After church today I changed into a casual Burmese outfit. It consisted of a longyi (a long skirt for men), t-shirt, sandals, and an ethnic satchel. Many stagings smiled and commended me for wearing a longyi. While in Burma, I purposefully wore the longyi to show the staging people that I support them, for who they are. With advertisements for designer denim jeans and shorts covering Burmese media, I wonder how many more years will the traditional longyi survive? I am truly concerned by the influence of western culture on countries like Burma. Moreover how this influence can impact missions.
It is my desire that we learn and respect the different cultures of our world, before we attempt to overwrite them. Adoniram Judson was a model missionary for he was dedicated to studying every aspect of Burma in order to best minister to the people. As a future missionary, it is my desire to learn the best practices of missions in order to be most effective when I am called into active duty.
Wherever we are sent, down the street or across the world, I pray that we embrace the culture we meet with unconditional love as Jesus did.
My name is Thawng Hnin Zam. I come from Chin State in the most western part of Myanmar, near the border with India. Presently, I am serving as the Principal of the Union Theological College, a member of the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia. I received a B.Th. degree in Madras, India, as well as a B.D. (Bachelors of Divinity) from Serampore University, also in India.