HM : My Writings [1]

Updated : June 16, 2019

  • Terms
  • Language
  • Meaning
  • Vocabulary
  • Luyechun
  • Facebook Pages and Web sites
  • Threes
  • Burmese Language
  • Life Long Learner
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Our Unity
  • Let Oo Saya
  • A Short and Sad Clip — EE Sayas
  • Shwe YaDu Lann
  • Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife
  • The (Hidden) Power of Kabyar
  • Shwe Duo
  • Overview of Names
  • Prefix
  • Suffix
  • Monk Names



The term generally refers to the year of graduation.

The Class of 69 refers to the alumni from the academic year 1968 – 69, who graduated in 1969. The Class of 69++ will also include some alumni who took “sabbatical” (“waso”) and graduated a year or two later.


The term generally refers to the year when the group was admitted to RIT, YIT, or YTU.

Most from the 1st BE Intake of 64 graduated in 1970. Most from the 1st BE Intake of 65 graduated in 1971. The Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65 has held Reunion and Acariya Pu Zaw Pwe for nearly two decades.

Some Intakes unfortunately lost three years of their schooling, since the institute was “closed” for three years (from 1988 to 1990).

BIT : Burma Institute of Technology

The engineering school moved to the Gyogone Campus in 1961. BIT was still under the aegis of Rangoon University. U Yone Mo was Dean, Faculty of Engineering, Rangoon University.

Note: AIT (Asian Institute of Technology) might have been dubbed SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organization) School of Engineering (or equivalent).

RIT : Rangoon Institute of Technology

BIT was renamed as Rangoon Institute of Technology in 1964. The intention was to have Mandalay Institute of Technology [and more]. Under the then New Education System, RIT became an independent Institute along with other professional Institutes. Rangoon University was renamed as RASU (Rangoon Arts and Science University)
I am not sure why it was not renamed as BIT (Rangoon Campus) a la IIT [Indian Institute of Technology]

YIT : Yangon Institute of Technology

Another name change occurred to be in line with the “new” Naming Policy to refrain from using names from the Colonial Era.

Note: The Naming Policy did NOT have a grandfather clause. Some “old” books could not be re-published without the name changes. For example, “Trials in Burma” was forced to be re-titled “Trials in Myanmar”.

YTU : Yangon Technological University

There was another name change to YTU may be to sound similar to NTU in

Swel Daw Yeik

It is a synonym for RIT and the engineering schools preceding and succeeding it. The term became established at the Golden Jubilee
Celebrations of Rangoon University in 1970, when the Ah Nu Pyinnyar Shins of RIT took part as “Swel Daw Yeik Troupe [Ah Nyeint]”.

During the Adhamma Era, Swel Daw Bins were razed from the so-called “Tha Bone Kyaung” (which is a disparaging term to describe “Thamudaya Kyaung”).

With the dawning of the “Pwint Linn Era”, 50 Swel Daw Bins were planted to commemorate the Shwe YaDu (in 2014).

There are many artifacts with “Swel Daw Yeik” in their name and spirit.

They include :

  • Commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung
  • Commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Magazine
  • Swel Daw Yeik Foundation (SDYF)

HCF : Health Care Fund

There are several HCFs.

They include :

  • Steeve and Helen Kay Heath Care Fund for RIT Sayas and Sayamas
  • U Khin Maung Tun’s Family’s Eye-care for RIT Sayas and Sayamas
  • SDYF (which now also handles to two funds described above)
  • Class-wide HCFs (e.g. Class of 69, Class of 70 & 71, Class of 72, and Intake of 83)

There has been some “changes” with to the Health Care of Sayas and Sayamas.

  • Hospitalization still has the highest priority
  • Case-by-case consideration for sayas and sayamas who have to visit clinics frequently
  • Eligible sayas and sayamas (age 60+ and NOT 65+) can have Annual medical check ups
  • If funds are available, spouses of eligible sayas and sayamas can also have Annual medical check ups.

RITAA : Alumni Association of RIT/YIT/YTU

  • The Association has provided “SAYA’S CORNER”. Tea and coffee are served.
  • Life membership dues is K60000.
  • The Association is coordinating the “Library Modernization Project”


There are natural languages (e.g. English, French, German) and programming languages (e.g. Java, Scala).


  • Noam Chomsky, a famous linguist, defined the Chomsky Hierarchy for languages and grammars.
  • Natural languages are usually Context Sensitive. A word often has multiple meanings based on the context.
  • Most programming languages are Context Free.


A language has

  • Syntax (rules for forming well defined constructs)
  • Semantics (meaning)
  • Pragmatics (usage)

Sample syntax :
A sentence is a sequence of (a) Subject (b) Verb (c) Object.

