When We Were Young

Family 8mm video from the early 1980s . . .

Anticipating Summer 2014

This is just a transition entry.

My summer is mostly about language studies. I'm going to be spending the summer in Malang in East Java.  Allow me to issue a quick disclaimer:
This blog and any comments, discussions, images, etc.,  are not endorsed by, maintained by, or otherwise associated in any way with the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, American Councils for International Education, or Ohio State University/Ohio University.
I hope I get to visit many of the candi (temples) in the area to photograph them.  My summer plan is just to get my Bahasa Indonesia up to par, increase my Khmer vocabulary by 600 words and write at least six blogs in Khmer.  I'm going to be reviewing Sanskrit verb forms, and in the fall when I get back to Hawai'i I plan to sit in on a Sanskrit course with our new professor here at UH.  I will also try to get my dissertation proposal into shape.  That already seems like too much to accomplish.

I was hoping to get my Patani chapter done of my MS, but I think it is better to get something of a draft together and then work on it once I get back.

While I have finished all my coursework for the Ph.D. in philosophy, this is my last year of taking courses. I finished my culminating exams just a few days ago.  My summer reading list is only in part meant to prepare for my dissertation proposal, but it looks pretty ambitious.  The three themes of the reading are similarity and analogy, Buddhism and violence, and Indonesia.  Feel free to read something with me :)  In the meantime, with the little downtime I have this week I am reading The Dravidian Languages. 

My summer reading list:

Learning Indonesian: Memasak soto mi

Hari ini saya memasak soto mi dari resep dari kuliah saya.  Resep ini di bawah!  Kami suka.  Saya kira itu tidak enak kerena pertama tidak ada rasa tetapi bila selesai enak sekali!  Dan isteri saya kira pun!

Resep Soto Mi
Dimasak soto

Untuk 5-6 orang



500 g daging sapi
2 l air
3 bungkus (500gr) mi kuning
1/2 kol
bawang goreng
krupuk udang
3 telur rebus
5 batang daun bawang
2 buah wortel diiris kira-kira 0,5 cm
2 batang seledri diiris setebal 1 cm (aku tidak menambah--isteriku nggak suka seledri)



1 batang serai, dimemarkan
3 helai daun jeruk
1 helai daun salam
3 siung bawang merah, dihaluskan
3 siung bawang putih, dihaluskan
1/2 st bubuk kunyit
1 st merica putih, dihaluskan
3 butir kemiri, dihaluskan
garam secukupnya
(aku menambah sedikit lengkuas dan sedikit jehe, diiris, dan satu biji adas manis atau anis bintang dan dua atau tiga cabai merah dihaluskan)



10 butir cabai merah, dihaluskan
1/4 st garam
1 st air jeruk nipis


Daging dipotong kira-kira 2x3 cm lalu direbus dengan 2 liter air di api sedang selama satu jam. Masukkan bumbu halus, serai, daun jeruk, daun salam, dan seledri. Direbus selama 15 menit lalu masukkan wortel dan masak lagi selama 15 menit. Masukkan separuh daun bawang. Sajikan dengan sisa daun bawang, bawang goreng, krupuk, dan mi (sebelum disajikan mi diseduh dengan air panas).

Learning Khmer : លំហាត់

So, I'm trying to learn Khmer.  It isn't so easy.  This summer I will try to blog in Khmer at least four times a month to stay in practice (I'll be in Indonesia this summer, and I'll blog in Khmer on another site, Learn Khmer With Me; I'll also be keeping an Indonesian language blog about my time there).

I'm nearing the end of my first year of intensive study, and I thought I would share what my homework looks like at this point.  By the way, the word for homework or drill in Khmer is លំហាត់.  The words I have to look up I try to write and define so I remember them especially when I am trying to re-read my stories. 

