Shakespeare once said, ” What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet”. Shakespeare is saying that it is not in a name that matters, but the substance that matters. Is Shakespeare right?
How do you think Shakespeare will react when people today have trouble referring to the country, Burma – Myanmar?
” Burma” or “Myanmar”, would the country still be just as sweet?
I have friends who ask me why Burma has 2 names. Well, I would say, many people do not agree with the current regime and they associate the new name of ” Myanmar” with the military regime. In 1989, Burma’s official name was changed from the “Union of Burma” to the ” Union of Myanmar” by the military government. Since then, controversy remains.
The military regime had said that the name ” Myanmar” is inclusive of all of Burma, however, it had the opposite effect. Human rights groups and ethnic tribes in Burma, ( of which many do not speak the official language Burmese) said that ” Myanmar” excluded them from the country. The ethnic communities adjusted to the English name ” Burma” for the country, and thought that the name ” Myanmar” inflicts domination on the tribes in the country.
So the question remains, do we call the country Burma or Myanmar? Is it politically correct to call the country ” Myanmar” or ” Burma”?