Update: 2016-01-16 06:30 PM -0500


Computer Assisted Teaching of English
- Canada

Classics Canada Book 1
Authentic Readings for ESL Students

Chapters 13, 14, 15

by Patricia Brock (Dawson College) and Brian John Bushy, Prentice Hall Regents Canada, Scarborough, Ontario: copyright 1995. ISBN 0-13-328972-9

by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

13. My Financial Career
-- An English-Canadian story by Stephen Leacock -110
  Text   Glossary   Activities

14. The Enchanted Caribou
-- An Inuit legend retold by Elizabeth Cleaver -119
  Text   Glossary   Activities

15. Naomi's Road, NOVEL - Ch. 6
-- A Japanese-Canadian story by Joy Kogawa - 128
  Text   Glossary   Activities

Map of Canada -139

UKT notes
• Caribou - the Wonder of the Arctic
Internment Camp
Inuit aka Eskimo 
Nat-dance of Myanmarpré


Contents of this page

13. My Financial Career
-- An English-Canadian story by Stephen Leacock



Stephen Leacock was a teacher and an economist, but he is most famous for his books of humour. He was one of the first Canadian writers to earn worldwide popularity, and his books have been published in 18 languages.


Brainstorming means that each and every person is able to contribute an idea to a topic of conversation. For example, each student in the class who has a response to (p109end-p110begin) any of the questions below should offer it to the whole class. Then discuss the responses together.

What are some of the services offered by banks? Have you ever done business, or have you ever known anyone who has transacted business, with a bank or financial institution? Tell the class about it. What was it like? What were the people like ? How did the customer feel about the services offered by the bank or financial institution ?

Have you ever worked or have you ever known anyone who has worked in a bank or financial institution? Tell the class about it. What was the job like? What was the schedule like? What was the salary like? What was the best part of the job? What was the worst part of the job ? What is your opinion of working in a bank or financial institution?

Introduction to the Story

Think about these questions as you read the story: What does the narrator want to do in the bank? Why? How does he feel about it? What happens? How is he treated by the people who work in the bank? You will discover the answers to these questions as you read the story.


Contents of this page

My Financial Career

When I go into a bank I get rattled°. The clerks rattle me; the wickets° rattle me; the sight of the money rattles me; everything rattles me.

The moment I cross the threshold° of a bank and attempt to transact business there, I become an irresponsible idiot.

I knew this beforehand, but my salary had been raised to fifty dollars a month and I felt that the bank was the only place for it.

So I shambled° in and looked timidly round at the clerks. I had an idea that a person about to open an account must needs° consult the manager.

I went up to a wicket marked "Accountant." The accountant was a tall, cool devil°. The very sight of him rattled me. My voice was sepulchral°.

"Can I see the manager?"

I said, and added solemnly,


I don't know why I said "alone."


said the accountant, and fetched him.

The manager was a grave, calm man. I held my fifty-six dollars clutched in a crumpled ball in my pocket. (p110end-p111begin)

"Are you the manager?"

I said. God knows I didn't doubt it.


he said.

"Can I see you,"

I asked,


I didn't want to say "alone" again, but without it the thing seemed self-evident.

The manager looked at me in some alarm. He felt that I had an awful secret to reveal.

"Come in here,"

he said, and led the way to a private room. He turned the key in the lock.

"We are safe from interruption here,"

he said;

"sit down."

We both sat down and looked at each other. I found no voice to speak.

"You are one of Pinkerton's° men, I presume,"

he said.

He had gathered from my mysterious manner that I was a detective. I knew what he was thinking, and it made me worse.

"No, not from Pinkerton's,"

I said, seeming to imply that I came from a rival agency.

"To tell the truth,"

I went on, as if I had been prompted to lie about it,

"I am not a detective at all. I have come to open an account. I intend to keep all my money in this bank."

The manager looked relieved but still serious; he concluded now that I was a son of Baron Rothschild° or a young Gould°.

"A large account, I suppose,"

he said.

"Fairly large,"

I whispered.

"I propose to deposit fifty-six dollars now and fifty dollars a month regularly."

The manager got up and opened the door. He called to the accountant.

"Mr. Montgomery,"

he said unkindly loud,

"this gentleman is opening an account; he will deposit fifty-six dollars. Good morning."

I rose.

A big iron door stood open at the side of the room.

"Good morning,"

I said, and stepped into the safe°.

"Come out,"

said the manager coldly, and showed me the other way.

I went up to the accountant's wicket and poked the ball of money at him with a quick convulsive movement as if I were doing a conjuring° trick.

My face was ghastly° pale.


I said,

"deposit it."

The tone of the words seemed to mean, "let us do this painful thing while the fit° is on us."

He took the money and gave it to another clerk.

He made me write the sum on a slip and sign my name in a book. I no longer knew what I was doing. The bank swam before my eyes.

"Is it deposited?"

I asked in a hollow, vibrating voice.

"It is,"

said the accountant. (p111end-p112begin)

"Then I want to draw a cheque."

My idea was to draw out six dollars of it for present use. Someone gave me a cheque-book through a wicket and someone else began telling me how to write it out. The people in the bank had the impression that I was an invalid° millionaire. I wrote something on the cheque and thrust it in at the clerk. He looked at it.

"What! are you drawing it all out again?"

he asked in surprise. Then I realized that I had written fifty-six instead of six. I was too far gone° to reason now.

I had a feeling that it was impossible to explain the thing. All the clerks had stopped writing to look at me.

Reckless with misery, I made a plunge°

"Yes, the whole thing."

"You withdraw your money from the bank?"

"Every cent of it."

"Are you not going to deposit any more?"

said the clerk, astonished.


An idiot hope struck me that they might think something had insulted me while I was writing the cheque and that I had changed my mind°. I made a wretched attempt to look like a man with a fearfully quick temper°.

The clerk prepared to pay the money.

"How will you have it?"

he said.


"How will you have it?"

"Oh" --

I caught his meaning and answered without even thinking --

"in fifties."

He gave me a fifty-dollar bill.

" And the six?"

he asked dryly.

"In sixes,"

I said.

He gave it to me and I rushed out.

As the big door swung behind me I caught the echo of a roar of laughter that went up to the ceiling of the bank. Since then I bank no more. I keep my money in cash in my trousers pocket and keep my savings in silver dollars° in a sock.

