Punjab Research Group

ROAD TO MANDALAY – SIKHS IN BURMA by Swarn Singh Kahlon

Posted in Articles, Diaspora, Migration by Pippa on July 30, 2014

Based on Travels of Swarn Singh Kahlon, December, 2011

Article appeared in The Sikh Review, Kolkata, February, 2014 issue.

 

THE ROMANCE OF BURMA

There are two romantic poems about Burma;

ONE by Rudyard Kipling (1889-90),

where he tries to relive on return to London his travels in Burma:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,

There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;

For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the Temple-bells they say:

“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

 

AND THE SECOND

By the exiled Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar who immortalised his death in Burma (1862) through the epitaph he wrote on the wall with a burnt stick:

Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar, dafan ke liye

do gaz zamin na mili ku e yaar mein”

 

This was also the period when Sikhs started to migrate to Burma; a country now renamed ‘Myanmar’. The Sikh migration to Burma was an important component of global Sikh migration and remained a popular destination for about six decades.

Many Sikhs have their relatives and friends who still talk about the Burma days even if they have returned permanently since long back. A visit was very tempting especially as my wife’s mother was born and grew up in that country. Whenever my mother-in-law and her sisters had some confidences to share they would shift to speaking Burmese even after their return three decades ago.

Read full article: Road to Mandalay

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ROAD TO MANDALAY – SIKHS IN BURMA

Posted in Articles, News/Information by Pippa on February 18, 2014

A TALE OF EXEMPLARY LOYALTY TO FAITH

(Based on Travels of Swarn Singh Kahlon, December, 2011)

http://www.sikhglobalvillage.com

(Article appeared in The Sikh Review, Kolkata, February, 2014 issue).

 

THE ROMANCE OF BURMA

There are two romantic poems about Burma;

ONE by Rudyard Kipling (1889-90),

where he tries to relive on return to London his travels in Burma:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea,

There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me;

For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the Temple-bells they say:

“Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!”

 

AND THE SECOND

By the exiled Mughal King, Bahadur Shah Zafar who immortalised his death in Burma (1862) through the epitaph he wrote on the wall with a burnt stick:

Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar, dafan ke liye

 do gaz zamin na mili ku e yaar mein”

This was also the period when Sikhs started to migrate to Burma; a country now renamed ‘Myanmar’. The Sikh migration to Burma was an important component of global Sikh migration and remained a popular destination for about six decades.

Many Sikhs have their relatives and friends who still talk about the Burma days even if they have returned permanently since long back. A visit was very tempting especially as my wife’s mother was born and grew up in that country.  Whenever my mother-in-law and her sisters had some confidences to share they would shift to speaking Burmese even after their return three decades ago.

Read full article: Road to Mandalay

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