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Bulang in Myanmar (Burma)


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
15,000 Blang Buddhism 1.90 % 0.80 % No   

Bulang in Myanmar (Burma)

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Source:  Asia HarvestWatchDownload
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Approximately 100,000 Bulang people live in three different countries. The majority (over 80,000) live in Yunnan Province, China—especially in Menghai, Zhenkang, Shuangjiang, Lincang, Lancang and Mojiang counties. In China their villages are often located in extremely remote mountains, some three or four days' walk from the nearest road. Bulang history in China dates back as early as AD 220.

Eastern Shan State in Myanmar is home to about 14,000 Bulang, especially in the Mong Yang area and near the city of Kengtung. Of the three countries inhabited by the Bulang, Thailand has the smallest number, with 1,200 people. Of these, 1,000 live outside Mae Sai City near the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet. Approximately 200 Bulang work as gardeners in Bangkok. The Bulang in Thailand fled China in the 1960s because of persecution from the Communist authorities. About 200 families first moved into Myanmar, before entering Thailand in 1974.

The Bulang language is of great interest to scholars because of its uniqueness and variety. It is a part of the Mon-Khmer linguistic family, related to Wa and Palaung. Despite the relatively small population, the Bulang in China use two different alphabetic scripts: the Totham script is used in the Xishuangbanna Prefecture, while the Tolek script is used in Dehong Prefecture. Among the small number of Bulang in Thailand there is remarkable linguistic variety, with one report listing between six and ten dialects spoken in just one Bulang refugee village.

For centuries the Bulang have been ardent followers of Theravada Buddhism. They were first converted by their Lu and Tai Mao neighbours. Today, 'Temples and idols are scattered throughout their communities. Many Bulang men enter the Buddhist monkhood, which brings great honour to their families. Few Bulang have ever heard of Christ, and few care to seek for anything beyond what they already believe. They strive to observe the Buddhist tripitaka (three baskets) teaching: self-discipline, preaching and discussing doctrine. The Bulang believe that right thinking, sacrifices and self-denial will enable the soul to reach nirvana, a state of eternal bliss.'

Most Bulang also observe animistic rituals. Since the arrival of Buddhism they have cloaked their spirit worship with a veneer of Buddhist teachings, but they still fear and appease a large number of spirits. When a Bulang person dies, the family members of the deceased 'kill a chicken to call back the soul of the deceased, bath the body, dress it in new clothes and finally wrap it in white sheets. The [animistic] Bulang usually bury the dead in a wooden coffin on their village burial ground. The Buddhist Bulang, however, burn their deceased community members at the temple compound.'

There are perhaps 100 Bulang Christians today: 50 in China and a few dozen in Myanmar and Thailand. Protestant missionaries reached out to the Bulang in China prior to the Communist takeover in 1949, and 30 families were converted. Most of them gave up their faith during the horrific persecution of the Cultural Revolution.

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The Jungles of Southern Yunnan
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Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, Southeast
Persecution Rank:19 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Shan State: Mong Yang and Kengtung townships.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bulang
People Name General: Bulang
Alternate People Names:
KawaKhon Do
Khon DoiKkawa
ROP3 Code: 104959
Joshua Project People ID: 12665
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 15,000
Population all Countries: 122,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Mon-Khmer
People Name General: Bulang
Ethnic Code: AUG03z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Blang (15,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): blr    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Religion Sub-division:Theravada
Major Religions:
Buddhism94.10 % 
Christianity1.90 %(Evangelical: 0.80 %)
Ethnic Religions4.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant95.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic5.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2015
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Blang
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Bulang in Myanmar (Burma)

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mon-Khmer     Asia, Southeast    
      Bulang Myanmar (Burma)    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bulang in Myanmar (Burma)          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Blang  
    All Religions                              

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