We had to study English Grammar books (e.g. Wren and Martin) and Myanmar Thaddar by U Pe Maung Tin.

The Burmese language has a structure similar to the Japanese language, but has a structure quite different to the English language.

  • Kyundaw Kyaung Thoe Thwa Thee (in Burmese)
  • I School To Go (word for word translation into English is not correct).
  • I Go To School (slightly different structure is needed for the correct translation).


The meaning of words can change with time.

In the early days, a “computer” is a person who computes (e.g. tables for firing artillery). Even in some NASA projects, astronauts ask expert mathematicians (including a black female) to compute trajectories to check against the calculations made by electronic computers in the space capsule.

Also, a “compiler” is a person who compiles data (e.g. historical data).

During our UCC days, several computer books were ordered through the Trade Corporation (and related departments). Some one sent a book “Compiler Construction for Digital Computers” to the Ministry of Construction, and another book “The Anatomy of a Compiler” to the Institute of Medicine.

iPad and iPhone are designed and manufactured by Apple.

The trademark iPad belongs to Fujitsu. Former colleagues of mine worked on Fujitsu’s Intelligent Pad (iPad). The trademark was transferred to Apple.

The trademark iPhone belongs to Cisco, which experimented with “Internet Phone” (or equivalent). The trademark was transferred to Apple.


Children are not shy and tend to pick up words — often in multiple languages — quickly and easily.

As people grow older, most tend to live within their comfort zone.

Such people probably add only 10 – 20 new words a year.


To expand or refine one’s vocabulary, one must take extra effort.

In our younger days, we learn from a Reader’s Digest section “It pays to increase your word power” by Wilfred Funk, co-compiler of a dictionary.

We read Vocabulary Books which cover a lesson a day for three to six weeks. We also get tested along the way.

With the rise of Broadcasting and Internet, it is much easier to grow one’s vocabulary.

We can

  • subscribe to Merriam Webster for “Word of the Day”.
  • listen to “Word for the Wise” by NPR (National Public Radio).
  • use “Visual Dictionary” and “Visual Thesaurus”.

Lu Ye Chun


The Lu Ye Chun (Outstanding Student) Program was established in 1964.

Eligible students from 7th Standard to 10th Standard were chosen to attend the Ngapali Lu Ye Chun Camp.

The Lu Ye Chuns include

  • Ko Win Aung (M70)
  • Ma Pwint Than (EP71)
  • Ko Kyaw Zaw (EP72)
  • Ko Win Myint (UCC)


The Lu Ye Chun Program was extended in 1965 for eligible students from Universities and Institutes.

There were three Camps
(a) Inlay Camp for high school and university students
(b) Ngapali Camp for middle school students
(c) Rangoon “Combined” Camp

Inlay Lu Ye Chun

Inlay 1965 a
Inlay 1965 b
Inlay 1965 c
Inlay 1965 d

I was selected as RIT Lu Ye Chun for the Inlay Camp along with Ko Sein Shwe, Ko Zaw Min [Nawaday] and Ma Khin Than Myint Tin (Margaret).

Grapevine says that a 3rd BE student had schedule conflicts to attend the Lu Ye Camp.

As a senior student, Ko Sein Shwe was given one Bar. I received three Stripes. Margaret received two Stripes.

Ko Kyaw Sein Koe (Victor, GBNF), Ma Anita Aye Pe, Ko Khin Maung U and Ma Than Than Tin (Cherry) were selected as Lu Ye Chun for IM(1).

Ko Soe Aung (IM2, elder brother of Ko Soe Myint [UCC], Ko Aung Kyee Myint (Agri), Ko Tun Naung (BDS), Ko Min Oo (Mathematics), Ko Ye Myint (Chemistry), Ko Myint Thein (Physics), Ko Soe Lwin (Physics), and Ko Tin Hlaing (Lay Dwin Thar Saw Chit, Burmese) were Lu Ye Chun for their respective disciplines.

Those from Matriculation include Ko Win Myint, Ko Aung Win, Uttam Singh, and Ma Pwint Than. They joined RIT.

Others include :
Ko Aung Shwe (brother of Tekkatho Phone Naing), Ko Than Sit (GBNF), Ko Aung Kyaw Nyunt, Ko Aung Myint, Ko Thein Lwin, and Nelson Kaw.

Multiple Lu Ye Chun

Some were selected Lu Ye Chun for two or more years. They include

  • Dr. Khin Maung U
  • Dr. Thynn Thynn Lin
  • Dr. Pe Thet Khin

Camp Staff

In the beginning some officials from “Lu Nge Ye Yar” served as Camp Commander and staff (for Logistics).