Below is the story of Big Brother Mao.  Big Brother Mao is basically an extremely lazy good-for-nothing who does not brush his teeth and continues to live and leach off of his mother. The story (and grammar) below is pretty simple.  He wakes up late and wants to go to the nearby zoo, but he does not want to walk and does not have any money.  If you know Khmer, feel free to correct my mistakes!

រឿងរ៉ាវ នៃ ថ្ងៃ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ
ផ្នែក មួយ

បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ភ្ញាក់ ១០ ម៉ោង។
គាត់​ បាន ដេក ច្រើន។

នៅ ថ្ងៃ នេះ គាត់ នឹង ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ នឹង ឃើញ សត្វ។

ម្តាយ គាត់ ធ្វើ កាហ្វេ។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ចូលចិត្ត ផឹក កាហ្វេ នៅ ពេល ព្រឹក។
គាត់ ចូលចិត្ត វា ផ្អែមណាស់ ជាមួយ ស្ករ ច្រើន។

គាត់  ទៅ នៅ ខាង ក្នុងបន្ទ ប់ទឹក។
គាត់ មិន កោរ ពុក មាត់ គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ ខ្ជិលណាស់។
គាត់ លុប មុខ ប៉ុន្តែ មិន ដុស ធ្មេញ។

គាត់ ស្លៀក ខោ ខ្លី មិន ល្អ។ 
អាវយឺត គាត់ មិន ល្អ។
ម្តាយ គាត់​ បោកអ្ញុត ប៉ុន្តែ គាត់ មិន មើល ទៅ នៅ ខាងក្នុ ងទូ។
គាត់ ស្លៀក អ្វីមួយ នៅ ជិតស្និទ្ធ ពី គាត់។
បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ​ ខ្ជិលណាស់!

សួនសត្វ នៅ ជិត ផ្ទះ គាត់។ ដប់ នាទី ពី ផ្ទះ បង ប្រុស ម៉ៅ.
គាត់ សួរ: "ម៉ា!  សូម លុយ!"
គាត់ មិន មាន ធ្វើការ។
គាត់ មិន មាន លុយ។
គាត់ ចង់ យក ម៉ូតូ ទៅ សួនសត្វ។
គាត់ មិន ចង់ ដើរ។
គាត់ ចង់ ទិញ សំបុត្រ សួនសត្វ។

បន្ទាប់ពី គាត់ មាន លុយ គាត់ បាន ទៅ។
គាត់ ជិះ ម៉ូតូ។
បន្ទាប់ពី មួយ នាទី គាត់ មកដល់ នោ សួនសត្វ។

ខាងក្នុង - Inside
ខ្ជិល - Lazy
អ្ញុត - Iron (clothing)
សួរ - Ask
មកដល់ - Arrive

Music to Read Kant By, or, We're Not in Königsberg Anymore

Immanuel Kant

Hey, folks, 

It has been ages since I've blogged, but hey, I've had nothing to say.

Anyway, here is my short 2014 Spring Break Music Mix.  Unlike most spring break mixes, it isn't about party tracks and getting your groove on.  No, it is background music for the reading of Kant.

I created the mix so that I would have some background music while I study for my philosophy canonical exam--Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel as well as the Bhasapariccheda and and Tattvasangraha.  It is a "world music mix."  It had to be something that was not distracting, either, and since most of my classical music is program music it did not fit the bill. 

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this and find it somewhat soothing background tunes for you, too.  And by the way--it is 40 minutes long, so you know it is time for a study break once it ends!

Just click on the image below to download the .zip file complete with a .m3u playlist.  Note that the music is in different file formats,  There is also a track listing below the picture.



