- History of ex-rit.org
Good and Bad Habits
- Good habits allow us to perform things in auto-pilot mode.
- Bad habits (e.g. addiction) are easy to develop, but difficult to quit.
With patience and practice, we can modify and substitute the bad components in the habit with good ones. The triggers may remain the same, but good actions can yield satisfactory results.
I spent a lot of time playing the Solitaire Card Games. I received a sense of gratification with the awards : Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Perfect.
I stopped playing Solitaire and spent more time writing and sharing my knowledge and experience via my Posts. I now receive a sense of gratification with the “kind words” by my readers.
- My uncle smoke two packs of cigarettes every day.
He successfully quit smoking partly due to his doctor’s advice and partly due to his determination to live a long, healthy life.
He lived to his 80s.
It could have been more if he did not have a fall. There was no immediate signs of danger, but he passed away a few days later.
- My teacher tried to quit smoking. His buddies and students offered him cigarettes to keep them company.
He also tried the substitution method using Chewing Gums.
He added one more addiction.
It would take some time before he kicked both habits.
- Habitual Kamma (e.g. meditating every day) is important.
- U Po Sa would recite “Mora Sutta” (Daung Min Payeik) before going for a daily morning walk along Inya Road with his close friends. Knowing U Po Sa’s habit, the kidnappers waited in the early morning and kidnapped him. U Po Sa got free.
Some attributed U Po Sa’s release to Habitual Kamma (e.g. recital of the Mora Sutta).
- “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey is a Best Seller.
- Covey also wrote another book on the Eighth Habit.
- “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg is another Best Seller.
Duhigg points out where to “break” the cycle in a habit.
- Many books are available as e-Book and Audio book.
- If one just wants to have teasers or summaries before buying a book, one can subscribe to Blinkist.com
In our younger days
Our grand parents and parents had workers who were non-Buddhists. They gave us sweets (for Diwali), dan bauk (for Id) and presents (for Christmas).
During our younger days, we had classmates who professed different religions and lived in perfect harmony.
Saya U Pe Maung Tin was a Christian, but he helped with the translation of Buddhist texts (e.g. Vissuddhi Magga). Saya also translated the two sermons (Dhammacakka and Anatta Lekkhana Sutta) into English at the request of U Tha Win (who published the two sermons in Pali, Burmese and English).
Teacher Kywe (PPBRS) was a Karen Christian teacher who transformed me into a “life long learner”. My mother would ask me to visit her several years before she retired.
Rev. Bernard Taylor (SPHS) retired as a Missionary in the Philippines.
Rev. Edwin David (SPHS, GBNF) served as Priest of St. Mary’s Cathedral.
Several RIT alumni (including a few Golden Sponsors) are Christians. They embrace SPZPs.
The term Saya Pu Zaw Pwe was chosen over Saya Ga Daw Pwe (which had religious connotation) so that all students can pay back the metta and cetana of their mentors.
D. S. Saluja (SPHS, RIT) and A. S. Sonu (SPHS) are Sikhs.
Several Singhs are RIT alumni. They include Meenu, Jagjit, Surinder, and Uttam.
U Razak, U Rachid and U Khin Maung Latt were Muslims who took part in the struggle for Burma’s Independence.
Edward Hla Shwe I and II (SPHS) were Muslims.
Several RIT alumni (including the organizers at RIT Alumni International and 69er gatherings) are Muslims.
U Thein Ngwe (Ko Thein Tokyo) sent a photo of RIT Muslim students in 1971.
Men on the Moon
For the last stanza of my poem “Men on the Moon”, I wrote
“Are we not brothers here on earth?
So let us all unite.
There will be heaven here on earth
If we all cease to fight”.
- Heart is a body organ.
- Heart attacks may result in death.
- Heart is one of the four suits in a card deck. The others are Club, Diamond and Spade.
- The Heart line is one of the major lines in Palmistry along with the Life line, Fate line and Head line.
- Systems send “Heart Beat” to inform that they are still active.
- “From the bottom of my heart”, “With all my heart”, “Heart and soul” and “Heart to Heart” are lyrics from the Oldie Songs.
- We do not like Heart aches and Heart breaks.
- Heart is a symbol (emoticon) used in Social Media.
- Hearts is a Card Game.
- Some Sayas and alumni contacted me that they had not received my “RIT Alumni International News Update” for some time. They were worried that I might not be well.