Selected University teachers (e.g. Dr. Daw May May Yi, Daw Po) and High School teachers (e.g. U Aung Gyi, U Khin Aung) were assigned to manage the Lu Ye Chun students. Some (e.g. U Than Tun Aung Hlaing, U Khin Maung Htwe) were chosen to lead some activities (e.g. Volleyball).

A medical doctor (e.g. Naing Tint San) was assigned to take care of the health of the Camp attendees.

Later, Sayagyis (e.g. U Ba Toke) served as Camp Commander.

Visiting Lecturers

U Thein Han (Zawgyi) and Dr. Nyi Nyi are among the Visiting Lecturers for our Inlay Camp.

Many years later, I would be invited to be a Visiting Lecturer at the Ngapali Camp along with Saya U Kyaw Myint (Physics, DHE).


The Lu Ye Chun Program ended in 1988.


A few years back, a formal Reunion of Luyechuns from 1965 – 1988 took place.

Ko Win Aung and Ma Pwint Than can provide the details.

I met Saya U Aung Win at Yangon SPZP.

I had phone contact with Dr. Uttam Singh (known as Uttam S Gill, NASA).

I had a surprise reunion with Ko Win Myint at the dinner hosted by Ko Wai Lwin and Ko Nyan Tun U for Sayagyi Dr. Aung Gyi and selected sayas attending the SPZP in Yangon. Ko Wai Lwin invited Ko Ohn Khine and me to attend the gathering.

Bogyoke Win Myint was then Deputy Minister of Construction. He told me that he was inspired by Ko Sein Shwe to join RIT and that he had published some books.

I also met Ko Tun Aung, spouse of Ma Pwint Than. All three of us met again at the Exhibition Booth by U Myo Myint. Ko Tun Aung introduced his brother “Maung Hmaing” (author of the RIT incidents).

Facebook Pages and Web Sites

I have three Facebook Pages :

  • one for my general friends
  • one for my relatives and close friends
  • one for archiving my RIT Alumni International Newsletter updates

I am a member of several Facebook Groups. They include

  • RIT Updates
  • RIT 69ers
  • Northern California RIT Alumni Association
  • Swel Daw Yeik Foundation
  • Team Old School IT
  • P.B.R.S Group

I have re-posted my updates (with corrections) from early 2012 to the present. Not all postings are of equal importance. They can be grouped as follows:

  • News
  • Golden Jubilee Celebrations (2014)
  • Swel Daw Yeik Foundation (2012 – present)
  • Countdown to SPZP-2012
  • History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar (2012)
  • Memoirs by U Ohn Khine (M 70) and U Zaw Min Nawaday (EP 70)
  • GJ Magazine published by the Class of 70 & 71
  • Reunions of the Class of 69
  • Class Photos : range from 1948 to 1974 (or so)
  • Brief History of the RIT Departments by Sayagyis
  • Excerpts from the archives of SPZP-2000
  • Selected articles from the “old”
  • Reopening of RIT
  • Where are they now?
  • GBNF : Sayas

I have archived my posts on two web sites

Hope the archives and the Trivia will be of interest to historians — professional or amateurs.

With the support of volunteers, the archives may be organized into e-books or printed books.


  • Stories by sayas, sayamas and alumni
  • Photos to share the memories
  • Captions of the group photos (e.g. Class photos, gatherings)
  • Bagyees (as appropriate)
  • Time and date of events
  • Indexing and cross-references of the topics
  • Translation of selected posts
  • Volunteers (editors and proof readers)


I am glad to receive feedback from the readers. They include

  • Your posts are more than trivia.
  • Thanks for chronicling five or more decades.
  • You have Parami for writing and sharing knowledge.
  • Interesting information (that I am not aware of).


The list is not exhaustive.

There may be variations (e.g. by Country).

Triple Gems

  • Buddha (the Enlightened One)
  • Dhamma (His Teachings)
  • Sangha (Monastic Order)

Tipitaka (Three Baskets)

  • Vinaya (Monastic Rules of Conduct)
  • Sutta (Discourses)
  • Abhidhamma (Ultimate Reality)


  • Sila (Morality)
  • Samadhi (Concentration)
  • Panna (Wisdom)

Holy Trinity

  • Father
  • Son
  • Holy Spirit

Trinity of Hindu Gods

  • Brahma, the Creator
  • Vishnu, the Preserver
  • Shiva, the Destroyer

Trinity of Hindu Goddesses

  • Suraswati; goddess of wisdom and learning
  • Lakshmi: goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity
  • Parvati: goddess of love, fertility and devotion

Early NASA Projects

  • Mercury (One astronaut)
  • Gemini (Two astronauts)
  • Apollo (Three astronauts)

