Myanmar is a sovereign nation in South East Asia surrounded by Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand. It is the 40th largest country in the world and the second largest in South East Asia. Myanmar originally named Burma has seen centuries of fighting and control changes. The earliest known cultures were the Tibetan-Burmese speaking Pyu in the North and the Mon in lower Burma. Myanmar has a population of more than 60 million people, which makes it the 24th most populated country in the world.
Outside of sparse residential tribes, the first known civilization and homesteading of this country was in the 9th century AD. The Burmas from the Kingdom of Nanzhao entered the upper Irrawaddy valley establishing the Pagan Empire around the year 1050 A.D. The people’s domination of this land established a solid community belonging to the Burmas. The Pagan Empire dominated this area until the Mongol invasions from 1277-1301. The dominant religion of this country until the Mongol invasions was Theravada Buddhism. Burma became a ravaged collection of warring societies after the invasions, with no real dominant culture having sway over the area. In the second half of the 16th Century, the country loosely unified under the Taungoo Dynasty. During this period, the country became the largest empire in South East Asia. During the 19th Century, the Konbaung Dynasty gained control of Burma. The country saw a brief time of success until the invasion of British Soldiers, which led to the Anglo-Burmese Wars. The British ultimately conquered Burma and it became a colony of the British Empire until its independence in 1948. Initially Burma adopted a constitution and became a Democratic nation until a military coup in 1962, in which the people lost total control of the nation. The military of Burma held a tight-fisted reign on the country until the country regained its democratic government in 2011.
Myanmar was easy to set aside in world affairs for years. Since Britain’s release of the colony, Myanmar had no real appeal to the world in general. Until recently, Myanmar was another third world country inhabited by uncivilized peasants and paupers ruled by drugs and military federated officials and drug lords.
Religion is the biggest driving force in everyday life in this country. When abject poverty exists in such a rampant manner, people tend to fall back on the only thing they can truly define as righteous. Theravada Buddhism is the most dominant religion in the country, and like many countries with a dominant religion, there is quite a bit of intolerance when it comes to counter religions. With Muslims being the second largest religious group followed by Christians respectively, they are the subject of brutal attacks and repression. Muslims chose to move to neighboring Bangladesh if they are able to escape. Although they move to a country that supports their religion, they are subject to mistreatment there as well being outsiders.