This paper intends to examine the interplay between the official construction of “Malayness” in colonial educational policy and the formation of Malay ethno-national identity in British Malaya. For this purpose, it uses as its case study the Sultan Idris Training College (SITC), a Malay teacher training college that was established in Tanjung Malim, Perak, in 1922. The SITC played an important role in the reproduction of ethnic, class, and gender relations in British Malaya. As in the case of the Malay College, Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), the SITC was a residential school, modeled on public schools in England, in which the college authorities aimed to have total control over the students' studies, their extra-curricular activities (sports, cultural and recreational activities, military training and scouting), and their lives in the student dormitories called “houses.” Unlike the aristocratic MCKK, however, the SITC was designed to train Malay rural male teachers so that they would be able to educate Malay village boys to be “intelligent peasants.” SITC-graduated teachers were expected to become local agents of the British colonial authorities for the inculcation of desirable values among rural Malay children. The formal curriculum for the SITC was Malay-centered and ruralbiased, with an emphasis on the Malay language and the history and the geography of the “Malay world, ” as well as on practical education such as gardening, basketry, carpentry, etc. Furthermore, it was also male-biased when compared with the curriculum for the Malay Women's Training College (MWTC), which stressed domestic science for Malay girls. Though the SITC was a product of British colonial education policy, it left enough room for its teachers and students to utilize their shared experiences and to reorganize their acquired knowledge in order to construct Malay ethnonational identity. The SITC had some well-known Malay teachers and a European Principal all of whom were active in propagating Malay nationalist sentiments. SITC students could obtain knowledge on Malaya, the “Malay world” and other parts of the world not only during regular classes, but also from daily communication with their teachers and college mates, as well as from various kinds of reading materials such as books, magazines, and newspapers. Some of the students secretly participated in political activities. As a result of this local appropriation of colonial education, the SITC produced a number of Malayeducated nationalist intellectuals. This was not what British colonizers originally intended or wanted to be the product of the educational system that they had imposed.
The Myaungmya Incident was the first large-scale ethnic collision between Karens and Burmans in the history of Burma, and it was triggered by the entry of the Japanese Army and the BIA (Burma Independence Army) into Burma in early 1942. This paper examines the significance of the incident for the Karens, who were in fact a scattered people comprising several distinct groups or communities before it occurred. Among them, it was Baptist Sgaw Karen who, in collaboration with Baptist missionaries, British colonialists, and Burman intellectuals, had propagated Karen-ness in the colonial society and cultivated the idea that there is an entity or people called the Karen. However, Buddhist Pwo Karen, for example, who constituted about two-thirds of the whole Karen population in the Irrawaddy Delta region, had hardly shared a sense of being Karen as defined by the Baptist Sgaw. It has been said that clashes between the Karens and Burmans took place because the BIA were in need of weapons, and they believed these could be found in the hands of Karens without regard to their internal differences. However, the BIA and Thakins or Burman nationalists, applied a label of Karen versus Burman to this complicated conflict. As a result of the incident, about 5, 000 were killed and 15-30% of the 2, 000 villages in the northern Myaungmya District suffered partial or total losses of their houses. In the course of the clashes, the Buddhist Pwo suffered most and accepted the label applied by the BIA and Thakins. During this process, the Buddhist Pwo gradually realized that they were a part of the Karen and began to foster Karen nationalism. This development can be best observed through the existence and image of Shwe Tun Kya, who was an ordinary Buddhist Pwo and even a Thakin before the conflict and who subsequently took on an active role as a Karen nationalist. For the Karens, the Myaungmya Incident incited various grass-roots movements, and limited though these movements were, the participants actually perceived, experienced, and shared a collectivity of Karen-ness, which had mostly existed on the level of discourse until then. This Karen-ness was perceived first by the Karens who suffered in the Myaungmya Incident and second by the Karens who heard of the event afterwards and received it as part of their own experience. Furthermore, without the events of the Myaungmya Incident, the Buddhist sector would have participated less in the Baptist-led armed struggles of the Karen against the Burman central government in independent Burma, which started in 1949 and is still continuing to this day. Only after the Myaungmya Incident were the Karens able to form an ethnic political movement, which could mobilize the wider part of the Karen population.