Contents of this page


* rattled (v)
 -- made nervous or anxious
* wickets (n)
 -- enclosures or cages, sometimes with bars
* threshold (n)
 -- a piece of wood or stone fixed beneath the door into a house or building (p112end-p113begin)
* shambled (v)
 -- walked in slowly
* must needs (exp)
 -- colloquial English; the standard English would be either "must" or "needs to"
* devil (n)
 -- (in expressions of strong feeling) fellow, man, or boy
* sepulchral (adj)
 -- sombre like a burial place or a tomb
* Pinkerton's (n)
 -- a private detective agency founded in the United States
 and now operating security services internationally
* Baron Rothschild
 -- head of a famous international banking family whose fortunes
 developed in Europe during the Napoleonic Wars
* Gould
 -- early American capitalist whose wealth came through control of railroads
* safe (n)
 -- a cupboard or small room with thick metal sides and a lock,
 used for protecting money and valuables from thieves
* conjuring (adj)
 -- causing to appear by or as if by magic
* ghastly (adj)
 -- very white and ill-looking
* fit (n)
 -- a short attack of a slight illness or violent feeling
* invalid (adj)
 -- made weak by illness
* too far gone (exp)
 -- too confused or upset to think clearly
* plunge (n)
 -- decision to perform an act determinedly, after having delayed through anxiety or uncertainty
* changed my mind (exp)
 -- changed one's intentions or opinions
* quick temper (exp)
 -- an angry state of mind
* silver dollars (n)
 -- dollars in the form of silver coins

There may be other words and expressions in the story that are not familiar to you. Write each one in your journal. Then look it up in a dictionary, ask another student, or ask the teacher for a definition. Write the definition on the line beside the word or expression. Try to use the new word or expression in a sentence. (p113end-p114begin)

Contents of this page



Inference Questions
Sometimes you can find information in a text that is not stated clearly in the words. You infer the information -- that is, you make a logical guess -- from either what is in the text, or your knowledge of the world, or both.

Try to infer the probable answers to the questions below by looking at the text. Be ready to give your reasons. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students.
1. Is the manager happy when he receives visits from Pinkerton's men?
2. Is the son of Baron Rothschild a rich man?
3. Does the bank manager think that $56 is a lot of money?
4. Does the manager usually meet with people who are opening accounts?
5. Do the people in the bank feel sorry that the narrator isn't keeping his money with them?

Attitudes and Feelings
Here is a list of adjectives used in the story. Choose the correct word to describe each person in the story: the narrator, the clerk, the manager, and the accountant. Be careful: there are some extra adjectives. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students.
1. astonished
2. cool
3. grave
4. disappointed
5. worried
6. rattled
7. solemn
8. unkind



Stephen Leacock
This is a text about the life of Stephen Leacock. First, listen to the text. Second, listen to the text and answer each question below in your journal. Third, listen to (p114end-p115begin) the text and check your answers. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students.
 01. Where and when was Stephen Leacock born?
 02. When did his family emigrate to Canada?
 03. Where did they settle?
 04. Where did Stephen Leacock study?
 05. Where did he work in 1903?
 06. What was the name of his first book?
 07. When was it published ?
 08. What was the name of his first book of humour ?
 09. When was it published?
 10. When did Stephen Leacock retire?
 11. When did Stephen Leacock die ?
 12. When was the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour created?



My Most Embarrassing Moment
Talk or write about your most embarrassing moment. Describe the incident in detail so that your listeners or readers know exactly what happened to you.

A Step-by-Step Process
Choose a sequential process or situation, such as these:
 • opening a savings account
 • closing a savings account
 • depositing money in the bank
 • withdrawing money from the bank
 • starting a car
 • making a cake
 • planting a tree
Talk or write about the step-by-step process with the teacher and other students. (p115end-p116begin)

Talk or write about two different banks or financial institutions. Compare and contrast the services that they offer to their customers. Which bank would you choose to go to? Why?

Money in the Mattress
Some people put all their money in the bank, but other people prefer to hide some money at home. Talk or write about all the places where you could hide money at home. Which place seems to make the most sense to you? Why?

Civil Servants
People who work for the government are called civil servants, but the word "civil" also means "to be polite," "to have good manners," "to be helpful," and "to be courteous." Talk or write about people whose job is to serve and help the public. Do they behave in a "civil" manner? How do they act? How should they act? Include specific details so that your listeners or readers know exactly what you mean.

"The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones"
Compare and contrast "My Financial Career" with another Stephen Leacock short story, "The Awful Fate of Melpomenus Jones." It is about a polite and timid young man who just could not bring himself to say goodbye. On the first day of his vacation, he went to visit friends, and somehow stayed and stayed, until, on the last day of his holiday, he finally departed in an unexpected way!



If you would like to read other works by Stephen Leacock, look for the following books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

Literary Lapses
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1989). A collection of short stories from which "My Financial Career" was taken. This edition features an afterword by Robertson Davies. (p116end-p117begin)

Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1989). A novel that looks at the lives of the wealthy in a large American city. This edition features an afterword by Gerald Lynch.

Feast of Stephen
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1990). A collection of short pieces edited, with a long introduction, by Robertson Davies.

My Remarkable Uncle and Other Stories
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1992). A collection of short pieces, with an afterword by James Doyle.

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1989). A novel dealing with the business, politics, religion, and romance in a small Ontario town. This edition features an afterword by Jack Hodgins.

If you would like to read more about the life and work of Stephen Leacock, look for the following books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

A. F. Moritz and Theresa Moritz (Toronto: Stoddart, 1985). The most recent major biography of Leacock.

Remembering Leacock
Allan Anderson (Ottawa: Deneau, 1983). A collection of memories of Leacock by those who knew him.

Stephen Leacock
Robertson Davies (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1970). A brief book of biography and criticism.

Stephen Leacock
James Doyle (Toronto: ECW, 1992). A short biography. (p117end)

Contents of this page

14. The Enchanted Caribou
-- An Inuit legend retold by Elizabeth Cleaver

UKT 141127: Inuits live in and around the Arctic Circle in the extreme north. No trees grow in their land and they have to eat raw fish and meat. Because of their diet the Europeans looked down on them and named them Eskimo. We know nothing of them - their language and their democratic system which might be called the {ma.ha-þûm~ma.ta. ming:} system - a king (now called a premier) ruling by consensus. The {ma.ha-þûm~ma.ta. ming:} was a legendary king who ruled by the consent of his people: a model which every Myanmar king had tried to emulate. King Rama who was later deified into a Hindu king came closest to this model. See my note on Inuit aka Eskimo
and also on the wonder of the far North, the Caribou which could live in the tree-less areas of the Arctic. Caribou




Scanning Two Different Sources of Information
For this activity, you will quickly scan the summary of the story below and the story "The Fire Stealer" in Chapter Nine. After you read each statement below, decide if it is true or false. You do not need to find any other information as you read. Try to do the activity in less than three minutes.
 01. Both legends took place a long time ago.
 02. Nanabozho changed himself into a pine tree. (p118end-p119begin)
 03. Tyya changed herself into a white caribou.
 04. Nanabozho changed himself into a rabbit.
 05. An evil shaman cast a spell on Tyya.
 06. Nokomis cast a spell on Nanabozho.
 07. Etosack killed a white caribou.
 08. Nanabozho stole a torch from an old warrior.
 09. The Inuit believe that white caribou are magic.
 10. Both legends have a sad ending.

