Sharing and Connecting Stories from a Changing Myanmar with Lauren DeCicca

To see more of her work and travels through Myanmar, follow @deciccaphoto on Instagram.

Lauren DeCicca (@deciccaphoto) has her #EyesOn the people experiencing Myanmar’s economic transition. The American documentary photographer first arrived to Yangon three years ago: “I moved there two months after the first ATM came to Yangon. The city has changed incredibly. Hotels get built in a matter of months.” While she has sharpened her focus on local humanitarian issues — covering conditions at land mines and the Rohingya ethnic conflict in western Myanmar — Lauren is steadfast in providing a wider context for these stories. “One of the first big projects I worked on was along the length of the Irrawaddy River, where I stopped at places like land mines, dam projects and religious sites and talked to everyone about their daily life and what Myanmar was all about,” she says. “That sparked my interest in a lot of other stories that I’ve continued to cover over the last two years.” Today, Lauren remains deeply touched by one thing that hasn’t changed: the country’s generous hospitality. “You can be walking down the street and people will just tell you to come into their homes, sit you down and tell you their story and ask you questions about the United States.”

Here’s a masterpost of resources to aid in learning South Asian languages! This is by NO means comprehensive. A very limited number of languages are represented here. This search was really frustrating because the more I looked, the more I realized how many dozens of South Asian languages are simply not represented or their existence acknowledged. If you have any resources/languages you’d like to me to add, please let me know! 

Assamese
iLanguage

Balochi
Balochi Basics
UChicago Resource List

Bengali
Everyday Language Learner
King’s College Resources
Bengali Masterlist

Brahui
Overview
Common Phrases (1)
Common Phrases (2)

Burmese
Cornell Burmese Resources
University of London Resources

Bumthang
Grammar (1)
Grammar (2) 

Chakma
Mastersite

Dari
King’s College Resources

Dhivehi
General Overview
Primary Grade Resources

Dzongkha
Vocabulary
Grammar

Dimasa
Grammar

Dogri
Overview

Halbi
Script/Language

Hindi/Urdu
WUSTL Hindi-Urdu Resources 
HindiUrdu.net
Hindi-Urdu Flagship Resources
Columbia Hindi-Urdu Resources

Hindko
Overview

Ho
Swarthmore Resources

Farsi
Virtual Persian
Resource Masterlist (1)
Resource Masterlist (2)

Garo
Overview

Gondi
Mastersite

Gujarati
King’s College Resources
Language Reef
Gujarati Learner
Gujarati Masterlist

Gurung
Video Series

Jingpho
Grammar

Kannada
UofIowa Resources
Language Reef

Kashmiri
Mastersite

Khams Tibetan
Language Materials

Kharia
Kharia-English Dictionary 

Khasi
Learning Basic Khasi

Kurukh
Kurukh Grammar

Kokborok
Learn Kokborok

Konkani 
Language Reef
Literature Resources
Common Phrases 

Lepcha
Grammar (1)
Grammar (2)
Basic Phrases

Maithili
Maithili Sentence Structure
Background and Linguistics

Malayalam
UofIowa Resources
Common School Phrases

Manipuri 
Common Phrases 
Language Reef

Marathi
iLanguage

Mishing
Grammar

Nepali
Nepali: Beginner’s Primer
NepalGo
NepaliLanguage.org
UofIowa Resources
Nepali Masterlist (1)
Nepali Masterlist + MP3 Lessons (2)

Nyishi
Grammar

Odia
Resource Masterlist 

Pashto
King’s College Resources

Punjabi
LearnPunjabi.org
King’s College Resources

Shina
Grammar Overview
Grammar and Vocab

Sindhi
Sindhi Masterlist

Sinhala 
Sinhala Basic Course 
AISLS Sinhala Studies
Sinhala/Tamil Dictionary

Sora
Swarthmore Talking Dictionary

Tamang
Writing Tamang

Tamil 
Tamil Reader/Grammar
AISLS Tamil Resources

Telugu
Learning Telugu
UofIowa Resources
Columbia Resources

Tibetan
Emory Resources
Tibetan Masterpost (1)
Tibetan Masterpost (2)
English-Tibetan Dictionary

Tshangla
Overview

Tulu
Common Phrases (1)
Common Phrases (2)
Common Phrases (3)
Common Phrases (4)

Apps
Mango Languages (Bengali, Dari, Dzongkha, Farsi, Hindi, Malayalam, Pashto, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu)
Livemocha (Farsi, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu) 
Duolingo (Hindi) 

Other Resources
So You Want to Learn a Language? (has resources on a ton of languages!)
Digital South Asia Library
Digital Dictionaries of South Asia (this resource is awesome!)
UChicago Recommended Resources
Omniglot (has some basic info for a lot of languages)
Languages of India Mastersite

2

GOOD NEWS FOR CONSERVATION:

Myanmar roofed turtles reintroduced to the wild

Species believed extinct until rediscovery in 2001

Congratulations to the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Turtle Survival Alliance in Myanmar for the recent release of 60 captive-raised Myanmar roofed turtles (Batagur trivittata) - a species believed to be extinct until 2001. We’re pleased to see the world’s second most endangered turtle on the road to recovery in its native habitat, and happy that funds from our Critically Endangered Animals Fund have helped support this effort!

Additional information on this particular project can be found at:

Wildlife Conservation Society - Roof Turtles


(via: USFWS_International Affairs)

photographs by Wildlife Conservation Society

4

Visiting Taung Kalat, Myanmar’s Mountaintop Monastery

For more photos from Mount Popa and Taung Kalat, explore the Mount Popa location page.

Perched on top of a volcanic plug in central Myanmar is Taung Kalat monastery, home to 37 နတ်‌—"nats", or spiritual demigods—and a dramatic panoramic view. Located 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Mount Popa, the extinct volcano that once formed this 737-meter (2,417-foot) thumb, Taung Kalat draws pilgrims and tourists who are willing to climb its 777 stairs to reach the gilded rooftops and Buddhas above.

The stairs—a sacred site in their own right—were once maintained by the famed Buddhist hermit U Khandi. The compound is also home to a horde of macaques, where they pose for tourists and snatch their unattended bags in the hope of finding a snack.

Renan Ozturk on Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar

The days spent ascending Hkakabo Razi have been some of the most challenging of my life. The mountain was incredibly beautiful, complex, and wholly underestimated. We pushed as hard as humanly possibly, but ultimately turned back shy of the summit without the safety margins and resources to take the necessary few days we would have needed. Winds howled, I broke my wrist (and don’t even remember how), and we had an adventure unlike any other.

Yangon Calling is a punk rock documentary in every possible way. It follows a group of underground punks rallying against a brutal regime in the military-ruled Burma. Their look and sound may be familiar to us in the Western world, but it was borne out of cassettes of Brit bands smuggled into the country by sailors in the 90s. The method of filming was equally punk: hidden cameras helped the crew escape the constant secret police surveillance that could have cost the lives of everyone involved. You can read an interview with one of the directors here.