This volume explores the life stories of ordinary Burmese by drawing on the narratives of individual subjects and using an array of interdisciplinary approaches, covering anthropology, history, literature, ethnomusicology, economics and political science. Burma is one of the most diverse societies in Southeast Asia in terms of its ethnic composition. It has a long history of resistance from the public realm against colonial rule and post-independence regimes. However, its isolation for decades before 1988 deprived scholars of a close look into the many faces of this society. Looking into the life stories of members of several major ethnic communities, who hail from different occupations and are of different ages and genders, this book has a particular significance that would help reveal the multiplicities of Burma's modern history. The authors of this volume write about stories of their long-term informants, close friends, family members, or even themselves to bring out a wide range of issues relating to migration, economy, politics, religion and culture.
The constituted stories jointly highlight the protagonists' survival strategies in everyday life that demonstrate their constant courage, pain and frustration in dealing with numerous social injustices and adversities. Through these stories, we see movement of lives as well as that of Burmese society.