Long, long ago, a young maiden named Tyya wandered far from home and became lost in a thick fog. Etosack, a young caribou hunter, rescued her and took her to his tent. When Etosack left to go hunting the next day, he warned Tyya not to let anyone into the tent. But an evil shaman came and tricked her and cast a spell over her. Tyya was changed into a white caribou. Etosack despaired when he found her gone, but a dream told him how to use magic to change her back into a woman. That is why Inuit hunters are always kind to a white caribou -- it might be an enchanted person.

Introduction to the Story
Think about these questions as you read the story: Why did the three brothers warn Tyya not to let anyone into the tent? How did the shaman change Tyya into a white caribou? How did Etosack change her back into a woman? Why are Inuit hunters kind to a white caribou?


Contents of this page

The Enchanted Caribou

UKT 141128: See my note on a comparison of this story to Myanmar Nat-dance .

In the very earliest time, far away in a settlement by a northern lake, there lived a young woman called Tyya. She loved to wander alone collecting pieces of driftwood° and caribou° antlers° to make dolls for children. As she walked she sang to herself and watched the gulls° flap their wings in the clear air.

One day Tyya had wandered a long way from home when a heavy fog° descended and she could see nothing in front of her. Feeling lost and helpless, (p119end-p120end) she sat down and wept°. After a few minutes something moved in the fog. Tyya was so frightened she stopped crying. The figure came closer and closer. Finally she could see what it was. A young man! When he spoke in a kindly voice, Tyya was no longer frightened.

"What are you doing here?"

he asked.

"I was collecting driftwood when the fog descended,"

Tyya replied,

"and I could see nothing in front of me. I am lost."

"Don't worry,"

he said.

"I live close by with my two brothers. My name is Etosack. Come with me."

Tyya followed Etosack to his house, a summer tent made of caribou hides°. She sat in front of a fire while Etosack served her caribou meat and broth° and fresh berries. After her meal she felt warm and contented. With Etosack beside her, she gazed happily into the fire and watched the shadows it cast on the wall of the tent. When the two brothers returned, they were surprised to find a beautiful woman sitting with Etosack.

 "Who is she?"

asked the first brother.

"How did she get here?"

asked the second.

"She was lost in the fog,"

Etosack replied,

"and I asked her to stay with us until tomorrow. Her name is Tyya."

The three brothers were hunters of caribou that roamed the tundra° beyond the lake. Before lying down to sleep they performed a ceremonial dance to bring them success in the morning's hunt. First they put on caribou masks°, and coats and boots of caribou skin. Then, to make music for their dance, one of them got out his caribou-skin drum and started beating on it. While the brothers danced around the fire, their shadows flickering against the wall of their tent, they chanted a magic hunting song:

Put your footprints on this land --
this land I'm standing on
is rich with the plant food you love.
See, I'm holding in my hand
the reindeer moss° you're dreaming of --
so delicious, yum, yum, yum --
Come, caribou, come.

Unable to resist the rhythmic drum beats, Tyya joined the brothers in their dance. The drumming quickened, and the dancing quickened with it. Tossing their arms in the air as they leapt around the fire, the four dancers whirled faster and faster until they fell to the ground exhausted.

In the morning, before they set out for the hunt, the three brothers warned Tyya not to let anyone into their tent while they were away. Left alone, Tyya took up a sharp knife and carved a piece of driftwood until a beautiful doll emerged. Then she made it a caribou-skin dress. While she sat working, someone came to the flap of the tent.

"Let me in,"

said an old woman's voice,

"and give me a drink of water."

"I can't let you in,"

Tyya called.

"This tent belongs (p120end-p121begin) to Etosack and his brothers.
They have told me not to let anyone in while they are away."

The old woman replied crossly°,

"if you refuse to let me in, bad things will happen to you. I am a shaman°."

A shaman! Tyya knew that a shaman had supernatural powers and could do terrible things. She let the woman in, forgetting what the brothers had told her. After Tyya gave her a drink of water, the old woman said,

"Now I will comb your hair,"

and she took out her magic ivory° comb. As she drew it through the tangles° in Tyya's hair, she started to sing:

Ajaja, aja, aja, ...

Tyya had never heard the melody before. It was so tender, so beautiful ... She fell into a deep sleep, and the old woman crept away.

Tyya slept for many hours. When she woke and stretched her arms she felt herself being transformed. Antlers slowly sprouted° on her head, and her arms lengthened to legs. Her hands and feet became hooves°. She was no longer human.

Tyya had become a white caribou. It trotted° out of the tent and bounded across the tundra to join the herd°.

That evening, when the brothers returned, they found that Tyya had gone.

"Why would she leave without telling us?"

asked Etosack unhappily, for he had fallen in love with Tyya. That night Etosack had a dream about his dead grandmother, who had been a powerful shaman in her lifetime. She told him that Tyya had been changed into a white caribou by an evil shaman.

"Do what I tell you and you will have her back.
In the morning take a feather, the bone and sinew of a caribou, a stone, and the doll that Tyya made.
Then go out and look for the white caribou.
When you find it, throw these things on its back and you will see what happens."

The next morning Etosack set out to find Tyya. He walked for many hours until he spotted a caribou herd in the distance. Coming closer to it, he saw what he was looking for: the white caribou. He ran towards the herd shouting joyfully,

"Are you my Tyya, caribou-bou-bou?"

When he reached the white animal, he threw the magic objects on its back.

Instantly the caribou changed into a woman. Into Tyya!

Etosack invited Tyya back to his tent and they lived together happily. His brothers put up a tent of their own nearby. Tyya still collected pieces of wood and antler for her doll making. Whenever she saw caribou, she thought of the time when she had been one of them, the most beautiful caribou in the herd. And ever since, when hunters meet a white caribou they treat it kindly and do not kill it, for it might be enchanted.

