language and its literature than with their mother tongue.2Their contributions haveoften been referred to by the non-Burmese Burma scholars; as a result, falseinterpretations, predictions and conclusions occur.One specific example is the (mis)interpretation of the Burmese word
(Kula). Though the word had and has a harmless meaning, some non-BurmeseBurma Scholars misinterpreted this term and given it an unsavoury meaning. In thisarticle I would like to point out its interpretation according to standard Burmesesources, the correct usage of the term used by respected scholars and others as wellas misinterpretations used by some scholars unwittingly, as a result of having basedtheir work on informants who were not scholars and provided information on thebasis of "hearsay knowledge".
II. Interpretations according to the literature:The first hypothesis
postulates that the word
(Kula) came from the Paliword
meaning "noble race" (this is a short form of
ku lpu t†
which means "son of the noble race"). The word was used for the Indians (Peoplefrom the subcontinent) by the early Buddhist people of Burma (Mons, Burmese,Arakanese, Karens and Shans etc.) because the Lord Buddha himself was anIndian.Listed below are some literature sources which support this hypothesis:(1) The Myanmar Language Commission, Myanmar-English Dictionary, Yangon,1993, p. 10.
native of the Indian subcontinent.
court-card; picture card.
of foreign origin. See also
](2) The Myanmar Language Commission,
®mn\ maABi Dan\
( Myanmar-Myanmar Dictionary), Yangon, 1991, p. 9
i ytu i k\ cy\ edqm
laeqaq¨ ¨ m¥a;"
qamn\Aa;®Pc\ .®mn\ maNu i c\ cM f
Aenak\ Pk\ R
itu i c\ ;Nu i c\ cM m¥a;m
laq¨ ¨ m¥a;
c\ ;' kc\ ; P´ K¥p\ ku i eKÅeqaska;"
i- Nu ic\ cM ®Ka;m
alaeqa" Nu i c\ cM ®Ka;m
på' ku l
. people from the Indian subcontinent.
. The termgenerally used for the natives of the countries west of Burma. 3. Jack, Queen andKing in the playing cards:
of foreign origin [Pali