Some Facts about Myanmar
Myanmar probably has about 55.5 million people and the official language of Myanmar is Burmese. It is primarily a Buddhist society. The currency used in Myanmar is called kyat. Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, with an area of 261,970 square miles. The capital of Myanmar is Rangoon (Yangon).Economy of Myanmar
Under British colonial rule, Burma was the richest country in Southeast Asia. It had an abundance of rubies, oil, and valuable timber. But, after decades of mismanagement by post-independence dictators, Myanmar has become one of the poorest nations in the world.Myanmar's economy depends on its agriculture and industry. It’s export products include rice, oil, Burmese teak, rubies and jade.
History of Myanmar
The area that is today the country of Myanmar (Burma) has been ruled by major dynasties in the past. In 1044AD the Bagan Dynasty came into power. This time is often called the Golden Age of Burma. It was during this time at Buddism became a major religion in Burma. The kings of the Bagan Dynasty built many Buddhist shrines and pagodas. This time lasted for around 150 years until the Mongol invaders arrived.
The next major dynasty formed in region was the Taungoo Dynasty in 1486. This dynasty expanded the empire and ruled for over 250 years. It was followed by the Konbaung Dynasty. The first king of the Konbaung was King Alaungpaya. This was a warring dynasty which fought the Chinese, the Siamese, and later the British. They fell to the British Empire in 1885. At this time Burma became a part of British India.
After WWII the Burmese wanted their independence from Britain. Their leader was General Aung San. Burma gained independence in January of 1948. Burma initially had a constitutional government, but there was much fighting for power within the country. Military leaders took over. In 1990, when the military group lost the elections, they refused to accept the results and imprisoned many political figures who opposed them. Even today political leaders such as Augn San Suu Kyi are held in prison because they do not agree with the military government.
Today Burma is country with much un-rest and few political freedoms.
Dynasty: A line of hereditary rulers of a country.
Pagoda: A sacred building.
Shrine: A place regarded as holy because of its associations with a sacred person.
Invade : Someone who enters by force in order to conquer.
Imprison: Putting someone in prison.
Independence: To become independent.
Military: The armed forces of a country.
Timber: Wood prepared for use in building and carpentry.
Jade: A hard, typically green stone used for ornaments.
Dictator: A ruler with total power over a country, typically one who has obtained power by force.