Contents of this page


* driftwood (n)
 -- pieces of wood that are floating, driven along, or piled up under the force of wind, waves, or currents
* caribou (n)
 -- a type of North American reindeer
* antlers (n)
 -- the pair of branched horns of a male deer (stag) or other related animals,
 such as moose, elk, and caribou
* gulls (n)
 -- a largish flying seabird with a loud cry
* fog (n)
 -- very thick mist which makes it difficult to see
* wept (v)
 -- shed tears, cried
* hides (n)
 -- an animal's skin, especially when removed to be used for leather
* broth (n)
 -- soup in which meat, fish, rice, or vegetables have been cooked
* tundra (n)
 -- a cold, treeless plain in the far north of Europe, Asia, and North America
* masks (n)
 -- coverings for the face, to hide or protect it
* moss (n)
 -- a small, flat, green or yellow flowering plant
 that grows in a thick furry mass on wet soil or on a wet surface
* crossly (adv)
 -- angrily; in a bad-tempered way
* shaman (n)
 -- a person who has magical or enchanted powers
* ivory (adj)
 -- a hard white substance of which elephants' tusks are made
* tangles (n)
 -- a confused mass or disordered state of hair
* sprouted (v)
 -- grew or sent up new growth
* hooves (n)
 -- (or hoofs) the hard feet of certain animals, such as the horse
* trotted (v)
 -- moved at a fairly fast speed between a walk and a run
* herd (n)
 -- a group of animals of one kind that live and feed together
* sinew (n)
 -- a strong cord in the body connecting a muscle to a , bone (p122end-p123begin)

There may be other words and expressions in the story that are not familiar to you. Write each one in your journal. Then look it up in a dictionary, ask another student, or ask the teacher for a definition. Write the definition on the line beside the word or expression. Try to use the new word or expression in a sentence.

Contents of this page




You will probably want to look back and scan the text to decide on the answers to some of these questions. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students.
 01. Who got lost in the fog ?
 02. Who served caribou meat and broth for supper?
 03. Who danced around the fire?
 04. Who beat the drum?
 05. Who warned Tyya not to let anyone into the tent?
 06. Who made dolls for children out of driftwood?
 07. Who combed Tyya's hair?
 08. Who became a white caribou?
 09. Who fell in love with Tyya?
 10. Who told Etosack how to change the white caribou into a woman?
 11. Who lived happily together?
 12. Who treats white caribou kindly ?



The Inuit
Read the key words and the sentences below. First, listen to the text. Second, listen to the text and, in your journal, fill in the blanks with an appropriate word or expression from the list of key words. You will not use all the words. Third, listen to the text and complete the blanks. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students. (p123end-p124begin)

UKT 141127: The name of the heroine, Tyya, spelled with the digraph <yy> which in Bur-Myan would be {yya.} has led me to look into the language. And even at an early stage has convinced me that, we might be able to transcribe it with Romabama and finally in Myanmar akshara.


Key Words

Alaska,  Artic,  artistic
Baffin Island,  char,  Copper, 
drawings,  Greenland,  Inuit, 
Inuk,  Inuktitut,  Mackenzie, 
polar bears,  salmon,  sculptures, 
seals,  Ungava,  wall hangings, 
walruses,  whales

 01. The Inuit are the First Nations people who live along the __________ coast and islands of Canada.
 02. The language of the Inuit is __________ .
 03. __________ is an Inuktitut word meaning "the people."
 04. A single member of this group is known as an __________ , meaning "one person."
 05. __________ , caribou, musk oxen, __________ , and whales are among the most commonly hunted animals.
 06. The most commonly caught fish are, trout, and .
 07. The Inuit have a long __________ tradition.
 08. Today, many Inuit support themselves by selling their__________ , prints, drawings, and __________ .
 09. There are eight main Inuit groups in Canada: Baffin Island, Caribou, __________ , Iglulik, Labrador, Mackenzie, Netsilik, and __________ .
 10. The Inuit are related to other aboriginal groups in __________ and Greenland.



Point of View
Imagine that you are Etosack or the shaman. From that point of view, retell the legend of "The Enchanted Caribou" either orally or in writing. (p124end-p125begin)

Inuit Legends
Have you ever heard or read about an Inuit legend? Talk or write about it with the teacher and other students. Then decide who has heard or read the most interesting one.

Create a Legend
Create your own legend about an animal that lives in a Northern climate. Here are some possibilities:
 • the magic husky dogs
 • the enchanted salmon
 • the bewitched polar bear
 • the phantom foxes
Share your legend with the teacher and other students. Then decide who has
told or written the most memorable one.

The Inuit First Nations
Choose one of these Inuit groups:
 1. Baffin Island, 2. Caribou, 3. Copper, 4. Iglulik,
 5. Labrador, 6. Mackenzie, 7. Netsilik, or 8. Ungava.

Find out some information about the group, such as its history, territory, language, food, shelter, clothing, transportation, social and political organization, religion, art and leisure, or contemporary life.

Talk or write about the Inuit people that you have researched. In your opinion, what is the most interesting aspect of their culture?



If you would like to read other works by Elizabeth Cleaver, look for these books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

The Enchanted Caribou
(Toronto: Oxford, 1985) Illustrated by the author. (p125end-p126begin)

The Miraculous Hind
(Toronto: Holt Reinhart, 1973). A Hungarian legend illustrated by the author.

If you would like to read more Inuit legends, look for the following books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

Elik and Other Stories of the Mackenzie Eskimos
Herbert T. Schwartz (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1970). A collection of short Inuit legends. Illustrated by Mona Ohoveluk.

Inuit Stories
Zebedee Nungak and Eugene Arima (Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1988). A collection of photographs of carvings accompanied by 46 Inuit legends told to the authors by the sculptors themselves.

More Tales from the Igloo
Agnes Nanogak (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1986)
A collection of short Inuit legends. Illustrated by the author.

Tales from the Igloo
Maurice Metayer, editor
(Edmonton: Hurtig, 1972)
A collection of short Inuit legends. Illustrated by Agnes Nanogak. (p126end)

Contents of this page

15. Naomi's Road, Ch. 6
-- A Japanese-Canadian story (novel) by Joy Kogawa


UKT 141126: See my note on Internment Camp


Look at the picture carefully. This is an internment camp. You will read about a Japanese Canadian who spent some time there in the paragraph below.

In this activity, you are asked to find the author's age, in years, at some of the major events in her life. For each of the following statements, write in your journal the author's age at the time the event took place. To do this, you will have to scan the brief biography of the author below and make calculations based on the (p127end-p128begin) information you find. Try to complete the entire activity in three minutes or less.

1. World War II began. -- Age: _____
2. The Splintered Moon was published. -- Age: _____
3. Her most popular work, Obasan, was published. -- Age: _____
4. Naomi's Road, written for young adults, was published. -- Age: _____
5. Itsuku, which continues the story of Naomi's life, was published. -- Age: _____

Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935. During World War II (1939-1945), she and her family were deported to an internment camp in the interior of British Columbia. Her first collection of poetry, The Splintered Moon, was published in 1968. Although she is considered primarily a poet, her most popular work is Obasan (1983), a semi-autobiographical novel about a child's experiences in a wartime internment camp. Naomi's Road (1986) covers much the same story, but is written for young adults. In 1992, Kogawa continued Naomi's life story with a second novel, Itsuku (1993).

