiate for the Aung San-Atlee Treaty in January 1947, none of the ethnic minority members was included by the British government. The following month at the Panglong Conference, when an agreement was signed between Aung San as head of the interim Burmese government and the Shan, Kachin and Chin leaders, the Karen were present only as observers; the Mon and Arakanese were also absent. The British promised to consider the case of the Karen after the war. While the situation of the Karen was discussed, nothing practical was done before the British left Burma. The 1947 Constitution, drawn without Karen participation due to their boycott of the elections to the Constituent Assembly, also failed to address the Karen question specifically and clearly, leaving it to be discussed only after independence. The Shan and Karenni states were given the right to secession after 10 years, the Kachin their own state, and the Chin a special division. The Mon and Arakanese of Ministerial Burma were not given any consideration.[3] The Shan are an ethnic group of Southeast Asia. ... The Jingpo or Kachin people (Chinese: 景颇族 Jǐngpōzú; own names: Jingpo, Tsaiva, Lechi) are an ethnic group who largely inhabit northern Myanmar (Kachin State). ... Chin (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ) is one of the ethnic groups in Myanmar (formerly Burma). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... The United Kingdom is a unitary state and a democratic constitutional monarchy. ... General Aung San (Bogyoke Aung San in Burmese) (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ; IPA: ); February 13, 1915 – July 19, 1947) was a Burmese revolutionary, nationalist, general, and politician. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... General Aung San (Bogyoke Aung San in Burmese) (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ; IPA: ); February 13, 1915 – July 19, 1947) was a Burmese revolutionary, nationalist, general, and politician. ... Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, FRS (January 3, 1883 - October 8, 1967) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951. ... The Panglong Conference (Burmese: ), held in February 1947, was an historic meeting that took place at Panglong in the Shan States in Burma between the Shan, Kachin and Chin ethnic minority leaders and Aung San, head of the interim Burmese government. ... The Mon (Burmese: ) are an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. ... The Rakhine people (Burmese: ; formerly Arakanese) are a sub-ethnic group of the Bamar. ... A constituent assembly is a body elected with the purpose of drafting, and in some cases, adopting a constitution. ... Shan State is a state located in Myanmar (Burma), which takes its name from the Shan people, the majority ethnic group in the Shan State. ... Kayah, also called Karenni State is a state of Myanmar. ...


In early February 1947, the Karen National Union (KNU) was formed at a Karen Congress attended by 700 delegates from the Karen National Associations, both Baptist and Buddhist (KNA - founded 1881), the Karen Central Organisation (KCO) and its youth wing, the Karen Youth Organisation (KYO) at Vinton Memorial Hall in Rangoon. The meeting called for a Karen state with a seaboard, an increased number of seats (25%) in the Constituent Assembly, a new ethnic census, and a continuance of Karen units in the armed forces. The deadline of March 3 passed without a reply from the British government, and Saw Ba U Gyi, the president of the KNU, resigned from the Governor's Executive Council the next day.[3] The Karen National Union (KNU) is an armed group operating in the border area between Burma and Thailand. ... Yangôn, formerly Rangoon, population 4,504,000 (2001), is the capital of Myanmar. ... is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


After the war ended, Burma was granted independence in January 1948, and the Karen, led by the KNU, attempted to co-exist peacefully with the Burman ethnic majority. Karen people held leading positions in both the government and the army. In the fall of 1948, the Burmese government, led by U Nu, began raising and arming irregular political militias known as Sitwundan. These militias were under the command of Major Gen. Ne Win and outside the control of the regular army. In January 1949, some of these militias went on a rampage through Karen communities. In late January, the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Smith Dun, a Karen, was removed from office and imprisoned. He was replaced by fanatic Burmese nationalist Ne Win.[3] These events happened at exactly the same time a commission looking into the Karen problem was due to make its report to the government. The events effectively killed the report. The Karen National Defence Organisation (KNDO), formed in July 1947, then rose up in an insurgency against the government.[3] They were helped by the defections of the Karen Rifles and the Union Military Police (UMP) units which had been successfully deployed in suppressing the earlier Burmese Communist rebellions, and came close to capturing Rangoon itself. The most notable was the Battle of Insein, nine miles from Rangoon, where they held out a 112-day siege till late May 1949.[3] Prime Minister U Nu U Nu (otherwise known as Thakin Nu; May 25, 1907 - February 14, 1995) was a Burmese nationalist and political figure. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... The Communist Party of Burma (Ba-ma-pyi Co-myu-ni pa-ti) is a political party in Myanmar (Burma). ...


