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Encyclopedia > Mon (ethnic group)

The Mon are an ethnic group in Southeast Asia. They live in an area around the southern Thailand-Burmese border, historic lower Burma. There are believed to be around 8 million people who claim Mon ancestry and retain their culture and language but the majority of the Mon (possibly 4 million) use the modern Burmese language for daily business, and are literate only in Burmese (not in their mother tongue). As with many other ethnic minorities in modern Burma, the Mon feel that they are under pressure to either assimilate into Burmese culture, or flee; the largest Mon refugee communities are currently in Thailand, with smaller communities in Lao, China, and other countries around the world. The majority of Mon live around the city of Bagan or the site of their historic capital, the port of Mawlamyine; they also constitute a signficiant percentage of the population further south along the lowland coast to the city of Ye. Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Pagan (also known as Bagan) was an important ancient kingdom in Myanmar. ... Moulmein or Mawlamyine in Myanmar (Burma) is where the Salween River flows into the Andaman Sea. ... Ye has several uses: Ye was a city in ancient China. ...

Contents


History

Pre-Colonial

The Mon were one of the earliest distinct groups to occupy Burma, moving into the as early as 1500 BCE, or possibly earlier. The Mon are primarily associated with the historical kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai; up until the 14th century, outposts of Mon culture continued to spread very far east, including modern Thai and Issan plateau cities such as Lampang and Khon Kaen. As late as the 14th and 15th centuries, it is believed that the Mon were the ethnic majority in this vast region, but intermarried freely with Cambodian and Tai-Kadai populations. Archaeological remains of Mon settlements have been found south of Vientiane, and may also have extended further to the north-west in the Haripunchai era. The Dvaravati kingdom of the Mon people existed from the 6th to the 11th centuries. ... Haripunchai (or Haribhunjaya) was a kingdom of the Mon in northern Thailand around the 11th century. ... Lampang is a town in northern Thailand, capital of the Lampang Province. ... Khon Kaen (thai ขอนแก่น) is a town in the North-East of Thailand, the Isan. ... Pha That Luang temple. ... Haripunchai (or Haribhunjaya) was a kingdom of the Mon in northern Thailand around the 11th century. ...


The Mon converted to Theravada Buddhism at a very early point in their history; unlike other ethnic groups in the region, they seem to have adopted Theravada orthodoxy before coming into contact with Mahayana tendencies, and it is generally believed that the Mon provided the link of transmission whereby both Thais and Cambodians converted from Hindu/Mahayanism to Theravada Buddhism (increasingly from the 15th century). Although the precise date cannot be fixed, it seems that the Mon have been practicing Theravada Buddhism continuously for a longer period than any other (extant) religious community on earth, as the lineage was destroyed in India, and repeatedly disrupted by invasions in Sri Lanka.


Like the Burmese and the Thais, some modern Mons have tried to identify their ethnicity with the semi-historical kingdom of Suwarnabhumi; today, this claim is contested by many different ethnicities in South-East Asia, and contradicted by scholars. Historical scholarship indicates that the early usage of the term (as found in the edicts of Ashoka) indicated a location in Southern India, and not in South-East Asia. However, from the time of the first translations of the Ashokan inscriptions in the 19th century, both the Burmese and the Thais have made concentrated efforts to identify place-names found in the edicts with their own territory or culture; sometimes these claims have also relied upon the creative interpretation of place-names found in Chinese historical sources. Suwannaphum (also Suwarnabhumi) is an old name for the mouth of the Sittang river in Burma. ... Please see Ashoka (disambiguation) for other uses of the word Ashoka Ashoka the Great (also Asoka, Aśoka, pronounced Ashok, even though there is an a at the end) was the ruler of the Mauryan empire from 273 BC to 232 BC. A convert to Buddhism, Ashoka reigned over most...


The last Mon kingdom was Hongsavatoi - they reconquered much of their lost territory until the energetic Burman leader U Aungzeya forced them back and captured the kingdom by 1757. The Mon religious leaders were forced to flee to Siam and the Mon have been harshly repressed from the 1750s to the present day. 1757 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... For the country formerly called Siam see Thailand SIAM is an acronym for Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. ...


Colonial

Burma, including the Mon territories, was conquered by the British by 1824 after the Second Anglo-Burmese War. The Mon aided the British in the overthrow of the Burman monarchy. 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Second Anglo-Burmese War took place in 1852. ...


Post-Colonial

The Mon soon became anti-colonialists and following the grant of independence to Burma in 1948 they sought self-determination, U Nu refused them this and they rose in revolt to be crushed again. 1948 is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... U Nu (otherwise known as Thakin Nu) (1907-1995) was a Burmese nationalist and political figure. ...


They have remained a repressed and defiant group in the country since then. They have risen in revolt against the central Burmese government on a number of occasions, initially under the Mon People's Front and from 1962 through the New Mon State Party. A partially autonomous Mon state, Monland, was created in 1974 covering Tenasserim, Pegu and Irrawaddy. Resistance continued until 1995 when NMSP and SLORC agreed a cease-fire and in 1996 the Mon Unity League was founded. SLORC troops continued to operate in defiance of the agreement. 1962 was a common year starting on Monday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1974 is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ... Tanintharyi, 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. ... Categories: Stub ... The Irrawaddy (newer spelling Ayeyarwaddy) is a river that flows through the centre of Myanmar (formerly Burma). It is Myanmars most important commercial waterway. ... 1995 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... SLORC, or the State Law and Order Restoration Council, has provided military government in Myanmar since 1989. ... 1996 is a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...


In 1947 Mon National Day was created to celebrate the ancient founding of the founding of Hongsawatoi, the last Mon Kingdom, which had its seat in Pegu. (It follows the full moon on the 11th month of the Mon lunar calendar, except in Phrapadaeng, Thailand, where it is celebrated at Songkran.) 1947 was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Amphoe Phra Pradaeng is a district of Samut Prakan province in Thailand. ... The Thai New Year (สงกรานต์ = Songkran in Thai language) is celebrated every year on April 13 to April 15. ...


Language and Script

The Mon language is part of the Monic Mon-Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic family, related to Vietnamese and Khmer. The writing system is Indic based. The Burmans took and adapted the Mon alphabet following their conquest. The Mon language is an Austroasiatic language spoken in Myanmar and Thailand. ... The Mon-Khmer languages are the autochthonous languages of Indo-China. ... Khmer is one of the main Austroasiatic languages. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ...


See also

Haripunchai (or Haribhunjaya) was a kingdom of the Mon in northern Thailand around the 11th century. ... The History of Burma (Myanmar) is long and complex. ... Suwannaphum (also Suwarnabhumi) is an old name for the mouth of the Sittang river in Burma. ...

External Link

  • [1]

http://www.eumon.org/inscriptions.php


  Results from FactBites:
 
Wikipedia search result (1096 words)
The Mon (Burmese: မ္ဝန္‌လူမ္ယုိး; IPA: [mùn lùmjóʊ]) are an ethnic group in Southeast Asia.
The Mon are primarily associated with the historical kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai.
Unlike other ethnic groups in the region, they seem to have adopted Theravada orthodoxy before coming into contact with Mahayana tendencies, and it is generally believed that the Mon provided the link of transmission whereby both both the Thais and Cambodians converted from Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism to Theravada Buddhism (increasingly from the 1400s).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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