Introduction to the Story
This selection is the sixth chapter of the novel Naomi's Road. Think about these questions as you read the chapter: What was Naomi's life like before this? How does she feel about the place where she lives now? Who is Obasan? Who is Stephen?
Who is Uncle? Where are Naomi's parents? What happens to Naomi after this episode in her life ?

Contents of this page

Naomi's Road

Every morning I wake up in a narrow bunk bed° near the stove. I wish and wish we could go home. I don't want to be in this house of the bears° with newspaper walls. I want to be with Mama and Daddy and my doll in our real house. I want to be in my own room where the picture bird sings above my bed. And the real bird sings in the peach tree outside my bedroom window. But no matter how hard I wish, we don't go home.

The house is so crowded we can barely move around. In one small room (p128end-p129begin) there are two beds. One is for Obasan°. The other is for a long-faced° woman called Nomura-obasan. She's not well, Obasan says, and we must take care of her.

Daddy's sick too, Stephen says. His letters are from a hospital somewhere in the woods.

"When is he coming here?" I ask Obasan one night. We're sitting at the table after supper. The coal-oil lamp is on. "When will he get better?"

Nobody answers me. Nobody knows.

Stephen is practising his pieces on a folding cardboard° piano Daddy made. "The world is beautiful as long as there is music," Daddy wrote. "Keep the world beautiful, Stephen. If you listen hard you can hear all the notes."

Sometimes Stephen and I pretend we're at home again in our music room and the cardboard piano is real. We play guessing games and I have to guess which songs he's playing. Even if I'm older now, I like singing the kindergarten° songs the best.

Obasan is washing the supper dishes. She fills the basin from the water bucket° by the stove. "Plip" says the dipper° and "szt szt" goes the water as it spills on the hot stove, The box beside the stove is full of logs and kindling° wood. Obasan and Stephen chop the logs outside on a stump°.

Behind the house there's a path that goes up the mountain. If we climbed all the way we'd reach the sky. On our way up Stephen and I find tart° red strawberries the size of shirt buttons. And there are gooseberries, shiny and round as marbles. We find floppy° dark mushrooms too, growing on dead trees. Obasan will know if they're safe to eat. In early spring curly fiddleheads° poke out of the ground. They look like green question marks. We fill our jam pails and bring them all home to Obasan.

From a high rocky ledge° past a waterfall, we can see the world. Far below is the silvery river. And further away, rows and rows of little houses are tiny as toy blocks. Pencil-thin lines of smoke curl out of chimneys. Hundreds and hundreds of boys and girls like Stephen and me live in the toy block houses. Two families share each house and each family has one room. If you wanted to walk around you'd have to be as small as a doll.

In the spring and summer we all play outside. But then winter comes.

One cold day Stephen and I are playing outside. The minister and another man are carrying a cot° through the fluffy falling snow.

"For Uncle," the minister says when Stephen points to the cot.

"What?" Stephen interrupts excitedly. "Is Uncle coming here?"

When we get home, Obasan nods solemnly. "Yes, Uncle is coming tonight."

"Really?" I ask. "Is Daddy coming too? Can we go home?"

Nomura-obasan shakes her head sadly. "Not yet," she says. (p129ends-p130begin)

"Come," Obasan says brightly. She wipes her hands on her apron. "There's so much to do. Just think! Uncle is on his way."

We're like elves° hopping about all afternoon. Obasan cooks the dried mushrooms and fiddleheads. I make paper decorations and paper baskets for jelly beans°. Even Nomura-obasan tries to help, but her hands are too shaky.

As we work, the snow keeps falling. The fence post looks like it's wearing a tall hat. Stephen puts his hand on the window to melt the frost so he can see. But after a while it gets dark.

At last we hear a stomp° stomp outside. Stephen throws the door open and in comes Uncle in a whoosh of snow.

"Uncle!" Stephen cries.

Uncle puts down his wooden box and sack and shakes the snow off his coat. His arms are wide as Papa Bear's. "Hello hello hello," he says as he lifts Stephen up.

Obasan takes off her apron. She folds her hands in front of her. "Welcome home," she says. "You are just in time."

Uncle looks at all the food and the decorations on the table. " Ah," he says, "it must be Christmas."

"You have come such a long way," Nomura-obasan says. She is sitting in bed and bows forward. Uncle bows as well and they both say, "It is such a long time."

Then he squats in front of me and scratches his head.

"And this big girl. Who can she be?" he asks. He's joking, of course, but I wonder if I've changed. He still looks the same.

He turns to his sack and takes out two wooden flutes°. With a whoop, Stephen leaps to Uncle. And then Stephen's fingers are dancing lightly over the smooth wood. At once the room fills with a bright dancing sound. Uncle slaps his knees as Stephen hops around and round the wooden box chairs. Stephen is like a rooster°, crowing with his head up high. He plays and plays.

"Oh there will be dancing," Nomura-obasan says, clapping her hands.

"You're just like your father," Uncle says, patting Stephen on the back. "Music all the time."

Contents of this page


* bunk bed (n)
 -- one of two beds placed one above the other
* house of the bears ( exp )
 -- reference to the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear )
* Obasan (n)
 -- a Japanese term for aunt (p130end-p131begin)
* long-faced (adj)
 -- sad looking
* cardboard (adj)
 -- a thick, stiff paperlike material used for making boxes, the backs of books, etc.
* kindergarten (n)
 -- a school or class for children aged four to six which they attend usually for one year
 before entering grade school
* water bucket (n)
 -- an open metal, plastic, or wooden container with a handle for carrying liquids; pail
* dipper (n)
 -- a long-handled utensil for putting into a liquid for a moment
* kindling (n)
 -- materials for lighting a fire, especially dry wood, leaves, grass, etc.
* stump (n)
 -- the part of something left after the rest has been cut down, cut off, or worn down
* tart (adj)
 -- sharp to the taste; not sweet
* floppy (adj)
 -- soft and falling loosely
* fiddleheads (n)
 -- the small curled leaves of some ferns, eaten as a vegetable
* ledge (n)
 -- a flat shelf of rock
* cot (n)
 -- a light, narrow, usually single bed that folds flat and is easily carried
* elves (n)
 -- small fairies with pointed ears
* jelly beans (n)
 -- soft, sweet candies that come in different colours and flavours
* stomp (n)
 -- a loud heavy step
* flutes (n)
 -- pipe like wooden or metal musical instruments with finger holes,
 played by blowing across a hole in the side
* rooster (n)
 -- a fully grown male bird, especially a chicken

There may be other words and expressions in the chapter that are not familiar to you. Write each one in your journal. Then look it up in a dictionary, ask another student, or ask the teacher for a definition. Write the definition on the line beside the word or expression. Try to use the new word or expression in a sentence. (p131end-p132begin)

Contents of this page



Jigsaw Reading
What was Naomi's life like before this? Look at the summaries of Chapters 1 to 5 of Naomi's Road below. They are not in the proper sequence. Read them carefully and indicate which is first, second, third, and so on in your journal.

