Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.
Mysterious Burma (or Myanmar)
Burma, renamed Myanmar in 1989, is one of the most mysterious countries in Southeast Asia.
Mysterious first of all because its borders have been closed for decades by a ferocious military regime which fully intended to exercise its dictatorship away from international scrutiny.
Mysterious then by the omnipresence of the Buddhist religion, whether in architecture (we no longer count the giant Buddhas standing or lying down, nor the golden pagodas, nor the monasteries) or whether in everyday life . Many monks of all ages parade in line begging for a little food or a little money for the maintenance of the monastery and the generosity of passers-by, who are themselves very often deprived of everything, with regard to these monks is amazing.
Pagodas and monasteries
If we see pagodas and monasteries all over the country, no place is so densely covered with religious buildings as Bagan. There was a time when more than 5000 temples and monasteries covered the territory of Bagan.
The many earthquakes that Myanmar has experienced over the centuries have reduced the number of these buildings to over four thousand still standing today.
The show is no less magical. Who does not have in mind these images of sunset over a green nature dotted with stupas in sepia tones? It is probably one of the images that most travelers around the world dream of, and especially those who have fallen in love with Asia.
Patrimonium of mankind
Much more than a collection of religious buildings, the Bagan site is now classified as a World Heritage Site as a sacred landscape. It is the whole that gives this site its majestic (and mysterious) character.
The Bagan site is one of the most notable sites in the region and is often compared to Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Often proposed for a UNESCO classification for the beauty and historical importance of this site, Bagan has been refused this honor on several occasions because of a policy of restoration and conservation carried out by the military junta which does not did not meet the criteria required by Unesco.
A modification of the Burmese law on historic monuments and their conservation finally allowed this classification in July 2019.
This classification does not protect Bagan from earthquakes which continue to destroy part of the site regularly. An earthquake occurred in 2016, destroying some buildings on the site, which led to a new policy of risk reduction and disaster response. In short, Bagan is on the right track to continue to shine as a remarkable site.
about the place, Bagan:
The city of Bagan in Burma (Myanmar) is listed as a Unesco Heritage Site. Its name means "the city which tramples its enemies". The city's origins date back to the 9th century. It was the capital of the Pagan Empire. During the 250 years of the city's heyday, thousands of religious buildings were built. A thousand stupas, ten times more small temples and around 3000 monasteries were created in these blessed times for the inhabitants of the region. We are talking about a period from 1044 to 1287.
Many of these buildings were destroyed during wars or by earthquakes but there are enough left to amaze the most demanding tourists.
Spoken comments in the film:
Bagan is an old city located in Burma (or Myanmar) which is classified as a Unesco Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
It was the capital of the Pagan kingdom which was the first to unify the regions which were to constitute present-day Myanmar.
At the height of the Pagan reign between the 11th and 13th centuries, nearly 5,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries were built in Bagan. Almost 4000 of these buildings are still standing today.
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• Disclaimer: As traditional music is often subject to copyright (claimed by major music distribution groups), the musical illustration of this film "Bagan, the gods • Myanmar (EN)" does not use typical music of Myanmar but is borrowed from a collection of royalty-free music. Despite the painstaking care given to the musical choices in this film, some people may regret this choice, but it is the price to pay for not incurring unnecessary lawsuits. This decision was difficult to take, but it's the only viable solution, unfortunately. •