Space Modules for Apollo

  • Service Module
  • Command Module
  • Lunar Module

Crew for Apollo

  • Mission Commander (e.g. Neil Armstrong for Apollo11)
  • Command Module Pilot (e.g. Michael Collins for Apollo11)
  • Lunar Module Pilot (e.g. Buzz Aldrin for Apollo11)


  • Rise (or attack)
  • Sustain
  • Fall (or decay)

Prime constituents of an atom

  • Electron
  • Proton
  • Neutron


  • Ethos
  • Pathos
  • Logos

Toastmasters Meeting

  • Prepared Speeches
  • Table Topics (Impromptu Speeches)
  • Evaluation


  • Bachelor
  • Master
  • Doctorate


  • Primary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

Three-valued Logic

  • Yes
  • No
  • Do not care

Essay and Speech

  • Introduction (or Beginning)
  • Body
  • Conclusion (or Ending)


  • Gold (First place)
  • Silver (Second place)
  • Bronze (Third place)


  • Day
  • Month
  • Year


  • Hour
  • Minute
  • Second

Angular Measure

  • Degree
  • Minute
  • Second

Angle in a Triangle

  • Acute
  • Right
  • Obtuse


  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Full Professor

Presidents of the Union of Burma

  • Sao Shwe Thike
  • Dr. Ba U
  • Mahn Win Maung

Khit San Sar Pay

  • Theikpan Maung Wa (ICS U Sein Tin)
  • Zawgyi (U Thein Han)
  • Minthuwun

Early Fokker Planes in Burma

  • ADK
  • ADL
  • ADM

Mathematics in the Early Days

  • Arithmetic
  • Algebra
  • Geometry

3-R Literacy Campaign

  • Reading
  • (W)riting
  • (A)rithmetic


  • Lance Corporal (One stripe)
  • Corporal (Two stripes)
  • Sergeant (Three stripes)


  • Second Lieutenant (One bar)
  • Lieutenant (Two bars)
  • Captain (Three bars)


  • Scalene (No sides equal)
  • Isosceles (Two sides equal)
  • Equilateral (Three sides equal)

Branches of the US Government

  • Executive (President and workers)
  • Legislative (Senate and the House of Representatives)
  • Judicial (Supreme Court and lower Courts)


Some books and movies are organized as sets of Three.

Burmese Language

The Burmese Alphabet has 33 Eik Khaya (loosely rendered as letter or character).

There are several groups (Wagga) of five letters.

Linguists and phonologists can explain how and why they are grouped.

The first group (known as “Ka” wag [or wagga]) consists of
Ka (Ka gyi), Kha (Kha Gway), Ga (Ga Nge), Ga (Ga Gyi) and Nga.

Note that the 3rd and 4th members have the same sound.

There are some basic rules for “Pa Sint” (where one letter is placed on top of the other).

One rule says “Eik Khaya Tu, Wag Tu Sint”. It means the two letters forming a “Pa Sint” must be the same, or from the same group. So, it is a “No No” to have a Ka on top of Sa.

Another rule says, “Even for letters within a group, the ordering must be preserved”. So, Ka can be put on top of Kha, but not the other way. Also, Ga Nge can be put on top of Ga Gyi, but not the other way.

A language has two forms : Oral form (e.g. Myanmar Saga) and Written form (e.g. Myanmar Sar).

Ah is used as a Byee (Consonant) and sometimes as a Thara (Vowel).

A Burmese word can be formed with a Byee and one or more Thara.

When the Burmese Keyboard was implemented for a typewriter (e.g. Olympia), the keys are labeled Red (keys that prevent the shifting of the carriage to type Thara) and Black (keys that signal the completion of the word and allows the carriage to advance).

The early Burmese word processing systems use (a) transliteration (e.g. on Mac) (b) Thara before Byee (as in the typewriter) (c) Byee followed by Thara (which requires processing to delimit the words and to have a canonical ordering for representation).

The rush to implement Burmese type faces and type fonts without consensus led to the incompatibility issues in the current computer systems, smart phones and devices.

Life Long Learner

My Web Sites

I have two web sites.

  •” is a free web site hosted by WordPress where I have archived a sizeable subset of my posts.
  • “” is a paid web site where I am doing revisions and enhancements to my posts.


  • We learn new things every day.
  • Everyone is an SME (Subject Matter Expert).
  • We can all benefit from the collaboration.
  • There are many subjects that I do not know. I audited free on-line courses on some of them.
  • There are many books that I have not read. I listened to summaries of some books on-line. There are also transcripts, but I wanted to save my eyes.
  • There are 50,000+ alumni spanning over five or six decades. I know a tiny fraction, but the list of alumni I know grows almost every day. I was surprised and delighted to know that a young alumni volunteer named Zarnee Tun is my cousin nephew.

