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Chiang Rai, Karen children

Chiang Rai, Karen children

Chiang Rai, Asean Flower Festival, Karen children

The Karen, Kayin, Kariang or Yang people refer to a number of individual Sino-Tibetan language speaking ethnic groups, many of which do not share a common language or culture. These Karen groups reside primarily in Karen State, southern and southeastern Myanmar. The Karen make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population with approximately 5 million people. A large number of Karen have migrated to Thailand, having settled mostly on the Thailand–Myanmar border. There are around 400,000 Karen in Thailand, where they are by far the largest of the hill tribes.

The Karen groups as a whole are often confused with the Padaung tribe, best known for the neck rings worn by their women, but they are just one sub-group of Red Karens (Karenni), one of the tribes of Kayah in Kayah State, Myanmar.

"Karen" is an Anglicisation of the Burmese word "Kayin", whose etymology is unclear.

In pre-colonial times, the low-lying Burmese and Mon-speaking kingdoms recognised two general categories of Karen, the Talaing Kayin, generally lowlanders who were recognised as the "original settlers" and essential to Mon court life, and the Karen, highlanders who were subordinated or assimilated by the Bamar.

The Karen languages, members of the Tibeto-Burman group of the Sino-Tibetan language family, consist of three mutually unintelligible branches: Sgaw, Eastern Pwo, and Western Pwo. The Karen languages are almost unique among the Tibeto-Burman languages in having a subject–verb–object word order; other than Karen and Bai, Tibeto-Burman languages feature a subject–object–verb order. This anomaly is likely due to the influence of neighboring Mon and Tai languages.

The majority of Karens are Theravada Buddhists who also practice animism, while approximately 15% are Christian. Lowland Pwo-speaking Karens tend to be more orthodox Buddhists, whereas highland Sgaw-speaking Karens tend to be heterodox Buddhists who profess strong animist beliefs.

Karen animism is defined by a belief in “ကလၤ” k’lar (soul), thirty-seven spirits that embody every individual. Misfortune and sickness are believed to be caused by k’lar that wander away, and death occurs when all thirty-seven klar leave the body.


(plus d'infos...)

Photo prise @ Rim Kok le 24 décembre 2016 (© Arian Zwegers / Flickr)

Voir aussi :
 chiang rai, karen children, karen, children, asean flower festival, chiang rai province, dress, ethnic group, hill tribe, hill tribes, indigenous, minorities, minority, traditional, traditional clothes, traditional clothing, traditional costume, tribe, kayin, kariang

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