Updated : August 8, 2019

  • Bala
  • Balance
  • Boundary
  • Burmese
  • Burmese (Myanmar) Presidents


Bala may stand for Strength or Prowess.

Kaya Bala may stand for Physical Strength. In our younger days, there were Kaya Bala Ah Thin for developing Physical Strength. Some instructors have their names prefixed with “Kaya Bala”.

Nyana Bala may stand for Mental Strength.

Bawga Bala may stand for Economic Prowess. In our quarters, there used to be an Oil Mill (Vendor) named “Bawga Bala”.

Meikta Bala may stand for Skill in making friends. U Nu’s translation of “How to win friends and influence people” was named “Meikta Bala Tika”. It’s earlier title was “Lu Paw Lu Zaw Loke Nee” (which did not seem diplomatic).

Caritta Bala may stand for Moral Courage.


Balance may stand for a scale (weighing machine)

Balance may stand for control.

Aerial artists usually employ safety nets. The Flying Wallendas (seven family members) performing the Human Pyramid were the exception. One fateful night, one member lost balance causing tragedy.

The First Sermon mentioned the avoidance of two extremes : indulgence of pleasures and self-mortification.

Blood thinner helped a dhamma friend get back his health. Overuse of blood thinner sent another to the hospital.

With mental lapse, middle aged and elderly can lose balance easily.

Over-exercise can cause harm.

Over-eating may cause obesity and in some cases diabetes.

In some meditation retreats, the practitioners alternate sitting meditation and walking meditation.

It is important to balance between work and family. Several astronauts had success with the flights, but had family problems.


Boundary may stand for a dividing line.

In Mathematics, we learned about Interior points, Exterior points and Boundary points.

Boundary Road supposedly marked the limit of the “old” Rangoon.

PPBRS (Private Primary Boundary Road School) was founded by Daw Tin Tin Aye.

Daw Khin Khin Aye (Teacher Ah Mar) is the younger sister of Daw Tin Tin Aye. She succeeded her sister as the Principal. PPBRS expanded into Middle School and ultimately High School. One motivation was to keep her eldest son Thane Myint in her school until Matriculation. PPBRS became PBRS (Private Boundary Road School).

During our days, children started with Infant (C) and then progressed to Infant (B) and Infant (A). Some schools would call them LKG (Lower KG), MKG (Middle KG) and UKG (Upper KG).

Alumni of PPBRS include

  • Tin Maung Thant (Ah Pho Gyi), son of U Thant (United Nations Secretary General)
  • Francis Ohn Maung (son of Arzani U Ohn Maung)
  • Dr. Flora Aye (medical doctor who worked in Brunei and moved to the USA)
  • Peggy Mya Maung, Dr. Winnie Mya Maung (Win Mar, winner of Academy for her role in “Pho Pyone Cho”, Ted (Toe Nyunt, “Shwe Gaung Byaung”) and Rosebelle (Academy Sandar)
  • Margie Bu (Daw Aung Si), Stanley Bu (A1 Than Htut), Freddie (A1 Thein Htut), Bobby (Aung Myint, Thamankyar Ko Myint)
  • Than Win (T70, script writer for Thamankyar)
  • Nay Win (M69, GBNF)
  • Han Tun (SPHS, DSA)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Kyaw Tun (Ph.D. in English), elder daughter of Saya U Kyaw Tun
  • Khin Maung Oo (Master Mariner and Saya of many seafarers)

I did not like to go to school. That all changed when Teacher Kywe (at PPBRS) transformed me. My mother would ask me to pay respect to her annually until she retired. It was my micro-SPZP.

My class teachers at SPHS were
IVD : Mrs. A Benjamin
VD: Mrs. Violet Boudville
VID: Saya U Pe Maung Tin
VIID: Saya Nge
VIIIA: Brother Anthony
IXA: Brother Xavier
XA: Brother Austin

Dr. Thane Oke Kyaw Myint wrote :

I also joined at IVD, moving from St Philomena’ boy school (across the road from Convent). Like you wrote you start with D, then worked your way up to A. Our class teacher was Mrs Benjamin, who had to teach newcomers and plodders from earlier SPHS classes. Once when she was upset with us she shouted “Do you all know that IV D is the waste basket of St Paul’s?“. Nice to know that you were in IV D like me at the start.