Knowledge Sharing

I belong to several circles. The list is not exhaustive.

  • PPBRS (Private Primary Boundary Road School)
  • SPHS (St. Paul’s High School)
  • RU (Rangoon University)
  • RUBC (Rangoon University Boat Club)
  • RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology)
  • RIT EE (RIT Electrical Engineering Association)
  • RITAA (RIT-YIT-YTU Alumni Association)
  • RIT Alumni International
  • RIT Alumni International Newsletter & Updates
  • NorCal RITAA (Northern California RIT Alumni Association)
  • BAPS (Burmese American Professional Society)
  • UCC (Universities’ Computer Center)
  • DCS (Department of Computer Science)
  • ICST (Institute of Computer Science and Technology)
  • Toastmasters International
  • CHM (Computer History Museum)
  • ACM (Association of Computing Machinery)
  • TBSA
  • TMC
  • OMC
  • Sar Pay Chit Thu (Freelance writer, translator, interpreter …)
  • Contributing Editor (several Newsletters)

It is difficult if not impossible to cover the news of the various circles.

I am “dumping my memory” while it is still in reasonably good shape. I find out new and interesting facts from the comments. I have incorporated them into the Trivia posts as addendum.

The Trivia posts are raw and perhaps not too deep. Each post can be elaborated into tens of pages, but then they will not serve well for readers with a short Span of Attention. Also, the posts are meant to highlight topics of interest and to provide personal touch ti seemingly simple subjects.

I sincerely hope that with the help of my sayas, colleagues, alumni and readers, the posts can be polished into e-books, printed books or reference material for amateur and professional historians.

Our Unity

“Wake up Grandpa, oh, do explain
The strange dream that I had today.
Out of the wilderness the Union Flag came
The stars turned in dancing flames
While the soft breeze whistled and played.

The Keinnayis swayed, then the beautiful Manao
Ozi and bamboo dances followed soon
Their rendition was without flaw
How could I help if I’ve gazed with awe
Panorama under the silvery moon

Lightning struck … thunder clapped
Storm, then torrential rain
The merry dancers were now trapped
So into the flag, they quickly stepped.
Six stars merge into brilliant flame!”

“My dearest son, the things you’ve seen
Did happen in history.
People once flocked where grass was green
Low plain, where air was fresh and clean
There was peace and harmony.

Blood-brothers lived and acted as one
In ancient Burma, that land of love
Till that fateful day when rains did come,
Flood then razed homes, great harm was done.
Survivors fled to the hills above.

They settled down in new-found places
New traits, new cultures, new way of life.
Years passed by; the different faces
Defined themselves as national races
Who all for Burma’s freedom strive.

Some day, sometime, somewhere, somehow
These races will merge again
As they clasp their hands in silent vow
To preserve this land forever and now
To defend this golden land.”

Let Oo Saya

My Beloved Parents

Let Oo Saya

During my school days, my parents gave me 25 pyas as pocket money. They wanted to make sure that I study hard. They would give bonus prizes only when I did well in the final examinations.

They would buy us typewriters : Remington for English and Olympia for Burmese.

They would also provide us books : several types of dictionaries, Myanmar Swel Sone Kyan, Reader’s Digest, Student’s Companion, A book for Idioms, Grammar (e.g. Wren and Martin), the King’s English (by Fowler and Fowler), “How and Why”, Fun with Mathematics, Classics Illustrated, …, Saya Mauk (Bedin), Cheiro (Palmistry), …, Second World War.

My uncles also had private libraries. There was a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica, books by Dale Carnegie (“How to win friends and influence people”, “Five minute biographies”) and more.

They also allowed me to play their piano and games.

One uncle would take us to Inya Lake for swimming followed by a feast of Buthee Gyaw.

Another uncle would take me to the Recreation Center (e.g. to meet Saya Dr. Than Tun) and to the Faculty of Social Science & Library.

Dear beloved parents and uncles, I’m sure you will be in the good abodes. I want to thank you for your unbounded love and for your belief “Every thing that’s worth doing is worth doing well”.

Let Oo Saya

I would like to share a poem and a variant of a song that I learnt in my youth.

Father (Poem)

Be kind to your father
For when you were young
Who loved you as friendly as he
He caught the first accent
That fell from your tongue
And joined in the heavenly glee.

Be kind to your father
For now he is old
His hair intermingled with grey
His footsteps are feeble
Once fearless and bold
Your father is passing away.

