De Myanmar para Birmânia, outra vez?

NOVA DELI – em maior ou menor quantidade, a Ásia ainda vive com a herança contaminada do imperialismo. Veja o debate que decorre agora em Myanmar – ou Birmânia para alguns. Uma vez que a língua imperial achou difícil pronunciar “Myanmar”, os eficientes senhores britânicos do país rebaptizaram-no de Birmânia (desenhando de novo as suas fronteiras para compor o cenário).

O novo nome permaneceu inalterado até o regime militar, que governou o país durante décadas, ter restabelecido o primeiro nome em 1989. Ironicamente, no entanto, o novo governo da oposição democrática gostaria de trazer de volta o nome Birmânia, argumentado que “Myanmar” simboliza a ditadura que tanto querem esquecer.

Mas o passado nunca pode ser verdadeiramente apagado. Nem mesmo Mao Zedong, com a fúria libertada durante a Revolução Cultural chinesa, poderia fazer desaparecer os “Quatro Velhos” (velhos costumes, velha cultura, velhos hábitos e velhas ideias). E independentemente de se dizer “Yangon” ou “Rangum” para se identificar a capital da Myanmar/Birmânia, o lugar continua a ser o que o escritor britânico Norman Lewis, expoente da literatura de viagem, descreveu como “imperial e rectilíneo...construído por um povo que se recusou a comprometer-se com o Oriente”.

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