In Burma, dogs ridicule the regime Favorite 

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Sep 15 2007

Location: 

Burma

Dogs featured in one ruse to ridicule the regime—pictures of dictator Than Shwe were hung around the necks of the stray dogs that roam the streets of Rangoon. The pictures, which rapidly found their way onto the Internet, are the work of an exiled Burmese satirist who goes by the name of Mr Creator. Downloaded copies of his pictures and cartoons are popular items among cyber dissidents.

It became too dangerous to venture onto the streets, which were patrolled by the military. But the imaginative Burmese found a way around that problem: In Rangoon and other cities, they promoted the legions of stray urban dogs to the ranks of protesters.

Dogs are regarded as lowly creatures in Burmese culture. Being reborn as a dog suggests that you were up to no good in a previous life. To hurl a hefty insult in Burmese, throw the word dog or dog’s mother in somewhere, and you won’t go wrong.

Perhaps in an attempt to improve their chances in the next life, stray dogs began to be seen roaming around Rangoon with pictures of the military leader, Than Shwe, and images of other senior leaders tied around their necks. Throughout the city and to the delight of its residents, troops were seen chasing the protesting mutts down, in a vain attempt to rescue the generals’ irretrievably low esteem.

(From: John Jackson and Steve Crawshaw. Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World. Apple Books.)

Posted by Andy Bichlbaum on

Staff rating: 

8
Ridicule can be harmful, even lethal to a regime, and it seems that this action's legend did spread at the time and beyond. We're guessing it was successful, but who knows!