In the Kingdom of Cambodia, public education was introduced in the days of the French Protectorate. In a recent paper, I suggested that the public education systems were different in each circonscription résidentielle, and examined the situation of Kompong-Cham. In this paper, I investigate the introduction of public education into the circonscription résidentielle de Kampot, located on the Gulf of Thailand. According to a list of schools and students in each circonscription résidentielle in 1930, Kampot had a particular number of écoles de pagodes (schools of pagodas) and we can suppose that the French authority made a special attempt to promote public education in this circonscription résidentielle. The circonscription résidentielle de Kampot was located on the border of three states: the Kingdom of Siam, the French Protectorate of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the French Colony of Cochin-China. Geographically, it was where inland Cambodia intersected with the maritime world. The distinctive characteristics of Kampot were its openness and its unusually large populations of Chinese, Malays, Siamese and Annamites. In the circonscription résidentielle de Kampot, the public education system was composed of (1) the école résidentielle/école de plein exercice established in Kampot city, (2) the écoles franco-cambodgiennes established in the interior, and (3) the écoles de pagodes rénovées established at the pagodas of rural villages. In the école résidentielle/école de plein exercice, the curriculum, class composition, equipment, and the attendance of students bore a strong resemblance to its counterpart in Kampot and Kompong-Cham. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the purpose of these schools, training candidates of functionaries, and the examination for certificat d'études primaires franco-indigènes and certificat d'études élémentaires led to this homogeneity. On the other hand, the strategy to promote public education among the local population differed among circonscriptions résidentielles. In Kampot, the French administration used the traditional authority of pagodas and Buddhist monks in Cambodian society to establish schools in rural communities. During and after the 1930s, the écoles de pagodes rénovées were expanded from Kampot to other regions of Cambodia and became the foundation of today's public education system. In addition, Chinese and Malay villages had the tradition of schools in Kampot. However, the French did not plan to exploit Chinese or Malay schools as educational resources. Most Chinese had no interest in the French educational system and preferred to send their children to Chinese schools. This fact implies that those who sought opportunities in the French Protectorate of the Kingdom of Cambodia accepted public education, and that most Chinese in Kampot who lived by the maritime trade on the Gulf of Thailand saw no value in the French colonial education. Only further investigation of the Chinese population in Kampot will confirm or refute this hypothesis.
The Theravada Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia, have issued Sangha laws, or Imperial ordinances, and established centralized Sangha organizations in the process of modernization. The government of Myanmar also tried to establish a united and centralized Sangha after independence, but did not succeed because there were many sects (gaing, nikaya) in that country, and the monks could not agree on a single Sangha. In 1980, the “Congregation of the Sangha of All Orders for Purification, Perpetuation, and Propagation of the Sasana” was held and it enacted “Fundamental Rules for the Sangha Organization, ” “Procedures for the Sangha Organization, ” and “Procedures for Solution of Cases and Conflicts in Accordance with the Rules of the Order.” The first Sangha organization was subsequently established in Myanmar. The “Fundamental Rules” document is the most important of these rules and procedures, and this decree is significant for the study of Sangha institutions in Myanmar. It is also essential for the comparative study of Sangha organizations within the other countries of Southeast Asia. This rule has only been touched upon in several academic theses, but had not been translated into any foreign languages. One purpose of this paper is to translate the “Fundamental Rules for the Sangha Organization” from the Myanmar language to Japanese and to contribute to the study of the relationship between Theravada Buddhism and society in Southeast Asia. Another purpose of this study is to introduce the new system of Sangha organization which was established in 1995 as there have been no theses written about this new structure.