Credits / copyrights
Zin Mar Latt
The school children of the Htantaw village, Taungthaman village tract were asked – What is the most beautiful place in Taungthaman? They could either draw pictures or describe in words. The children drew from their imagination and showed it to my students.
Snacks are important part of a community’s cultural heritage. We included this in our session and served traditional snacks like Noe-hta-min or rice mixed with milk.
While engaging with the school children there was an attempt to find ways to encourage them become connected with their village, my students were better able to understand the interlinks between community and urban anthropology.
My students gave me some comments in the class. A students said:“before, I didn’t understand how community engagement relates to urban anthropology which is one of the modules for the third year honours students but now I clearly understand not only the meaning of community engagement but also how we can engage with people from the urbanized areas. Gradually, I see development and challenges of urban life from our field site. As the key point, I understood how the sense of belonging to a local community in school children, who live in Htantaw village, Taungthaman village tract, has lessened. I now undertsand how this is one of the impacts of urbanization. Those school children encounter their local identity in their daily life but they do not notice them. When we discussed cultural identity of Taungthaman village with them, they shared their knowledge by drawing or writing on paper quickly. According to my understanding, I think we should continue to encourage them to memorize those such sites of cultural heritage that are there in their mind. Because of our engagement in Taungthaman village tract by discussing about local identity with the school children practically, we were able to combine theory and practice as new teaching method for urban anthropology.”