- I had earlier sent a “Heart Beat” saying that my musings can be found in Facebook and my web sites : (a) My Time Line (b) RIT Updates (FB page) (c) lifelonglearning140.wordpress.com (web site) (d) hlamin.com (web site)
- Sacred Heart is a school which is close to St. Paul’s High School. Its alumni include Ko Tin Htut (Harry, Mon Yu), Ko Tin Aung Win (Oscar) and Ko Win Boh (Robert).
History of ex-rit.org
by Ko Khin Maung Zaw (KMZ, EC76)
It seems to me like it was yesterday, but it started somewhere in February or March 1999. I started to receive regular email messages from U Hla Min – affectionately known as “Ko John” in the circle of friends and colleagues from Universities’ Computer Center (UCC), Thamaing, Rangoon – with an attached Excel spreadsheet of RIT alumni list.
I remember the first message has the attached list of 100+ alumni, some of them I knew but most of them I had no clue at all. I kept receiving those regular messages from Ko John for a couple of months – the attached list kept growing, and I wondered how he could keep the list up-to-date even with the help of all alumni. I guess I did not have much interest in this alumni list at the time, since I did not know most of them and was glad that I was not maintaining the list.
Then along came the reply to one of his messages, from Saya U Soe Paing, our mentor from the Universities’ Computer Center days. Saya said some of us, RIT alumni, should start looking into creating a website so we did not have to pass around email messages and spreadsheets of alumni list. It was a wake up call for me, I have been working on the web technologies for several years at the time, for my employer, and I could create an alumni website with minimum effort, or so I thought.
I immediately contacted Ko John that I could start working towards the creating the alumni website. We exchanged email messages, including the possible names for the website, costs incurred for the site, setup costs as well as operating costs and the initial contents for the website. Our email exchanges started with one or two messages a day, then escalated to several messages a day. We agreed on the name of the RIT alumni website, ex-rit.org, and decided that rather than using a free Service Provider, we would have our own website free of advertisements. I calculated the initial/setup and operating costs of the site, and figured that the cost was minimal, I could foot the bills. I figured it was going to be a fun project to work on, little did I know what I was getting into. I promised Ko John that I could get the website up and running in no time, boy what an idiot I was, and not to mention that I failed to foresee the amount of time I have had to put in to make the site stick. I told him that I would work on this project on one and only one condition — he must provide me with contents. I had seen enough websites, especially of special interests and hobby-like sites with stale contents, the information never get updated for months if not for years. I told him I would not wish the RIT alumni site to be like those sites, and he agreed with me that he would work on the content side of our website. We also agreed that we would keep our website away from politics, and commercialism, so our alumni will have their peace of mind when they come to the website.
During our school days we had to learn World History (Feudal system, Renaissance, …) and Burmese History (called “Yazawin”and renamed as “Thamaing”).
Later, after hearing from the Thin sayas, Myin sayas, and Kyar sayas, I became interested in some aspects of history : History of computers and computing, History of University Engineering Education in Burma/Myanmar, “Truth or fiction?” about historical events, …
After the first Anglo-Burmese war (in 1824), the British annexed Rakkhine (Arakan) and Tennasserim (Taninthayee).
After the second war (in 1852), the British annexed Lower Burma.
After the third war (in 1885), the British annexed Upper Burma. Burma became a British Colony.
For some time, the British Governors would base their office in India and rule both India and Burma.
ICS (Indian Civil Service) examinations were held in India and UK.
It was succeed by BCS (Burma Civil Service) after Burma’s Independence.
Formal history of Burma has been written by British scholars (e.g. Harvey, Luce) and later by native scholars (e.g. Dr. Kyaw Thet, Dr. Than Tun, Bohmu Ba Shin).
Informal accounts of Burma can be found in the works by Indians (e.g. Tagore), British (e.g. Maurice Collis, George Orwell) and Burmese (e.g. Dr. Htin Aung, U Po Kyar).
The conventional wisdom is that our neighbors entered the country in three phases.
Burmese archeologists and geologists found ancient sites and quite old fossils and bones to indicate that there were early inhabitants, but they could not completely counter the “migration theory” proposed by the British historians.
Pyu is an ancient civilization, and some Pyu sites are named as UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites.
- History repeats itself.
- We should learn history so that we may not be stupid or dumb.
- There is usually no single correct history. Often there are parallel, competing histories.
- “Pazat Yazawin” and “theories” should be evaluated with the help of kyauk sar (stone inscriptions) …
- Even in the peer-to-peer refereed papers, there are discrepancies and [unintentional] errors.
- National Archive, Burmese History Commission, and Burma Research Society used to hold artifacts about Burmese History.