Chapter _____
     Daddy has to go away. He tells Stephen and Naomi to be good and to listen to Obasan. She tells Stephen and Naomi that they're going away, too.
     They take the train to the mountains. On the train there is a young woman with a baby. Obasan gives her some fruit, and an old woman gives her some cloth for a diaper.
     Naomi plays with a ball and a Mickey Mouse toy. The dolls are tired, and so is Naomi. Obasan sings them a lullaby.

Chapter _____
     Daddy, Mama, Stephen, and Naomi are at home one evening. Daddy teaches Stephen to play the piano. Mama sings the daffodil song to Naomi. At eight o'clock it's time for Naomi to go to bed.
     Outside Naomi's bedroom window there is a peach tree. Mama tells her a story about a little boy who lives inside a giant peach and sings a song about the peach boy. Naomi wants to be a child forever.

Chapter _____
     Mama doesn't come home from Japan. Daddy says she can't come home until the war is over. War is the worst and saddest thing in the world.
     Stephen comes home crying. His glasses and his violin are broken. Naomi's doll is angry and starts to cry. War is stupid.
     Naomi is frightened and wakes up at night. Daddy sings a funny song, but Naomi doesn't laugh. War is a terrible thing.

Chapter _____
     Naomi plays with her dolls. She has a teddy bear, a toy mouse, a nurse doll, and a Japanese baby doll. Her friend Ralph plays with matches. He sets the curtains on fire, but Mama puts the fire out. (p132end-p133begin)
     Mama goes to Japan to visit her great-grandmother who is sick. Obasan takes care of Stephen and Naomi. She doesn't understand English very well, but she is soft and gentle.

Chapter _____
     The train stops at Slocan in the mountains. Obasan, Stephen, and Naomi get off. The train station is noisy and crowded. They leave with the minister and another man. Naomi starts to cry. She lost her doll! She left it on the train!
     They walk into the woods. Stephen sees a small gray hut with tall weeds around it. It looks like the home of the three bears! It is very dusty inside and has newspaper walls.

Brainstorm with the teacher and other students about what happens to Naomi after the episode in Chapter Six. What happens to Stephen, Obasan, Nomura-obasan, Uncle, Mother, and Father?



A Letter from the Author
First, listen to the text. Second, listen to the text and fill in the blanks in your journal. Third, listen to the text and complete the blanks. Discuss the answers with the teacher and other students.

Dear Reader,

     O Canada! What a vast, beautiful country. Here there are people from all around the world. And along with the Native Peoples, we are all Canadians together.
     This little story is told by a Canadian child (1) __________ Naomi Nakane. She has black hair and lovely Japanese eyes and (2) __________ face like a valentine. Naomi's story happened in the (3) __________ before you were born, in the 1940s. In her (4) __________ there was a war going on. Canada and Japan were (5) __________ . How sad that was. Suddenly she had to (6) __________ ashamed to be Japanese. She did not learn to (7) __________ or write Japanese and she tried to forget how (8) __________ speak Japanese. She never used chopsticks with strangers. (p133end-p134begin
     It (9) __________ hard to understand, but Japanese Canadians were treated as enemies (10) __________ home, even though we were good Canadians. Not one Japanese Canadian (11)  __________ ever found to be a traitor to our (12) __________   . Yet our cameras and cars, radios and fishing (13) __________ were taken away. After that our homes and (14)  __________ and farms were also taken and we were (15)   __________ to live in camps in the mountains. Fathers (16) __________ older brothers and uncles were made to work (17) __________  roads in the Rocky Mountains. If you ever drive through (18) __________ beautiful mountains, you may ride over some roads (19) __________ by Japanese Canadians.
     Naomi's road is a different kind of (20) __________ . It is the path of her life. If you walk with her a while, you will find the name of a very important road.



"What Do I Remember of the Evacuation?" by Joy Kogawa
Read the following poem as many times as you wish. Compare and contrast Naomi's Road with the poem. Talk or write about your responses with the teacher and other students.

What Do I Remember of the Evacuation?

What do I remember of the evacuation?
I remember my father telling Tim and me
About the mountains and the train
And the excitement of going on a trip.
What do I remember of the evacuation?
I remember my mother wrapping
A blanket around me and my
Pretending to fall asleep so she would be happy
Though I was so excited I couldn't sleep
(I hear there were people herded
Into the Hastings Park like cattle.
Families were made to move in two hours
Abandoning everything, leaving pets
And possessions at gun point.
I hear families were broken up
Men were forced to work. I heard

Naomi's Road 135

It whispered late at night
That there was suffering) and
I missed my dolls.
What do I remember of the evacuation?
I remember Miss Foster and Miss Tucker
Who still live in Vancouver
And who did what they could
And loved the children and who gave me
A puzzle to play with on the train.
And I remember the mountains and I was
Six years old and I saw a giant
Gulliver of Gulliver's Travels scanning the horizon
And when I told my mother she believed it too
And I remember how careful my parents were
Not to bruise us with bitterness.

And I remember the puzzle of Lorraine Life
Who said "Don't insult me" when I
Proudly wrote my name in Japanese
And Tim flew the Union Jack
When the war was over but Lorraine
And her friends spat on us anyway
And I prayed to the God who loves
All the children in his sight
That I might be white.

A Letter to Joy Kogawa

In Joy Kogawa's letter to the readers of Naomi's Road, she wrote statements such as these:

     O Canada! What a vast, beautiful country. Here there are people from all around the world. And along with the Native Peoples, we are all Canadians together.

     Naomi's road is a different kind of road. It is the path of her life. If you walk with her
a while , you will find the name of a very important road.

Read these statements carefully and think about them. Write a letter to Joy Kogawa about one or both of these statements.

136 Chapter Fifteen


If you would like to read other stories and poems by Joy Kogawa, look for the following books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

Naomi's Road
(Toronto: Oxford, 1986). The novel from which this chapter was taken. We strongly encourage you to read the whole story.

A Choice of Dreams
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1974). A collection of short poems, half of which concern Japan.

(Toronto: Penguin, 1993). Continues Naomi's story as an adult in a novel written for adults.

Jericho Road
(Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1978). The author's most recent book of poetry.

(Toronto: Penguin, 1983). The story of Naomi's experiences in the internment camp, written for adults.

If you would like to read more about the internment of Canadians during World War II, look for these books in the class, school, or local library, or in a bookstore.

