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Title: Towards a national culture: Chinlone and the construction of sport in post-colonial Myanmar
Authors: Aung-Thwin, M. 
Issue Date: Dec-2012
Citation: Aung-Thwin, M. (2012-12). Towards a national culture: Chinlone and the construction of sport in post-colonial Myanmar. Sport in Society 15 (10) : 1341-1352. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Chinlone (cane-ball) is a game that involves one to six players who form a circle and aim to keep a ball afloat using primarily their feet, thighs and other parts of the body (with the exception of the hands). Lacking an opponent, the game is regarded as cooperative rather than competitive, and has held a place in early Burmese society as far back as the early thirteenth century. The transformation of chinlone into a national sport parallels efforts to integrate the nation following independence from British colonial rule in 1948. As part of a larger programme to conserve, construct and codify a national culture, chinlone provided nation-builders with a physical activity that was deemed authentically Burmese while amenable to modern definitions of sport. Attempts to discipline chinlone through the standardization of rules, playing courts and approved techniques illustrate priorities of cultural heritage management that would embody the twentieth-century conceptions of Burmese national identity. At one level, contemporary chinlone is both the product of and a response to the projects of modernity that pervaded Asia through the encounter with colonialism. At another level, chinlone has also been conceptualized through its association with religious festivals that mark the Buddhist calendar cycle. This paper explores the shaping of sport in colonial and post-colonial Myanmar, arguing that both representations of chinlone are engaged in and enabled by ideas of the modern. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Source Title: Sport in Society
ISSN: 17430437
DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2012.744206
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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