Oriental Studies

Per request of Sayagyi U Pe Maung Tin, the Burmese Department was formed as a Sub-department of the Department of Oriental Studies (Ah Shay Taing Pyinnya).

Burmese Department

A few years later, it became a separate Department.

U E Maung

Saya U E (pronounced “Aye”) Maung served as its first Professor. Saya’s compilation “Garland of Kabyars (Poems)” was a prescribed text for my elder siblings. His spouse Daw Khin Mya Mu is an expert in reading and transcribing Kyauk Sar (Inscription).

Notable Sayas

Notable Sayas from the Burmese Department include

  • U Chan Mya (Mya Ketu)
  • U Toe Aung (Kutha)
  • U Hla Maung (Abhiddhama saya and member of Myanmar Sar Ah Phwe)
  • U Sunn Tun (Mandalay, “Shay Tho” series)
  • U Kyaw Yin

Outstanding Alumni

They include

  • ICS U Sein Tin (Theikpan Maung Wa)
  • U Thein Han (Zawgyi)
  • U Wun (Minthuwun)
  • Daw Khin Saw Mu
  • U Tin Aye (Shan Pyay)
  • U Kyaw Aung

Saya U Pe Maung Tin was proud of his students — Theikpan Maung Wa, Zawgyi and Minthuwun — for founding the “Khit San Sar Pay”.

U Wun, U Tin Aye and U Kyaw Aung served as Compilers & Editors of the Translation Department.

For a short period, Saya U Wun served as a Professor.


They include

  • “Kabyar Pan Kone” (Garland of Flowers) compiled by Saya U E Maung (which was prescribed for High School before our days)
  • “Myanmar Thadda” (Burmese Grammar) by Saya U Pe Maung Tin (which we studied in Middle School)
  • “U Pon Nya Wutthu Paung Kyote” compiled and annotated by Saya U Wun (which we studied in High School)
  • Poems by U Kyin U
  • Selections from Zat Taw Gyi Hse Bwe (e.g. Mahosadha)
  • Pyazat (e.g. Deva Gomban)

Burmese Language

Like most languages, Burmese comprises of the spoken language (Myanmar Sagar) and the written language (Myanmar Sar). The spoken language predates the written language, which first appeared as the fourth and final language of the Mya Zedi Kyauksar (stone inscription). An early Indo-Tibetan script was used to write Burmese.

Myanmar Sar Ah Phwe

The BSPP Government formed the Myanmar Sar Commission. Bohmu Ba Thaung, Head of Burmese Department at DSA, served as one of the early Heads of the Commission.

Decline of formal Burmese

The Commission was forced to revise the Burmese spelling twice. Authors and publishers were fined ten pyas for each violation of the spelling rules dictated by the Commission. Many classic texts were ruined when every occurrence of TA had to be replaced with TIT to please the whims of the higher authorities. The rhyme and rhythm of the beloved texts were lost.

The rise of the Internet was sadly accompanied by the decline of Burmese usage and the adoption of slangs and abbreviations in messages, blogs and even articles.

Burmese (Myanmar) Presidents

  • Sao Shwe Thaik (1948 – 1952)
  • Dr. Ba U (1952 – 57)
  • Mahn Win Maung (1957-62)
  • Sama Duwa Sinwa Naung was President-Elect when the Coup D’etat took place on March 2, 1962. Mahn Win Maung was arrested.
  • U Ne Win (1974 – 1981)
  • U San Yu (1981 – 1988)
  • Dr. Maung Maung (1988 – 1988)
  • U Sein Lwin (1988 – 1988)
  • U Thein Sein (2011 – 2016)
  • U Htin Kyaw (2016 – 2018)
  • U Win Myint (2018 – )

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