Approximately 8,000 miles from Marion, in Southeast Asia, lay the enigmatic country of Myanmar (formerly Burma). Until the British invaded the country in 1885, little was known about the classical civilization located there. As a British colony, the country gained recognition in literary works by George Orwell (Burmese Days) and Rudyard Kipling (“Mandalay”). In World War II, it was overrun by the Japanese who in turn were driven out by combined American, British, and Chinese forces. The famed U.S. “Merrill’s Marauders” spearheaded the effort. After WWII, the British granted total independence to Burma. The country was thereafter ruled by a military government and isolated from the world for more than 60 years. In 2011, in order to secure a relaxation of economic sanctions and to encourage foreign investment, Myanmar finally started down a path toward democracy and was formally opened to tourists.
The poorest state in Southeast Asia, Myanmar still has a long way to go to become a modern country. Despite its economic difficulties, though, the country offers a wealth of cultural opportunities, and visitors can now enjoy this exotic land of golden stupas, red-robed monks, and elaborately carved teak palaces. Earlier this year, Bob and Judy Rosbe traveled to Myanmar, returning with a host of memories and images of their fascinating journey. On Wednesday, December 11, at 7:00 pm at the Marion Music Hall, the Rosbes will talk about their travels to Myanmar and share images from their trip. Co-sponsored by the Elizabeth Taber Library and the Sippican Historical Society, the presentation is offered free of charge and is open to the public. No registration is required. For more information, contact the Elizabeth Taber Library at 508-748-1252 or the Sippican Historical Society at 508-748-1116.