Power of Art


By Chitt Naing (Psychology)


Lotus in the mire
One may experience nausea and vomiting if he sees the mire, of which not only is the colour unattractive but the smell is awful. However, a beautiful lotus blossoms out of this mire. According to the metaphorical teachings of Buddha, the lotus flower is pure and beautiful, and it also carries the image of goodness and elegance. Ancient poetic also composed the golden lotus in the middle of a muddy lake.
Saya Thein Pe Myint and Saya Mya Than Tint also co-authored a novel, “The Lotus in the Mire”, around 1960 (more than 60 years ago). It became a masterpiece. I have heard that both of them liked the original story and adopted it without translating it into Myanmar. Just as Sayagyi Shwe U Daung adopted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels as Detective Maung San Shar in Myanmar and Dagon Taryar created a Myanmar character called “May” adopted from a western country, “Lotus in the Mire” may have been written to suit Myanmar audience.
As for me, I fully support and welcome the arts which inspire people to strive for excellence and to make every endeavour to develop the nation without giving up at any cost despite all the troubles, crises, oppression and rejection.
Despite being fought to the point of extinction for ten years by the US Army, patriotic Vietnamese bravely fought against the Americans until the US Army fled the country hastily. I remember reading many poems during the 1969s and 1970s that called for a victory in the Vietnam War.
Ho Chi Minh, Chairman of the Viet Nam Party, also lead and mobilized the people to unite. The US Army and the Vietnamese People’s Liberation Army differed in size and strength like gorillas and ants. The General of the Liberation Party executed white American soldiers in many battles.
We learned the following from the US-Viet Nam War of Invasion,
(a) Financial strength is not the key
(b) Modernization of ammunition and multiplication is not the key
(c) Manpower is not a primary factor
(d) Ship, aircraft, helicopter, cannon, and fighting aids are not important
(e) Isn’t it the mindset of a man who dares to risk his life and fight for the country?
(f) Just like the attitude of the thirty Myanmar comrades that would fight against the British rule by sticking to any means possible to acquire independence.
(g) The diary of Che Guevara, a revolutionary hero who bravely took part in the Cuban revolution, and Fidel Castro, the Cuban revolutionary leader (translated by Saya Linyon Maung Maung, Saya Soe Myaing) is inspiring. As a university student, I hated colonial capitalism bitterly. We know that we will see some of the various methods used to intervene and manipulate us.
The strong patriotism and national spirit of the ancient ethnic people of Kachin, Kayah, Chin, Mon, Myanmar, Rakhine and Shan can be seen clearly by looking back at their history. In such an era when the ethnic people were in unity, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar gained proper achievements in economy, military, social, education and religious affairs and also the respect of international countries.
There was a long history of people who wanted to rule their own region.
The people ruled small-scale regions or states like a district of present days in a certain period when the country faced divisions and weaknesses. The power-mad persons who thought of themselves as kings fought each other without any power (the cumulative result of past meritorious deeds) and the country was not in stable condition because of the thieves and rebels.
Surely, other countries will bully a nation that does not have peace, unity and power. There were historic lessons regarding it.
Studying history aims to follow the proper laws, ethics and basic principle. It does not aim to blame the Kings for their faults. Nowadays, the ethnic people should live in unity through thick and things as there is a saying if the cattle are scattered, the tiger seizes them. If the people apply the lessons learnt from history, they can create a better fine new history.
China does not have only the Hen as it organizes 55 ethnic groups. About 35 ethnicities are living only in Yunnan. The Kachin, Shan, Palaung, Wa, Lahu, Lishaw and Li living in Myanmar seem to be the relatives of Jain Phaw, Taing, Ta’ang, Yi and Wa (locally called Yunnan). Nevertheless, every person loves their country and the ethnic people should make efforts for their land, waters and country faithfully. There are also various types of people in the US.
The population, prosperity and wealth gaps play key roles. It should not say it is not a serious case. The readers should think that attitude is the main principle in creating a better future by studying the past. The morale of the country is also absolutely essential.
It also requires aptitude, predisposition, practices, skills and abilities. If there is such attitude and aptitude, the people or country will reach a higher level of altitude.
The author would like to put forward hard evidence to conclude the article.
The great Japanese artists Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858) painted pictures with a greatest love for their homeland than anyone else. The two artists’ unique portraits were described in “The Big Wave”, a novel by Pearl S. Buck that is about The Life and Survival of Four or Five Humans in a Japanese fishing village.
The novel achieves worldwide success and inspires every reader. It is translated into various languages. The book written in 1947 was filmed by a Japanese director and it erased all the mourning, sorrows and depression of people who suffered such feelings for two years after facing two nuclear bomb attacks.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki fell to ashes and the Japanese people were encouraged by that painting, novel and “The Big Wave” movie to become active again. Now, the country has the largest economy in the world.
It is so creative in presenting such concepts with the art of magic. The readers should read “The Big Wave” translated into the Myanmar language by Sayagyi Maung Paw Tun, a recipient of the National Literary Award for Lifetime Achievements, published the first edition in 1993 and the second edition in 2015. The people will understand that the literary, paintings and movies would bring glory to the country and people.
The people who have the ability to develop the country should participate in such doings. The artistes are warmly welcomed.

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