Years later, the Karen had become the largest of 20 minority groups participating in an insurgency against the military dictatorship in Rangoon. During the 1980s, the KNU fighting force numbered approximately 20,000. After an uprising of the people of Burma in 1988, known as the 8888 Uprising, the KNU had accepted those demonstrators in their bases along the border. The dictatorship expanded the army and launched a series of major offensives against the KNU. By 2006, the KNU's strength had shrunk to less than 4,000, opposing what is now a 400,000-man Burmese army. But KNU continued their effort to solve political problem by political means. A military dictatorship is a form of government wherein the political power resides with the military; it is similar but not identical to a stratocracy, a state ruled directly by the military. ... Yangôn, formerly Rangoon, population 4,504,000 (2001), is the capital of Myanmar. ... 8888 Uprising (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ) was a national uprising demanding democracy that took place on 8 August 1988 in Burma (now Myanmar). ...


The conflict continues as of 2006, with KNU headquarters in Mu Aye Pu, on the BurmeseThai border. In 2004, the BBC cited aid agencies estimates that up to 200,000 Karen have been driven from their homes during decades of war, with 120,000 more refugees from Burma, mostly Karen, living in refugee camps on the Thai side of the border. 2006 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... An aid agency is an organisation dedicated to distributing aid. ... bjhgfshudgfgbfsfas Refugee camp for Rwandans located in what is now the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo following the Rwandan Genocide A camp in Guinea for refugees from Sierra Leone. ...


Many [1] [2] including Karen people [3] [4] accuse the military government of Burma of ethnic cleansing. The U.S. State Department has also cited the Burmese government for suppression of religious freedom [5], a source of particular trouble to the Karen as between thirty and forty percent of them are Christians [6][7], and thus among the Burmese religious minority. For the video game, see Ethnic Cleansing (computer game). ... Freedom of religion is the individuals right or freedom to hold whatever religious beliefs he or she wishes, or none at all. ... This article is about the religous people known as Christians. ...


Language

The Karen languages are members of the Tibeto-Burman group of the Sino-Tibetan language family. The three main branches are Sgaw, Pwo, and Pa'o; they are not considered to be mutually intelligible (Lewis 1984). Karenni (also known Kayah or Red Karen) and Kayan (also known as Padaung) are related to the Sgaw branch. They are almost unique among the Tibeto-Burman languages in having a Subject Verb Object word order; other than Karen and Bai, Tibeto-Burman languages feature a Subject Object Verb order [8]. This is likely due to influence from neighboring Mon and Tai languages (Matisoff 1991). The Karen languages are spoken by the Karen people and are classified as part of the Tibeto-Burman group of the Sino-Tibetan language family. ... The Tibeto-Burman family of languages (often considered a sub-group of the Sino-Tibetan language family) is spoken in various central and south Asian countries, including Myanmar (Burma), northern Thailand, and parts of Western China (Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai (Amdo), Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Himachal... The Sino-Tibetan languages form a putative language family composed of Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia. ... Karenni, also known as Red Karen or Kayah, are a Sino-Tibetan people, living mostly in Kayah State of Myanmar. ... A Kayan woman in Northern Thailand The Kayan are a group of the Karenni people, a Tibeto-Burman ethnic minority of Burma (Myanmar). ... In linguistic typology, subject-verb-object (SVO) is the sequence subject verb object in neutral expressions: Sam ate oranges. ... Bai (白族; pinyin: bái zú) is one of the 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the Peoples Republic of China. ... In linguistic typology, Subject Object Verb (SOV) is the type of languages in which the subject, object, and verb of a sentence appear (usually) in that order. ... The Mon-Khmer languages are the autochthonous languages of Indo-China. ... The Tai languages are a subgroup of the Tai Kadai language family. ...


