To be Burmese is Not (Only) Being Buddhist

Abstract : “Being Burmese is Being Buddhist”, declares the title of the opening article by Guillaume Rozenberg, published in the rst volume of Contemporary Burma (2008). This paradigm is widely shared among Burmese Buddhists but is refuted by non-Buddhists. When asked about their nationality, Muslims describe Buddhists as “Bama” (Burmese) and themselves as “Muslim”. This process, in turn, bases the identity after ethnic ties (taing-yin-tha)1 for the former (Bama) instead of on customary ways of living and religious af liation (badhaye) for the latter (Muslim).2 In Christian communities, Protestants use a similar kind of approximation by combining the ethnic and the confessional, which does not substitute nationality for the religious denomination but instead links ethnic identi ers with religious ones (as seen in the case of the Zomi Baptist Convention, Kachin Baptist Convention, Lisu Baptist Convention and so on).
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François Robinne. To be Burmese is Not (Only) Being Buddhist. Renaud Egreteau et François Robinne. Metamorphosis. Studies in Social and Political Change in Myanmar, NUS Press, 2016, 978-9971-69-866-9. ⟨https://nuspress.nus.edu.sg/products/metamorphosis-studies-in-social-and-political-change-in-myanmar⟩. ⟨halshs-01447047⟩

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