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DISCOVERY OF RAMANYA DESA :

History, Identity, Culture, Language and Performing Arts

Rationale:

Myanmar is a rich country which comprises of various ethnic groups. Scholars have
identified at least there are 135 different dialects and languages spoken by the population in
this country. Among these ethnic groups, Mon is considered a major one. The Mon located in
the centre and lower part of the country today. Historically, Mon was a great kingdom in the
Myanmar area long before the arrival of the Burman.
The development of the Mon kingdoms was contemporary interlinked with
development of Siam and Burman kingdoms as well as the expansion of Buddhism in
Southeast Asian region. Moreover, the Mon historical and cultural connection to Thailand, in
recent study, has generated interest in comparative study with Myanmar in a broad
perspective.
Scholars from east to west have been studying, researching and writing articles, text
books and books on Mon history for decades, and rarely have they had the opportunity to
share their knowledge and findings in an academic dialogue. In this regard, the Mekong
Research Unit, the Institute of Asian Studies, and the Southeast Asian Studies Center, of
Chulalongkorn University would like to organize an international conference on the
DISCOVERY OF RAMANYA DESA in order to offer the occasion for discussions and
knowledge sharing among scholars who are studying and interested in the Mon.
This conference is also a part of the celebration marking the 90 th anniversary of the
establishment of Chulalongkorn University.

Objectives:

1. To bring together Mon, Myanmar and international scholars to review Mon history
and culture in various perspectives and to share new knowledge and discoveries.
2. To provide an opportunity for Mon ethnic in Thailand to share knowledge local
wisdoms and culture of their ancestors with the general public.
3. To create a network of those who are interested in Mon history, identity, culture,
language and performing arts.

Activities:
The activities planed for this event is threefold,
1. Academic panels: paper will be grouped ad presented under the specific themes,
there are 12 themes as follows,

A. New Archaeological Discoveries and Studies


- Emmauel Guillion
- Elizabeth Moore
- Min Khin Maung Lay
- Peter Skilling
- Phasook Indrawooth
- Payoong Vongnoi
- Stephen Murphy

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B. Reinvestigating of Ramanya Desa: Pre-Modern State and Cities in
Lower Burma (Symposium)
- Helen James
- Donald M. Stadtner
- Nai Pan Hla
- Nyunt Han
C. Mon Buddhist Art and Architecture
- Donald M. Stadtner
- Chotima Chaturawong
- Nai Ghosita
- Sinead Ward
- Terrence Tan
D. Cross Regional Warfare: Conflict and Confrontation in Early Mon
History
- Micheal Charney
- Jon Fernquest
- Jaques leider
- Pamaree Surakiat
E. Identity and national Consciousness
- Pon Nya Mon
- Ashley South
- Naing Maung Toe
F. Paak Laat Historical Source and Manuscript
- Sunthorn Sripangern
- Pisarn Boonpook*
- Patrick macCormick
- Mathias Jenny
G. Migration and Settlement in Mon History (symposium)
- Nai Pan Hla
- Sophon Nishyyoke
- Sukanya Baonoed
- Juajan Wongpolkanan
- Suporn Ocharoen
H. Mon in Siamese Royal Court
- Ong Bunjoon
- Bulong Srikanok
I. language and literature
- Busaba Prapaspong
- Nai Kasauh Mon
J. Ven Uttama
- History of Wangvivegaram Temple by Kitti Worakunkitti*
- Philosophy of Ven. Uttama by Paphatsaun Thianpanya
- Ven. Uttama’s Amulets by Pisan Paladsing
K. Mon Culture in Thailand
Food
- Ampai Makmarn
Music
- Manat Kaewbucha*
- Somkieat Homyok
* to be confirmed

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2. Exhibition will also displayed Mon Cultural aspects such as special food for
ceremony and festival, and way of life. The exhibition will be displayed in form of
poster and illustrations.
3. Performing arts such as Mon Musical bands from Myanmar and Bangkok,
traditional dance and the highlight of this event is classical drama from
Department of Fine Arts ( Krom Silpakorn) on “Rajadhiraj”; which is well know
among Thai audiences. The performing arts will be displayed on October 12th and
October 13th, 2007 at Chulalongkorn main Auditorium.
4. Papers presented in this conference will be compiled and edited in order to publish
into book.

Goals:

1. The perspectives and information shared at the workshop should be academic in


tone and substance and culture. This is an unique opportunity for Mon, Myanmar, Thai and
international scholars to join together to share and investigate Mon history. Thus, this should
be an opportunity to create a network for those concerned with Mon history in order to
continue new discoveries and developed future research and cultural exchange programs
2. The seminar will offer an occasion for academics to learn about each others’
findings and perspectives. The seminar will be based on scientific and academic works
concerning Mon history and future challenges. Furthermore, it will be an opportunity for
invited participants locally and internationally to profit from the academic’s presentations;
Mons from Thailand and Burma can learn and share their cultural roots and connection with
each other in terms of identity, culture, religion, politics, language and arts throughout the
seminar.
3. It is hoped that several outcomes will transpire; knowledge will be shared between
panelists and participants; one book will be published after the seminar which will include a
brief description of the panelists and also their abstracts; a paper will be produced underlying
the outcome of the seminar; a workshop and follow-up meetings; and those interested in Mon
history will have had the opportunity to create networks.

Date:
October 10-13, 2007

Venue:
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Organizers:

Mekong Research Unit, Institute of Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Study Center,
Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University
The Mon History Seminar Organizing Committee
The Jim Thompson Foundation, Bangkok Thailand
The Rockefeller Foundation, Bangkok Thailand (to be confirmed)

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