Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
an old name for a part of Burma and a word for the country in native speech, officially chosen by military rulers of Burma in 1989. Reasons given include casting off a relic of colonialism, or downplaying of the connection to the Burman ethnic majority.
It should be pointed out that this renaming has virtually no impact on Burmese citizens speaking in Burmese, who continue to refer to both Myanma as well as Bama (this not unlike formal reference in the English language to 'The Netherlands' while informally using 'Holland'). [Gustaaf Houtman, "Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics," 1999]
The official name for Burma since 1989.
Republic in Southeast Asia, now officially known as Myanmar, bordered by Bangladesh, India, and the Bay of Bengal to the west; China to the north and northeast; Laos and Thailand to the east; and the Andaman Sea to the south. Rangoon is its capital and largest city.
Note: Under British control until 1948, it then became an independent republic.
Note: During World War II, the Allies and Japanese troops fought intense campaigns over control of the Burma Road, a vital supply link between China and India.
Note: Run by its military in the 1970s and 1980s, Burma saw its economy decline. Free elections in 1990 were won by the main opposition party, but the military government refused to relinquish its powers.