Ancient Babylonian to Mongolia (2234-2197 B.C)
Most Karen history books, either in Karen or English, pointed the original place of Karen people as Babylon and the recorded data was around BC 2234. When the pages of world History are opened according to that location and date, the region, at that time was known as Mesopotamia, “Land between Rivers”, specifically the Tigris and Euphrates. New peoples, sage as well as savage from faraway lands came and some even rose to prominence in the region by gradual infiltration or conquest. The Karen race might have been one of them which bore another name. Civilization was in full swing at that time with rivaled races attempted to establish their own nation-states.Read more: Ancient Babylonian to Mongolia (2234-2197 B.C)
The Karen people welcomed the British colonial era in Burma (1824-1948 A.D) as a blessing bestowed upon them by their Supreme Deity whom they have trusted without fail. Most of the prophecies, foretold by their forefathers many years ago, seemed to have become materialized during this period. After suffering for nearly a thousand years under successive tyrants, the Karen finally found new hope in the hands of their colonial masters. Dr. San C. Po in his book “Burma and the Karens” reflected, “The Karens are not ashamed or afraid to proclaim to the world publicly or in private that they owe what progress and advancement they have made to the missionaries whom they affectionately called ‘Mother’ under the protection of the British government whom they rightly call ‘Father’”. It was not a completely unfamiliar culture. Since the beginning of their history, the Karen have much respect for their parents and elders. This remains one of their distinct characters today. They affectionately call their leaders, great father, great mother or grandfather. The following excerpt is taken from Ian Morrison’s “Grandfather Longlegs”, (The Life and Gallant Death of Major H.R Seagrim G.C, D.S.O, M.B.E.)Read more: Fire Among Ashes
“Nationality is that principle, compounded of past tradition, present interests and future aspirations, which gives to people a sense of organic unity, and separates them from the rest of mankind.”—Heanrshaw.
In unity there is strength. “Hang together and be strong, or hang separately” is an old and indisputable maxim. Sir Frederick Whyte in his treatise India - A Federation? Strongly suggests that India can be a strong nation and reach her full stature and unity only by federation, that is, in the union and co-operation of communities. He says “In India, of all land, there are to be found in her social fabric elements which have disturbed, if they have not actually destroyed, the unity and the sense of common nationality in other peoples and other times.”Read more: A Nation's Desire
Hanging the Karen tunic on the Fishing Rod
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” Martin Luther King
The Karens were the first settlers of the land now known as Myanmar. After their long journeys, the Karens decided to settle down in the land which they thought was very fertile and peaceful. The claiming and marking of the land was told in Karen history as well as in htars (poems) and passed down to posteriors. This story bears significance as part of the Karen history because of its prophetic implication. The Karens were from the north and came down to present Myanmar because it was too thickly populated where they were. They moved down further south family after family, tribe after tribe until there was no land left to explore. Their ancestors learned valuable lessons from their experiences
in many lands they had lived and passed down these legacies to their posteriors. So many families formed themselves into tribes and built villages and towns in every convenient place in order to develop and defend themselves. The prophetic history goes on as followed.