A Child in Prison Camp
Shizuye Takashima (Montreal: Tundra, 1971). A book about the author's memories of her time in an internment camp. Written for young adults with illustrations by Takashima.

Dangerous Patriots
William Pepka and Kathleen M. Pepka (Vancouver: New Star, 1983). An account of Canadians who were interned because of their political beliefs during World War II.

Naomi's Road 137

The Enemy that Never Was
Ken Adachi (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1991). A book dealing with the experiences of interned Japanese Canadians, before and after World War II. Written for adults, this revised edition features an introduction by Timothy Findley and an afterword by Roger Daniels.

The Politics of Racism
Ann Gomer Sunahara (Toronto: lorimer, 1981). A book dealing with the internment of Japanese Canadians.

Within the Barbed Wire Fence
Takeo Ujo Nakano (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1980). A Japanese man's account of his internment during World War II.

138 Chapter Fifteen

Map of Canada

UKT 141117: The map of Canada given in the ink-on-paper book is just a map showing the provinces and major cities and some rivers. What I am giving are from Internet sources showing the North Pole.

Both North Pole and South Pole are the most peculiar places on Earth. Every direction is south if you are standing at North Pole, and every direction is north if you are at South Pole. If I were to fly north from Canada towards the North Pole and come down south I can arrive in Myanmarpré. Similarly I can fly north from Myanmarpré towards the North Pole and come down south I can arrive in Canada. The Time difference between Canada and Myanmarpré is approximately 12 hours: if it is night-time in Canada, then it is day-time in Myanmarpré.

Canada is the second largest country in the world. The largest stretch of water which looks like a lake is the Hudson Bay, a bay joining the Arctic ocean.

The province of Ontario where the town of Deep River is located is larger than Myanmarpré. Ottawa is the capital city of the country of Canada. Canada is technically a kingdom with Queen Elizabeth the Second (of UK) as the reigning Sovereign. It is not part of United Kingdom: it is independent. Ontario, though known as a province is much bigger than the states in the United States of America. The provincial capital is Toronto.

The town of Deep River in the west, Ottawa in the east and Toronto in the south forms roughly a triangle with Algonquin Park in the centre. Both Deep River (near the source) and Ottawa are on the Ottawa river which flows from west to east.


Contents of this page

UKT notes

Caribou the Wonder of the Arctic

- UKT: 141128

Many of us know about Santa Claus and his reindeer. Bur few would know about the Caribou of the far-noth regions of North America.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caribou 141127

Caribou (North America) refers to any of several North American subspecies, ecotypes, populations, and herds [2] of the species Rangifer tarandus. [3] In North America caribou range in size from the smallest, the Peary caribou, to the largest, the boreal woodland caribou. The North American range of caribou extends from Alaska, through the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, into the boreal forest and south through the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia and Selkirk Mountains. [4] Barren-ground, Porcupine and Peary caribou live in the tundra while the shy Woodland caribou, prefers the boreal forest. Two major subspecies in North America, the R. t. granti and the R. t. groenlandicus form large herds and undertake lengthy seasonal migrations from birthing grounds, to summer and winter feeding grounds in the tundra and taiga. The migrations of R. t. granti Porcupine herds are among the longest of any terrestrial mammal. [4] Barren-land caribou are also found in western Greenland, but the larger herds are in Alaska, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. [5]

The circumpolar species itself, Rangifer tarandus, at a global level, is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) "as Least Concern due to a wide circumpolar distribution and presumed large populations."[6] The populations of subspecies, ecotypes, populations and herds of caribou in North America are in decline[7][8][9] and one subspecies, the iconic boreal woodland caribou, has been listed by COSEWIC as threatened since 2002. [10]

The George River caribou herd (GRCH) of the R. t. caribou subspecies in the Ungava area was once the largest Rangifer tarandus herd in the world. By 2013, however, the herd had declined to 74,131 animals — a drop of up to 92%. [7]

The meta-population of the more sedentary subspecies R. t. caribou or Woodland caribou spans the boreal forest from the Northwest Territories to Labrador. They are shy animals whose main food source is arboreal lichens [9] of the mature forests [11] and mainly live in marshes, bogs, lakes, and river regions. [12][13] Since it takes hundreds of years for a biomass of tree lichen to be adequate to sustain boreal woodland caribou populations, deforestation is a major factor in the decline of their numbers. [9] The historic range of the boreal woodland caribou covered over half of present-day Canada, [14] stretching from Alaska to Newfoundland and Labrador and as far south as New England, Idaho, and Washington. The smallest subspecies in North America, the Peary Caribou is found in the High and Low Arctic, in the Northwest Territories — particularly, Banks Island and in Nunavut — particularly, Baffin Island.

The caribou is a specialist that is well adapted to cooler climates with hollow-hair fur that covers almost all of its body including its nose, and provides insulation in winter and flotation for swimming. [4] Caribou can reach a speed of 60–80 km/h (37–50 mph). [1] Young caribou can already outrun an Olympic sprinter when only a day old. [15] The caribou's favourite winter food is fruticose deer lichen. Seventy percent of the diet of woodland caribou consists of arboreal lichen which take hundreds of years to grow and are therefore only found in mature forests. [11]

Although there are many variations in colour and size, Canadian Geographic magazine states that in general, barren-ground caribou have larger antlers than the woodland caribou subspecies. Barren-ground caribou have large distinguishing white patches of fur that extend beyond the neck onto the back, a white muzzle and a face that is darker than the rest of the body. Their fur is sandy-beige in winter and light brown in summer. The woodland caribou have a wider more compact body and wider antlers. The coat is a rich dark brown in summer and dark grey in winter. Both the barren-ground and woodland caribou often have white "socks" above their hooves. [16] On average the male weighs 90–110 kg (200–240 lb) and measures 0.9–1.7 m (3.0–5.6 ft) in shoulder height. The Woodland caribou are the largest and the Peary caribou the smallest. The largest Alaskan male Porcupine caribou can weigh as much as 310 kilograms (680 lb).

Female caribou can live up to 17 years and male caribou for four years less.[17]

Both sexes grow antlers, though in a some Woodland caribou populations, females lack antlers completely. Antlers are larger in males.

