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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

AtoZBlogChallenge:S is for Stupas and Shan State


It only takes a minute to visit more AtoZers on the Linky.

My theme this year is Burma AKA Myanmar. I used to live in Laos, so I looked forward to returning to Southeast Asia. I spent a little over three weeks exploring this country, learning a bit about its culture: its history, religion, and language. I thought others might enjoy some of what I learned and see some of what I saw.
A Sea of Stupas

So what's a stupa? Here's a picture of a few. They're solid structures and were originally created as burial mounds. Today they're tributes created by Buddhists for positive karmic results. Destroying a stupa is equated with murder and result in extremely negative karma.


There are different kinds of stupa shapes.

Shan State is a large section of Burma that borders Laos, China and Thailand. It's the only place in Burma that grows garlic, and some rather pricey poppies. It's a wealthy state and the homes as well as the people reflect that wealth.

Shan State headgear identifies what village they come from.



Answers to what do you know about rice?

T 1. In Burma, it's believed the Kachins--people from the northern part of that country-- came from the center of the earth to sow rice seeds. (The myth says the gods sent these people to Burma to ensure life would be perfect all due to an abundance of good food, specifically rice.)

F 2. Rice requires a lot of water to grow, so it's limited as to where it can be planted. (Rice is among the most adaptable food. It can grow just about anywhere, even in deserts.)

NOW what do you know about stupas?

T/F 1. The origin of the stupa is India, and at the center of these there's usually some kind of holy relic.

T/F 2. Pagoda is an umbrella term that includes stupas along with temples and other Buddhist structures.

Answers tomorrow.


44 comments:

  1. Great photos and information. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Interesting thoughts, thanks for sharing that!

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  3. Stupas are so pretty! It is an interesting idea that it improves your karma to build one... Also, how do the rest of the states deal without garlic?! :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  4. Love the pictures and the whole idea behind stupas. They are so cool.

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  5. Greetings superstar human, Lee,

    While my human is busy messing about on Farcebook aka Farcebark, I have decided to try to bring back some modicum of sanity by leaving one of my highly cherished comments on your highly cherished site.

    That kid has quite the voice in your video. A bit too much helium, pawhaps?

    Stupas is as stupas does. Nice one, incredibly famous and highly adored human, Lee.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny!

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  6. All is I know is in Tibet stupas are called chorten.

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  7. I never heard of stupas before, but they are amazing! Who would want to destroy them??

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  8. Your photos really make me want to visit! Love the intricate details on the stupas!

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  9. Those are very interesting structures. Would love to see them.

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  10. Love the photos. What a great experience you must have had.

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  11. I didn't know that about rice. No wonder it's so cheap. I am enlightened.

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  12. What wonderful photos! Thanks for taking us with you to Burma/Myanmar ! I had no idea what a stupa was, but I think they're very beautiful!
    I also really like your website and I'm glad A to Z brought me here :-)
    A-to-Z-er Jetgirl visiting via Forty, c'est Fantastique

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  13. Great photos and information. How wonderful you had the opportunity to be an expat.
    I like the quiz idea to keep people returning. I will definitely be back tomorrow to see if I am right.

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  14. Such a wonderful insight into Burma!. It is a country left behind by progress. Hopefully it should be able to regain its previous glory. Thanks for sharing C Lee!

    Hank

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  15. I'm really enjoying your theme. I've never been to Laos, but when I was teaching, many of my students were from Laos.

    I haven't been to any north Indian temples, but in south India you see stupas on all the Hindu temples. The one in Sriringham, near Tiruchirapalli, is extremely high -- you can see it from miles away.

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  16. It's been a pleasure reading your theme, what fantastic places are there, you have given many people much pleasure on this challenge I'm sure.
    Yvonne.

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  17. Stupas are stupendous! I had no idea they were called that. I hope to one day travel to India and hope to see some Stupas there.. Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

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  18. The stupas are really beautiful and striking. I love so much about Buddhism.

    Whenever I've visited a Buddhist country, it has seemed extremely peaceful.

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  19. I had never heard of stupas. I've been enjoying these posts. I'm learning a lot of new things.

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  20. I had never heard of stupas. I've been enjoying these posts. I'm learning a lot of new things.

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  21. The stupas are cool. Very beautiful and I love the colorful headgear.

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  22. The head gear they wear is just beautiful!

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  23. Thanks for sharing - these are beautiful photos.

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  24. The woman in the market look really happy. I love all the color!

    You can find me here:
    ClarabelleRant

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  25. The Stupas are lovely. I'm enjoying your tour.

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  26. You'd be stoopid to destroy a stupa! Plus, you'd be cursed with horrible karma.

    Stupas are gorgeous.

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  27. Cool pictures and info. I will remember not to destroy any stupas!

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  28. I'm learning a lot about Burma here. Very cool :)

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  29. On Maui, there's a stupa for the Maui Dharma Center. It's located on a main street (well, main is a relative term!) and it's very beautiful. I wanted to take pictures of the inside, but the staff said the artist is very protective of her images, though I imagine it's probably all over the internet anyhow. The headgear looks very interesting. My mom has some farmers market photos of South Korea from the 70s. They are black and white and really fascinating. Your market photos remind me of them. Read your comments about "rice."
    Maui Jungalow

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  30. i love rice. i have a book to tell you about; i just cant remember the title. but wow that karma thing, that's pretty intense.

    I"m really enjoying your travels. thanks for sharing!

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  31. It's good to wrong sometimes. And this is one of those times where I'm glad to be wrong about where rice can grow. I suppose that would make sense given so many countries around the world use rice as a staple food item for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.

    Those stupas look amazing.

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  32. Save the Stupas! I just put a bumper sticker on my space ship.

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  33. These stupas are so unique! I would love to see them and hope no one ever damages or destroys one. As for the questions...I will say True to the first but false to the 2nd:)

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  34. What a beautiful picture of the sea of stupas.

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  35. Love the stupas! We could all use some positive karma. :)

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  36. There's something so magical and mystical about the stupas--and maybe even something a bit fantastical. It's not surprising to read that destroying one is considered akin to murder. So beautiful.

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  37. Stupas are very beautiful - that is a lot of bad karma for destroying one!
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  38. Hi Lee - good to see the Stupas, and to see the women with the different hair coverings reflecting which village they came from ... you must have had the most wonderful of trips .. cheers Hilary

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  39. The Stupas are simply stunning! I'm also fascinated by how the different colored head coverings determine what village they're from.

    Julie

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