The version that we learned at school use archaic words like Thee, Thou, Thy and Locks. I have replaced them by the current usage : You, You, Your and Hair.

Mother (Song)

M is for the mercy she possesses
O means only that she’s growing old
T is for her tender sweet caresses
H is for her heart of purest gold
E means every thing she’s done to save me
R means right and right she’ll always be

Put them all together
They spell MOTHER
A word that means a world to me.

M is for the million things she gave me
O means that I owe her all I owe
T is for the tears she shed to raise me
H is for the hands that touch and hold
E means every thing she taught me
R means rare and special she’ll always be

Put them all together
They spell MOTHER
A word that means a world to me.

My mother was born on 19-2-19 (numerical palindrome).

February 19, 2019 would be the Centennial of her birthday.

A Short and Sad Clip — EE Sayas

Thanks to Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) for suggesting the better title for my essay to be published in the Commemorative Swel Daw Yeik Sar Saung for SPZP-2010.

Thanks to the Combined 1st BE Intake of 64 and 65 to reprint my article for their Golden Jubilee Magazine.

We are truly sad to see many EE sayas in the GBNF list.

Shwe YaDu Lann

Heart rending poem by Tekkatho Moe War

Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War) wrote :

စာေရးသူ၏ ေရႊရတုလမ္း ကဗ်ာကို အလြန္လွပစြာ အဂၤလိပ္သို႔ ဘာသာျပန္ဆိုေပးေသာ ဦးလွမင္း (Ec 69) ကို ေက်းဇူးအထူးတင္ပါသည္။

” ေရႊရတု လမ္း

ေရႊရတု လမ္း
ၾကမ္းခ်င္ၾကမ္းေစ၊ ပန္းေတြ ေဝျပီ
ေႏြကိုလည္း မေၾကာက္
မိုးေပါက္ကိုလည္း မမႈ
ျမဴထုေမွာင္ရီ၊ ေဆာင္းမပီခ်င္လည္း ေန….။

ေရႊရတု လမ္း
ၾကမ္းခ်င္ၾကမ္းေစ၊ စမ္းေရလ်ဥ္ မဆင္း
ေလျပင္းကိုလည္း မမႈ
မိုးတိမ္ထုကိုလည္း မေၾကာက္
ေမွာက္ေမွာက္ လွန္လွန္၊ ေရဆန္ကိုလည္း ကူးခတ္
စိတ္ဓာတ္ နီေမာင္း
သူရဲေကာင္းတို႔ ေပါက္ဖြားရာ….။

ေရႊရတုလမ္းမွ တစ္ဆင့္
လႊင့္ဘိ တံခြန္၊ မိုးအစြန္တိုင္
သစၥာခိုင္ စို႔ …။ ။

တကၠသိုလ္ မိုးဝါ

၃၁ ဒီဇင္ဘာ ၂ဝ၁၄

(မြန္းလြဲ ၁:၄ဝ နာရီ)

Rendition of the Kabyar

Shwe YaDu Lann
Let it be rough [but it’s tough]. Flowers are blossoming again.
Fear not the summer
Care not the rain [drops]
or the thick fogs & darkness
or if winter’s not true to its form

Shwe YaDu Lann
Let it be rough. No gentle stream flowing
Fear not high winds
Care not dense clouds
Topsy turvy [come what may]
Can paddle upstream
With strong mind & conviction
Place where heroes [Thu Ye Kaungs] are produced.

Swel Daw Myaing Dann
Shwe YaDu Lann
is a start [of a journey]
To raise the Banner loftily
to the skies, to the Zenith
displaying our thitsar (vow of truth and integrity)

HLA MIN (Editor, Newsletter Updates, USA)

Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife

  • Nine of my articles appear in the Encyclopedia of Asian American Folklore and Folklife (AAFF).
  • The three-volume book was published by ABC-CLIO in 2011. At the beginning, the book was sold for $275.
  • I received a book (for completing eight articles according to the agreement) and $10 (for the additional article).
  • Burmese Americans are covered in Pages 127 to 178 of Volume One.
  • The Editors decided to merge two of my articles with other authors.
  • Unfortunately, an error introduced by my co-author. On page 150, he mentioned July 22 (instead of July 19) as Martyrs’ Day. The merged article unfortunately was not sent to me for review. The Editors promise to correct the error in subsequent editions.
  • Folk tales (as told by Saya Dr. Htin Aung and Ludu U Hla) are part of the Folklore.
  • To read my articles on-line, you should go to “Google Books” and then search “Hla Min“.

