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Planet Myanmar - Calendar 2004/2005
REFERENCE! Comprehensive Calendar of Myanmar Nat and Pagoda Festivals for the Year 2005.
Britain-Myanmar Society
Regular meetings are at: the Medical Society of London, 11 Chandos Street, LONDON W.1.
Admission is £5.00 per person.
Meetings are confined to members and their guests - and are subject to reporting restrictions.
NB - Click HERE for some non-Society coming events in the UK.
Members can click on grey buttons, for a Flierlier, and a  Summaryummary on some events.
2004 2005
Thursday, 5th February 2004
John and Anna Eat Pizza in Yangon Flier for members
by Anna Allott and the Okells

Some things about Myanmar never change, and others are constantly in flux, to the discerning visitor.

Today John Okell and Anna Allott, who are two of our most popular speakers as well as some of the most knowledgeable and discerning students of Myanmar, brought us up to date on the Myanmar scene. Both had just returned from Myanmar and Mrs Okell also contributed her impressions of the country.

Monday 7th February 2005
Colonial Prisons of Myanmar
by Professor Ian Brown

Prisons built in Myanmar by the British were quite something, as one influential visitor pointed out in no uncertain terms. In the mid-1920s Sir Alexander Paterson, a foremost prison reformer, paid an official visit and had some striking comments to make about the effectiveness of the prison system he found, and about the alleged criminality of the population. He was particularly concerned that juveniles should be given proper treatment.

The visit of this forceful and forward-thinking man was to have quite an impact on the community he met.

Tuesday 9th March 2004
  Son of Donnison Flier for membersSummary for members
by Professor David Donnison

Our speaker was the son of Vernon Donnison, who as Chief Secretary presided over some of that unsettled time after World War Two. The period between the 1920s and Independence in 1948 was a period in which the relationship between the British and the Myanmar people was transformed, in a multitude of ways, and the Donnison family was in the thick of it. David Donnison put together his parents' stories from his own memories and their diaries.

Wednesday 16th March 2005
Stories Told by Myanmar Lacquerware
by Sylvia Lu

You can read quite a lot in a Myanmar lacquer pot, if you know how to do it. Myanmar dynastic history; legend and religious stories; changing styles of art and architecture - and all in the midst of a wealth of densely patterned embellishment.

Sylvia (Fraser) Lu must be the world's best known writer on Myanmar crafts of all kinds, and we are delighted to welcome her.

Tuesday 4th May 2004
A Carriage Fit for a King Flier for membersSummary for members

In the early years of the 19th Century, the traditional magnificence of Myanmar's gold-covered Imperial State Carriage made a tremendous appeal in Britain, a land where grand royal carriages are the centre of much ceremony. The carriage had been captured in Tawei, during the First Anglo-Myanmar War, and was brought back to London by Captain Frederick Marryat, who had commanded the British naval forces. Marryat was a man of many parts, and managed to bring a remarkable variety of Burmese treasures with him. The Rath, or Myanmar carriage, was later to be imitated by an enterprising circus proprietor, who paraded it through the centre of London pulled by elephants.
Ralph Isaacs is passionate about Burmese art treasures, and few could bring them to life more vividly than he. He told the story with the help of a wealth of contemporary pictures.

Tuesday 17th May 2005
 
Changing Faces of Thingyan
by Peter Evans

Peter Evans arrived to us hotfoot from the Water Festival in Yangon, though fortunately he had a chance to change into some dry clothes first. He showed dozens of photos and film clips on the big screen, displaying the vitality with which Thingyan is still celebrated, and illustrating the way the festival continues to evolve, in terms of of music, clothing and other respects.

See an illustrated report of the meeting.

There will be a full version of the talk in the members' area of this web site in due course, along with 25 or 30 of the photos, for members of the Britain-Myanmar Society.

Wednesday 9th June 2004

Briefing on Ethnic Politics Flier for membersSummary for members
by Ashley South

Although the Britain-Myanmar Society is not politically active, we bring ourselves up to date from time to time with the current scene in Myanmar, which was especially interesting at that time as ideas for democracy in Myanmar were in the air, and a National Convention was due soon. We know from Iraq that establishing democracy is not a simple or trouble-free business. Ashley South, our speaker, had visited Myanmar some 70 times; he had written a book on the Mons and has a Karen wife. His preoccupation is the society and politics of ethnic nationalities, and how they relate to the centre.

Friday 17th June 2005
Creating Myanmar in Chiang Mai
by Phyu Cyn and Penny Leicester
and Lizz Frost Yokum
Nothing beats a lively radio soap opera for getting the AIDS education message to local people, and that is just as valid in Myanmar as elsewhere.

Penny and Phyu Cyn were involved in putting together such a series for Myanmar, and just to make things really interesting, they did it in the middle of Thailand, There were tears as well as well as laughs, and a slowly-building trust with local communities. And Lizz will tell of another team who met the villagers and found what they made of these dramas.

The talk will be illustrated with photos, video and doubtless much more, on the big screen.

Thursday 7th October 2004
The October Reception Flier for members

Our Council cordiality invited Britain-Myanmar Society members new and old to share a joyous glass of wine at the start of our new season.

Tuesday 4th October 2005
The October Reception
A chance to meet up over a glass of wine at the beginning of the Society's year, to welcome new members and new students of Myanmar at SOAS.


Thursday, 11th November 2004
Myanmar Antiques Road Show Flier for membersSummary for members


Members were invited to bring their best Myanmar lacquerware, silver, fabrics, and Buddha images with inscriptions, to hear the wisdom of a panel of experts.

There was a public examination of a limited number of items "on the platform" and on a large screen via CCTV, plus private consultations on a lot more.

Thursday, 10th November 2005
Old and Bold Soldiers of Myanmar
by Lt Col Sam Pope, OBE, RM
The Myanmar Campaign of World War Two is not a forgotten war as far as we are concerned - nor 
Tuesday 14th December 2004
Médecins sans Frontières in Yangon Flier for membersSummary for members
by Dr Muriel Vollpellier

From November 2002 to September 2003, Muriel Volpellier was in Yangon heading Myanmar's first anti-retroviral programme for HIV patients.

Myanmar is one of Asia's countries most at risk from AIDS, with infection rates as high as 20% in some places.

Anti-retrovirals are the best drugs against AIDS, and allow the patient to live a normal life - but only if they are taken lifelong with absolute regularity. That was a difficult condition to ensure among patients in the poor area of Yangon where Muriel worked. Her clients included male and female sex workers and drug addicts. Muriel herself, being the only European doctor to visit the clinic regularly, was the centre of much interest, so she had a lot of children running after her and peeping through the windows!

(Please note that all meetings are open only to members and their guests).

Thursday 15th December 2005
SUBJECT & SPEAKER NOT YET ANNOUNCED
(It is our policy not to engage speakers too far ahead, to make sure subjects are up to date).

2003-2004 Calendar.