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ERIC Number: EJ999667
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-0155-2147
The Road to Mandalay: A Journey towards Cultural Understanding
Moult, Annette
English in Australia, v47 n3 p59-64 Dec 2012
Rudyard Kipling wrote "The Road to Mandalay" in 1892 when Burma was a British colony and Queen Victoria was the Empress of India. In the poem, Mandalay is a city some 500 miles along the Irrawaddy River from the capital, Rangoon. British troops stationed in Burma were transported on the river by paddle steamers. The picture painted of Asia is one of the exotic, a land of palm trees with sultry weather and exquisite women in traditional dress. "The Road to Mandalay" was a part of a series of Barrack-Room Ballads, a collection of poems which celebrated British army life and the soldier serving in new and distant territories. The poem enticed British soldiers to return to a land where Burma girls were dressed in yellow petticoats and green caps, singing to the accompaniment of a banjo, while they watched elephants loading teak onto steamers. In the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians 2008 all Education Ministers agreed on the need for Australians to become Asia literate. The Asia Literacy Teachers' Association of Australia defines Asia literacy as "the capacity to reflect upon and explore cultural differences in the Asian region. It is the ability to understand Asian cultures and gain knowledge about Asian people and their histories." The National Action Plan which was first called in 2008 following the Melbourne Declaration and again in 2011 aims to provide young Australians with the opportunity to gain Asia knowledge, skills and understandings. The general capability of intercultural understanding provides the opportunity to enhance students' worldviews through examining the literature of other countries. Awareness, appreciation and respect for the lives and culture of other countries is the educators' aim so that students can challenge ideas, hold different viewpoints and to broaden and take into account other perspectives.
Australian Association for the Teaching of English. English House, 416 Magill Road, Kensington Gardens, SA 5068 Australia. Tel: +61-8-8332-2845; Fax: +61-8-8333-0394; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Asia; Australia; Burma; India