The (Hidden) Power of Kabyar

Kabyar is animate
But [it’s life is] not just a [fleeting] morn

Kabyar is a weapon
But not for destroying the world

Kabyar is key
For liberation and independence
But not devoid of principles [and morals]

Kabyar has power
Hidden but efficient & effective
Like sharp-pointed spear-head
Can thrust into [the heart of] a power-maniac
Cause trembling, shivering, throbbing & anguished pain

Poem in Burmese by Tekkatho Moe War (Saya U Moe Aung)
Renderd into English by Hla Min

Shwe Duo

Poem by Saya U Moe Aung (Tekkatho Moe War)

in memory of “Shwe Duo”

Saya U Tin Shwe (EP66) and Saya U Hla Shwe (T69)

” ေရႊ ႏွစ္ ေရႊ သို႔ ”

ေဝေတာ့လည္း တူ
ေၾကြေတာ့လည္း အတူတူ
ျငဴစူျခင္း ကင္း
မွ်ဥ္းမွ်ဥ္း အသက္ရွဴ

မႏိုင္ဝန္ ပိ
ေသာအခါ မွာ
ေၾကြသာ ေၾကြလည္း
မေသ ဝိညာဥ္ ဝဲပ်ံေနေသးတကား ….။ ။

( ကိုတင္ေရႊ- လွ်ပ္စစ္စြမ္းအား ႏွင့္ ကိုလွေရႊ- ခ်ည္မွ်င္ သို႔)

တကၠသိုလ္ မိုးဝါ

(၂၆ ဇန္နဝါရီ ၂ဝ၁၅ – ည ၉:၅၅ နာရီ)

Loose rendition of Saya’s poem by U Hla Min


by Tekkatho Moe War

SHWE duo
Blossom in unison
Disappear together
Free from complaint
Even with thin breath
Showed mark [of courage and wisdom]
Never wavered …
Pressed by burden
At the awaited turn [of journey’s end]
Body — inheritance [from previous lives]
Succumbs [to failing health]
Yet, “Wei-nyin” is fresh, alive and hovering.

Translated by Hla Min

Poem by U Nyunt Htay

Saya U Nyunt Htay (Met73) is a distinguished poet. He is currently Chief Editor and/or Publisher of Myanmar Mudita.

He composed an excellent poem for SPZP-2012.

Loose rendition of the poem

One cannot forget the history and sweet memories of one’s alma mater, and one feels that most alumni — near and far — still yearn for the good old days.

In front of A Hall, B Hall [C, D, E, F, Halls] friends would tease and prank, yet do no harm. They do not care to find weaknesses in others, and will remain loyal friends. In front of Uttra (North or G) Hall — usually in the evenings — aspiring Ah Nu Pyinnya Shins serenade with love songs aided by guitars, harmonicas and violins.

Hear the bells in Building One, Two [Three] ringing once more. Many rush to the classrooms [some spend time on the corridors to enjoy the belles go by]. At night, some “count the numbers” (perhaps playing cards, or actually studying and doing home work).

RIT students do not feel outnumbered by RASU [with Burma selected] or Eco at any kind of sports [soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, water polo …]. RIT has staunch loud-voiced fans [like “Ajala” Moe Hein].

Assembly Hall hosted not just presentations and debates. It also is the home of Geeta See Sar [Musical Evening Extravaganza] with outstanding musicians, composers, vocalists and dancers. Swel Daw Yeik Troupe and Ah Nyeint, Pyazat, … melt our hearts.

Cartoon Box [former telephone kiosk] nurtured many cartoonists to share their humor, satire and ideas with the readers searching for Sacca (Truth).

Aw Bar Lann (precious memories to the graduates attending the graduation ceremony) is known not also for applause but also for the tongue-in-cheek comments and unruly claps and shouts to the unwary treading the Lann.

“Nwe Aye”, “Aung Theik Pan”, “Kan Thar Ya”, “U Chit” …

Memories from those who spend six years or more.

As the examinations near, most try their best [by borrowing books and notes from their friends, by attending crash sessions] to pass the hurdle. On the desks are notes [not neat and tidy] scattered all over. Times and systems change, but most RITians are able to decide the essentials (“Ah Hnit”) from the inessentials (“Ah Kar”).

Swel Daw Yeik

One can never forget the history and [priceless] memories.

Overview of Names

  • Before the advent of MRI and Ultra Sound, some people prepare a set of 14 names for the forthcoming : 7 names for a boy (one for each day of the week) and 7 names for a girl (ditto).
  • Some prefer to have a formal naming ceremony a specified number of days after the birth of a child.
  • Names may have meaning and/or a historical background.
  • For example, “Pyke Tin” means “left on a net”.  The mother of Saya Dr. Pyke Tin presumably had problems (e.g. miscarriage), so she performed a “Yadana” to catch Saya with a net.
  • I have a cousin aunt named “Pyke Mi” meaning “caught on a net”.
  • Ko Ko, Nyi Nyi, Maung Maung, Maung Gyi, Maung Lay, Ma Gyi, Ma Nge are some names based on the order of birth.
  • There may be name changes.  For example, Bogyoke Aung San was named “Htain Lin”, but he changed him name to “Aung San” to rhyme with “Aung Than” (his elder brother).
  • A new name is given in some social (e.g. Coronation of a King or Queen) and religious (e.g. Higher Ordination) events.