Caribou are an integral part of First Nations and Inuit oral histories and legends including the Gwich'in creation story of how Gwich’in people and the caribou separated from a single entity. [18]

Go back Caribou-note-b

Contents of this page

Internment Camp 

-- UKT 141126. The author of the story, Joy Kogawa, was born in 1935. We are of the same age. I understand how she must have suffered. The reason why I hate war is because innocent people, especially those who are too young to carry weapon has to suffer because of the follies of the elders. There is no such thing as a Just War, a Holy War, War of Liberation, etc. All wars are unjustifiable - yet the human race is condemned to wage war.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Canadian_internment 141126

Japanese Canadian Internment refers to the detainment of Japanese Canadians following the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the subsequent Canadian declaration of war on Japan during World War II. This forced relocation subjected Japanese Canadians to government-enforced curfews and interrogations, in addition to job and property losses.[1] The internment of Japanese Canadians was deemed necessary by Prime Minister Mackenzie King's Liberal government, largely due to existing racism. This was done so, despite evidence supplied by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Department of National Defence that this decision was unwarranted.[2]

Beginning after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and lasting until 1949 (four years after World War II had ended) all persons of Japanese heritage were systematically removed from their homes and businesses and sent to internment camps. The Canadian government shut down all Japanese-language newspapers, took possession of businesses and fishing boats, and effectively sold them. In order to fund the internment itself, vehicles, houses and personal belongings were also sold.[3]

In August 1944, Prime Minister Mackenzie King announced that Japanese Canadians were to move east as had been previously encouraged. The official policy stated that Japanese Canadians must move east of the Rocky Mountains or be repatriated to Japan following the end of the war.[4] However, by 1947 many Japanese Canadians had been granted exemption to this enforced no-entry zone, and by 1949 legislature was enacted that allowed Japanese Canadians the right to vote provincially as well as federally, officially marking the end of internment.[5]

Go back Internment-note-b

Contents of this page

Inuit aka Eskimo

- UKT 141127

We as children growing under the Colonial British education system in Myanmarpré were taught that Inuit, or at that time known as Eskimo, are a people living in the extreme north in or around the Arctic Ocean. They were said to be un-cultured that they eat raw fish and meat - from which came the word Eskimo. Of course, these peoples call themselves Inuit.

The way of life the Eskimo has changed since they came into contact with the European explorers and is still changing. Let us stop and see what their life is like in 1949. See a documentary film,
Eskimo Hunters in Alaska - The Traditional Inuit Way of Life | 1949 Documentary on Native Americans - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_S0rj_RtM  141128

Their language is closely knit. My cursory observation shows them to be mostly dialects. It is now written in an Akshara {ak~kha.ra} or Abugida script, with two types of vowels - the short and the long. Because it is an akshara script, I presume it can be written in the Asokan aka Brahmi script or its modern forms the Devanagari or the Myanmar script.

To relate to Devanagari and Myanmar akshara, I will have to look into their akshara system developed by Canadian Methodist missionary James Evans (1801-1846).

I have been listening to their language lessons and have concluded that the language is not rhotic (R) at all. It does not seem to have the lateral (or L ) sounds.

I still have to listen more to determine whether it is Sibilant (with hissing sounds), or Thibilant (with non-hissing sounds).

I would also have to find if it has the {nga.} sound which is thought to be the velar-nasal. The {nga.} sound also has non-nasal element as noticed by the early philologists. The {nga.}-sound at the beginning of syllables is similar to <ng> in ordinary English words such as <gnome>, and to <ng> at the end of syllables in English words such as <king>. To classify {nga.} as velar-nasal /ŋ/ is only half-correct. To listen to Inuit sounds, look into one of their language lessons:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPGAbctSHuY 141127

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inuit_languages 141127

The Inuit languages are a closely related group of Native American languages traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the subarctic in Labrador. The related Yupik languages are spoken in western and southern Alaska and Russian Far East, particularly the Diomede Islands, but are severely endangered in Russia today and spoken only in a few villages on the Chukchi Peninsula. The Inuit live primarily in three countries: Greenland (a constituent of the Kingdom of Denmark), Canada (specifically the Nunatsiavut region of Labrador, the Nunavik region of Quebec, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories), and the United States (specifically the state of Alaska).

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_government_in_Canada

Consensus government is a form of consensus democracy government in Canada in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, as well as Nunatsiavut, an autonomous area in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The population of these jurisdictions are majority aboriginal. The system developed in the Northwest Territories beginning during the 1970s, and was adopted by Nunavut when it came into existence in 1999.

Members of the legislature are elected as independents from single member districts by simple plurality voting. The legislature selects first the speaker, then the premier, and finally the cabinet members from amongst themselves. In each instance the candidate must obtain a majority of the votes cast. This means that multiple ballots may occur before a successful candidate is selected.

The premier has three main authorities. The premier
 1. names the portfolios of each minister and can remove or adjust these,
 2. controls the agenda of the cabinet/executive council, and
 3. hires, rewards, and dismisses the deputy department heads.

The passage of legislation and the government is dependent on retaining the confidence of the legislature. However due to the absence of political parties there is no formal opposition and instead of party caucuses members regularly participate in a caucus of all members of the legislature.[1]

Go back Inuit-note-b

Contents of this page

Nat-dance of Myanmarpré

UKT 141127:

People in Myanmarpré, especially Bur-Myan elders and Mon-Myan elders, even though they may be Theravada Buddhists, should compare this story to the story in Ramayana, when Rama's wife Sita was tricked by Ravana aka Dasagiri in the guise of a Rishi who had come for alms. Earlier, Rama had been sent on a chase of a golden deer by Sita. Sometime later, a voice in the forest resembling that of Rama, had called out for help. Sita then sent her brother-in-law guarding the dwelling. Sita was told by her brother-in-law not to cross over the magic circle he had set around the dwelling. Sita was not to let anyone come in or go out herself of the magic circle. The Rishi had asked Sita to come out to offer the alms in person. Sita did, and was abducted and taken to Lanka - where Ravana was the king.

They should also compare the story to the numerous stories of Nat-guardians, {nût}, who were our ancestors and who still guard us from another world. These Myanmar Nats must not be identified with Buddhist and Hindu Dévas {dé-va.} and Asuras {a.þu-ra} who are perpetual enemies.

The idea of perpetual enmity between Dévas {dé-va.} and Asuras {a.þu-ra} is anathema to the first sermons of Gautama Buddha. He had rejected the Axiomatic religions and his doctrines were non-Axiomatic because of which they are compatible to modern Science. As a personal note, I must add that as a scientist of Skeptical Chemist kind, I am now in an unenviable position of having to reject the Dévas {dé-va.} and their perpetual enemies, the Asuras {a.þu-ra}: they are after all axiomatic.

Nat-guardians, {nût}, are our traditional guardians who had been guardians of pre-Buddhistic and pre-Hindu days. See a video known as {a.pyo-tau}-dance dedicated to Pa-Khan KoGyiKyaw.

As a side note I must add, {a.pyo-tau} brings to mind the pre-Christian Greek Vestal Virgins. Personally Pa-Khan KoGyiKyaw is one of my ancestral guardians on my father side.  See:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfrXLHXGvPY 141127

Go back Nat-dance-note-b

Contents of this page

End of TIL file