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INFORMATION SHEET No. A. 0412(I)
- Subject: INFORMATION SHEET No. A. 0412(I)
- From: OKKAR66127@xxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 03 May 1998 03:33:00
No. A. 0412(I) 3rd May 1998
This office is presenting an article entitled?Are you feelingAhnarde??
written by Hla Thein for your reading pleasure.
The word Ahnarde is a very common Myanmar word. It typifies a Myanmar
emotional behaviour. Breaking it up ah signifies force or strength, nar
denotes going limp or lame and de is a colloquial form of a sentence final.
Stringing it together it would mean a force that goes limp or lame.
Otherwise stated it conveys the idea of not having the heart or strength to do
or say something that might impinge on the feelings of others. Briefly put it
would stand for one?s unwillingness to intrude or interfere.
When a Myanmar feels ahnarde then he or she would deliberately withhold
himself/herself from expressing or physically committing something that might
hurt the feelings of others. With this in view he or she would keep away,
show forbearance and give ground to the other person. His psychological
posture does not conform, so to speak, to the don?t take ?no? for an answer
type. A Myanmar tries to be gentle, courteous and considerate of others. He
is influenced by the 38 codes of mangala sutta-the marvellous Myanmar
A Myanmar feels ahnarde to do this or to do that. He generally gives way to
the whims and fancies of others than to his own. That was why some foreigners
look upon a Myanmar as being reserved, shy and even backward. The sense of
ahnarde is ingrained in a Myanmar and he feels reluctant to pull his weight
even at the eleventh hour. In fine, a Myanmar is a true Benthamite. He does
not want to step on someone else?s toes.
Significance of ahnarde though untranslatable exactly into English is partly
explained in The Soul of a People written by H. Fielding Hall. He noted: ? A
remarkable trait of the Burmese character is their unwillingness to interfere
in other people?s affairs. Whether it arises from their religion of self
culture or no, I cannot say, but it is in full keeping with it. Everyman?s
acts and thoughts are his own affairs, think the Burmans. Each man is free to
go his own way, to think his own thoughts, to act his own acts, as long as he
does not too much annoy his neighbours. Each man is responsible for himself
and for himself alone, and there is no need for him to try and be a guardian
also to his fellows . . . Of all the Lovable qualities of the Burmese - and
they are many - there are none greater than these - their light heartedness
and their tolerance ?.
In Politics, Personality and Nation Building Lucian W Pye probed into the
psychology of the Myanmar. On ahnarde Professor Pye remarked as follows:
? In any fluid situation there is likely to be an extremely vigorous quest
for awza. Indeed stable social life would be quite impossible if it were not
for some important restraints that prevent the development of uninhibited
quests for awza. The most important of these is another distinctive and
fundamental Burmese concept, the feeling of ah-nar-de, which cannot be
translated into a single English expression. Ah-nar-de is an emotion that
wells up inside a Burmese, paralysing his will, in particular preventing him
from pushing his ownself-interest and compelling him to hold back and accede
to the demands of others . . . Apparently the Burmese feel that the
considerations of ah-nar-de are appropriate in any situation in which one?s
interests might conflict with those of others or in which one might feel some
sense of obligation or indebtedness to another ... In Burmese character there
seems to be a constant struggle between a quest for awza and the pull of ah-
nar-de. Within the individual Burmese the conflict between the two is often
very strong; no one can have awza without giving impression that he is capable
of feeling ah-nar-de while on the other hand anyone who seems excessively
susceptible to the restraints of ah-nar-de cannot expect to command awza or,
for that matter even a modicum of respect.?
Over three decades ago Miss Sarah Mcinteer Bekker, an American student wrote
a doctoral thesis on the subject of ahnarde. The full title of her thesis is
?The Burmese Concept of Anade : Its Function and Meaning in Interpersonal
Relations?. The degree of Ph.D was awarded to her when she submitted it to the
George Washington University in December 1963. I learn that she did her field
work in Myanmar before her thesis submission.