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Month: February 2018

Rangoon University: Convocation Hall



“There’s no friend like wisdom”
– Yangon University motto (clearly someone never owned a dog)

Rangoon College was first founded by the British in 1878, became Rangoon University in 1920, and finally Yangon University when the city’s name was changed in 1989. Its style of instruction was modeled on old-world British universities like Oxford and Cambridge, and aimed to instill their values and attitudes into young Burmese elites – but instead became a hotbed of anti-colonialism, and an engine of protest.

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Mapping Rangoon: 1914 and 2018

This (slightly experimental) interactive map allows you to see how a 1914 map of Rangoon compares with Yangon today in Open Street Map.

Desktop users can change the size of the spy glass with the up and down keys, and move it with the mouse. Mobile users move the map underneath the the spy glass, and can tap to move it around. Please do let me know if you encounter any malfunction. Enjoy!

Click here or the image below

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Burma Athletic Association Grounds



“I am convinced that the entire secret of the English for keeping well in tropical countries is summed up in the word ‘exercise’.”
– Joseph Dautremer, Burma Under British Rule, 1913

Football and boxing were the two most popular sports amongst British soldiers, and the first organised football league took place in 1894, won by the West Yorkshire Regiment. Games were generally played on teams own fields, or at the local parade grounds. One member of the Burmese Athletic Association suggested that a water tank north of the railway station could be reclaimed and used as a permanent athletic field. Apparently the idea was ridiculed by his fellow members, asking what he thought would be possible beyond swimming or water polo – but he pressed ahead with the plan. By 1909 the reclamation had progressed enough that football games could be held on it, along with cricket and tennis.

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