Field notes

Myanmar’s ethnic minorities seek a new voice – their own

After years of suppression under military rule, Myanmar's ethnic minorities in Shan state pinned their hopes of greater autonomy on the outcome of the 2015 election. But that faith is fading, as they try to save their languages.

During a recent graduation ceremony to mark the end of a 20-day summer course on the Shan language, dozens of pupils dressed in bright yellow, peach and turquoise costumes clambered on a stage to sing in their mother tongue.

Among them were three children of 40-year-old businessman Sai Khun Hti, who himself stood up to address the other parents at the gathering in Shan state, in the north-east of Myanmar.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2018, with the headline 'Ethnic minorities seek a voice - their own '. Print Edition | Subscribe