Song             Artist                                                                                          

Abene            Telek (Papua New Guinea)
Misty Morning        Tony Rice (Bluegrass)
Farewell Wishes        Kong Nay (Cambodian)
Track One            Unknown Artist (Burmese)
Ek Lau            Performed by Shilpa Rao (Bollywood)
Ingkar Janji        Soendari Soekotjo (Javanese)
Koto & Shakuhachi Track    Unknown Artist (Japanese)
Picking Flowers        Lei Qiang (Chinese)
Kamalabham Bhajare    Prassana (Carnatic [Indian])
Ada Ada Dongen        Dengung Bali (Balinese)
For Julia            Sanjay Mishra (Contemporary/Indian)

Challenging Paradigms: Review of M. Aung-Thwin's "The Mists of Ramanna: The Legend That Was Lower Burma"

First of all, The Mists of Ramanna: The Legend That Was Lower Burma is not a text that expunges others from Burmese history as has been accused. The central and sensational claim of this book is that there was no Mon urban polity of Thaton (Ramanna/Suvarnabhumi) previous to the 14th century. A related claim is that therefore the Burmans inherited much of their culture from the earlier Pyu culture, not the Mons as had been previously assumed.

For centuries, scholars have assumed the existence of the polity of Thaton, identified also as Suvaṇṇabhumī or Râmaññadesa, a Mon kingdom located on the Tenasserim. This Mon state was thought to have predated the founding of Pagan by the Burmese by about a thousand years, the Mon state polity believed to have existed as early as the first century of the common era. It was assumed that the polity of Pagan, sitting on the banks of the Irrawaddy River in the plains known as the Burmese central dry zone, had actually absorbed much of its culture, Buddhism included, from the influence of Suvaṇṇabhumī and that it was artisans captured there and brought back to Pagan that gave the central Burmese society much of its material culture. This assumption has come under strong criticisms within the past decade in the scholarship of Micheal Aung-Thwin who convincingly argues there existed no Mon polity on the Tenasserim coast until centuries after the founding of Pagan.

Aung-Thwin develops his position around the facts that so far no archaeological evidence has been produced to demonstrate the existence of an early urban center on the Tenasserim coast and that it is not attested to until 1479. The first full account of its conquest by U Kala comes more than two hundred years after the city was first attested to in epigraphical sources, around 1724 in the Maha Yazawindawgyi, and more than six hundred years after the fact. Aung-Thwin argues at considerable length that the polity itself represents an "imagined polity," in part the conversion of a myth of legitimation into misremembered history within native sources, and the argument for its existence built largely but certainly not exclusively by non-Burmese scholars who assumed that accounts such as the Maha Yazawindawgyi and Hmannan Maha Yazawindawgyi where in fact reporting an accurate history of events. This became, Aung-Thwin argues, the "Mon Paradigm," an rather ill-supported assumption about distant history that distorts what little contemporary information we do have about that past. Aung-Thwin presents too an interesting analysis of the story of the invasion of Thaton as an allegory, again to serve the purpose of political legitimacy within the Theravāda Buddhist contexts. While scholars such as Donald Stadtner (2008) have devoted considerable attention to discrediting Aung-Thwin's theory, so far nothing counting as definitive counter-evidence has been produced.

Because of the sensitivity of ethnohistory, particularly in a nation such as Burma that has had long-standing ethnic military conflict, the rejection of the Mon paradigm has drawn much ire particularly from academic and political opponents of the Burmese military junta and now, with the tentative transition to a representative democracy, to Burmese political domination (although armed ethnic conflict continues unabated in Burma). Clearly this is reflected in many of the reviews of this text. Given the evidence, however, and Aung-Thwin's painstaking reconstruction of the historiography of Suvaṇṇabhumī in Burmese and Western histories, this scholarship cannot be reduced to some politicized vision of the past, and it certainly can long longer be assumed that a Mon polity existed there as early as the alleged invasion by Anawrahta Minsaw. While future evidence may in fact discredit Aung-Thwin's thesis, it would be intellectually irresponsible to dismiss it merely because it doesn't accord with histories produced in the past or visions of the present and future.

Most links go to Wikipedia articles, with  Donald Stadtner link going to a YouTube lecture on "Sacred Sites of Burma." 

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