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The Paw Pout Deh: an autohistoria from the Burmese diaspora

Date

2020

Authors

Telling, Thazin Su, author
Sagas, Ernesto, advisor
DeMirjyn, Maricela, committee member
Didier, John, committee member

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Abstract

This study seeks to make sense of my first-hand experience witnessing and experiencing the Burmese diaspora both from within and as an outsider. The title Tha Baw Pout Deh is a Burmese phrase that describes the process of reaching an understanding of a complex subject. It is a compound phrase made up of Tha Baw (mind set) and Pout Deh (explode), much like the English phrase 'to blow your mind'. My Tha Baw Pout Deh began with my experience living and working with Burmese refugees on the border between Burma and Thailand. Theories I was exposed to subsequently as a formal student of Ethnic Studies, both at the University of Colorado at Boulder and at Colorado State University, helped me comprehend fully my experience in the borderlands and my prior experience as a child of mixed race in a predominantly white and extremely affluent Boulder. It is from the collision of my border experience, my own up-bringing, and Ethnic Studies theories and accounts through which chapters of this thesis were produced. I use these chapters to illustrate the central message of my thesis, which is that a contribution of three factors was needed to reach my Tha Baw Pout Deh. These are an autobiographical experience, first-hand observation of the experience of others, and a theoretical framework learned from the Ethnic Studies literature.

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2020 Spring.
Includes bibliographical references.

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