The Individuals of Kachin State
Those people who are fighters in the trenches, literally or otherwise, will find my account about Kachin State anywhere from moderately to wildly inaccurate and unrepresentative of the actual situation there. I have never been to Kachin State, or Myanmar, or even some of the surrounding countries of South East Asia. I have never witnessed the atrocities of the fighting men of all Burma (Myanmar today). I’ve never experienced anything like the life-style of this mountain people fighting for their existence as a people there. I’m simply an observer from afar, and apologize in advance for my dependence on strong and probably insufficient resources of information.
I know that there are the theological types that will be ราชภัฏสวนสุนันทา of the whole premise of persecution from Kachin because, as will be described, much of what goes on in north east Burma is governmental and has nothing to do with the church.
I imagine a number of this really is true. In addition, I imagine your family has people such as that, and your church and your community. But when the blood starts to spatter in the sidewalks of the towns here, it won’t be easy for all of us to ignore the reality of this trauma that is occurring. And even if 9 out 10 of the people falling aren’t your spiritual brothers, then I am certain you won’t be able to look on the scene without any dread filling your heart, since you rush to find a way to end the blood bath, and to save your family and your neighbors, the rest of those.
I ask you view Kachin State through the lens, the lens of neighbor-loving, massacre-avoidance, personal catastrophe, like it were your own person changed, and allow God to be the judge who knew Him and that didn’t. Kachin State is a horrible tragedy and needs Christian concern and it takes it now, today.
I have found within this research a mystery, a great deal of history, and an opportunity for God’s people to reply.
I. The Mystery.
There are most likely many unsolved puzzles concerning the Kachin. However, one which troubles me the most as of this writing, isthe reason why am I only now hearing about the Kachin people? Where have I been all of this time around if their history was developing? I’ve caused the persecuted in 1 way or the other for almost 30 years. All these are largely a Christian people. Why didn’t I understand about these?
Something related to American interests not being served by helping people that reside in the hills of a foreign nation? No oil wells? No serious political ties?
Have you heard of these people? Allow me to share with you just a tiny bit of information I was able to glean out of the everpresent web site.
II. Some History.
The Kachin people go by quite a couple of diverse names. They’re called Jingpho, Singpho, Jinghpaw, and much more. They live in at least 3 border states, mainly in north eastern Burma, but also in neighboring China and India. One-million Kachin live there, instead of just 150,000 from China.
Who are they? The various tribal bands that make up that the Kachin people have some clear traits:”fierce independence, disciplined fighting expertise, complex clan interrelations, adopt of Christianity, craftsmanship, herbal healing, and jungle survival skills.” (Wikipedia)
Although perhaps not those who are living at Kachin State (northeastern-most state of Burma) have been Kachin. The land is home and to Thai and Lao sailors, Lisus, Rawangs, Nagas, and the biggest ethnic group in Burma, the Burmans. That is where”Jinghpaw” makes play. “Jingphaw Wunpawng” means all the residents of this country, whereas Jingphaw used alone refers solely to ethnic Kachins.
Confused yet? There is more. Back in Kachin State individuals have found 2 ways to categorize the several groups. In one form, you take all the classes that have overlapping territories and similar abilities, and you call them a single people. In another form, you go by language only. Very intricate. And the Jingpo understand they are no matter their efforts of outsiders to tell them.
Thing is, even though, the majority of the tribes stem from the exact basic backdrop, despite all the posturing and self-identifying of those bands. We are going to leave it at that. Generally , there is this set of people who live in Kachin State with similar language, ways, and sometimes even religion. We are going to call them Kachins for the rest of the report.
Even the Kachin people might be traced back for many hundreds of years. They lived about the Tibetan plateau, and perhaps in Mongolia before that, and worked their way south for their present location, China’s state of Yunnan, along with Burma.