Kawthoolei

Kawthoolei is the Karen name for the state that the Karen people of Burma have been trying to establish since the late 1940s. The precise meaning of the name is disputed even by the Karen themselves; possible interpretations include Flowerland and Land without evil, although, according to Martin Smith in Burma: Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity, it has a double meaning, and can also be rendered as the Land Burnt Black; hence the land that must be fought for. Kawthoolei roughly approximates to present-day Kayin State, although parts of the Burmese Ayeyarwady River delta with Karen populations have sometimes also been claimed. Kawthoolei as a name is a relatively recent invention, penned during the time of former Karen leader Ba U Gyi, who was assassinated around the time of Burma's independence from Britain. File links The following pages link to this file: Kayin State Categories: GFDL images ... Kawthoolei is the Karen name for the state that the Karen people of Myanmar have been trying to establish since the late 1940s. ... Martin Smith is the guitarist from Infinite Rapture ... Kayin State is an administrative division of Myanmar and also known as Karen State. ... The Ayeyarwady River or Irrawaddy River (Burmese: ; MLCTS: ) is a river that flows through Burma (Myanmar). ... Saw Ba U Gyi was the first President of the Karen National Union. ... The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a country in western Europe, and member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the G8, the European Union, and NATO. Usually known simply as the United Kingdom, the UK, or (inaccurately) as Great Britain or Britain, the UK has four constituent...


See also

  • Kayin state
  • Karen-Ni

Karenni, also known as Red Karen or Kayah, are a Sino-Tibetan people, living mostly in Kayah State of Myanmar. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Radnofsky, Louise. "Burmese rebel leader shot dead", The Guardian, 2008-02-14. Retrieved on 2008-03-08. 
  2. ^ This area is generally referred to as the Karen hills in colonial literature, especially natural history texts such as Evans (1932).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Delang, Claudio O. (Ed.) (2003). Living at the Edge of Thai Society: The Karen in the Highlands of Northern Thailand. London: Routledge. 

For other uses, see Guardian. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 45th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance to the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 67th day of the year (68th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

Print

  • Evans, W.H. (1932). The Identification of Indian Butterflies (2nd ed). Mumbai, India: Bombay Natural History Society. 
  • Delang, Claudio O. (Ed.) (2003). Living at the Edge of Thai Society: The Karen in the Highlands of Northern Thailand. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32331-2. 
  • Lewis, Paul; Elaine Lewis (1984). Peoples of the Golden Triangle. London: Thames and Hudson Ltd. ISBN 0-500-97472-1. 
  • Matisoff, James A. (1991). "Sino-Tibetan Linguistics: Present State and Future Prospects". Annual Review of Anthropology 20: 469–504. Annual Reviews Inc.. 
  • Falla, Jonathan (1991). True Love and Bartholomew: Rebels of the Burmese Border. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Smith (1991). Burma - Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity. London and New Jersey: Zed Books. 

Online

Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 68th day of the year (69th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Film

  • The ongoing persecution of the Karen by the Burmese army is depicted in the 2008 film Rambo starring and directed by Sylvester Stallone, in which he reprises one of his iconic roles, John Rambo.

Rambo is a 2008 action film starring Sylvester Stallone as Vietnam War veteran John Rambo. ... Sylvester Stallone (born Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone on July 6, 1946) is a two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor, director, producer and screenwriter. ... Rambo is a trilogy of popular action films based on the characters created by David Morrell in his novel First Blood. ...

External links

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Info Mekong Karen Profile (4065 words)
The Karen are an indigenous people to the southeast Asian countries of Thailand and Burma.
Karen, unlike other large ethnic groups, are made-up of smaller subgroups who, in some cases, speak in their own dialects.
To most people who are familiar with the Karen, they are known for their colorful traditional clothes, but they should also be known for their hospitality and friendliness which is readily extend to everyone.
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We the Karen people, in the spirit of fraternity, unity and liberty and for the sake of peace, stability, security and social progress, join together with the other nationalities of the land to be part of the Federal Union of _______.
The Karen historically were (and for the most part we remain) a rural people, living in river valleys, plains and mountains, and engaged in subsistence agriculture and hunting and gathering.
Karen elders who have earned a high degree of respect during their lives are cremated after they die (rather than buried), and after a suitable period of time (a year or more) this ceremony is held.
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