Burma/Myanmar has a sizable number of race and ethnicity.

The following are some prefixes of my sayas, sayamas and friends.

  • Sao (e.g. Saya Sao Kan Gyi, descendant of Keng Tung Sawbwa)
  • Sai (e.g. Sai Kyaw Aye, broadcaster for the BBS Shan Language Program)
  • Saw (e.g. Saw Edison, Karen, RIT Volleyball)
  • Sa (e.g. Sa Maung Maung, Joint Treasurer, EE69er HCF)
  • Duwa (e.g. Duwa Zau Lai, Myitkyina)
  • Nan (e.g. Nan Khin Nwe, young and energetic fund raiser)
  • Nang (e.g. Nang Khaming, RIT Track and Field)
  • Naw (e.g. Naw Mu Mu Aye, Professor, Textile)
  • Salai (e.g. Saya Salai Tun Than, Professor, Yezin)

In most countries, the Father’s lineage is used for the Family Name.  Long ago, in some Matriarchal society, the Mother’s lineage is used for the Family Name.       

  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy (or John F. Kennedy) is the US President who proposed the Space Program to send Men to the Moon and bring them back safely to earth. His first name (or personal name) is John. His last name (or family name) is Kennedy. The middle name is Fitzgerald. The middle initial is F.  Fitz means “son of”.       
  • President Harry Truman has no middle name. His middle initial is S.
  • I have no middle name. So at one company, I was registered as Hla X Min (where X is a filler).       
  • My name has only six letters, but it has been misspelled and mispronounced in six (or more) ways.


A name may have a prefix.

Prefixes for a male Burmese name include Maung, Ko, U, and Pho.

Prefixes for a female Burmese name include Ma, Daw, and Phwa.

Prefixes for a Burmese monk name include Ashin, Sayadaw, Venerable and U.

Prefixes for Shan names include Sao, Sai, and Nan.

Prefixes for Mon names include Mehm, Min, Nai, and Mi.

Prefixes for Karen (Kayin) names include Saw, Sa, Pado, and Naw.

Prefixes for Kachin names include Duwa.

Prefixes for Chin names include Salai.

Old Burmese passports were issued with the prefix included. This created confusion when matching names from other documents (e.g. birth certificate).

Dr. U Win was called “Hey, U (pronounced as You)” by his friends, who did not realize that “U” (pronounced as Oo) is a prefix for a Burmese name.


A name may have a suffix.

Suffixes include

  • Sr. (Senior for the father)
  • Jr. (Junior for one of the sons)
  • Generation number, e.g. Bill Gates is named William Gates IV
  • Esq. (Esquire, used earlier in Britain)
  • Degree, e.g. Freddie Ba Hli, Sc.D.
  • Fellowship or Membership

Monk names

Some monks names may have “abhivamsa” or “alankara” as suffixes.

Sayadaw U Silananda the prestigious monk examination (conducted in Mandalay) before the age of 27. So, he is often referred to as U Silanandabhivamsa.

There are several distinguished Sayadaws named Ashin Janakabhivamsa.

U Neimeinda and U Siri (Thiri) passed the “Lankara” religious examinations as novices. They may suffix their names with “alankara”.

Monk Names

Prefix for Monk Names

  • Bhikkhu
  • Ashin
  • Baddhanta
  • Sayadaw
  • Upazin or Uzin
  • U
  • Thera
  • Maha Thera
  • Venerable (in English)
  • Tipitaka Dara (one who completed “Vinaya”, “Sutta”, and “Abhidhamma” exams)
  • Dwee Pitaka Dara (one who completed “Vinaya” and “Sutta” examinations)

Suffix for Monk Names

Monk names may be suffixed with one or more of the following:

  • Lankara (one who had passed that dhamma exam as a novice)
  • [A]bhivamsa (one who had passed the “Set kyar thi ha Dhammacariya” exam before the age of 26)
  • Wun tha ka (one who stood first in the special examination)
  • Pa hta ma gyaw (one who stood first in the Pa hta ma pyan exam)
  • Thi ro ma ni (one who finished 9 “kyans” in a single year)
  • Pali Paragu (one who completed the exam in Pali)

Categories: Self

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