From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey
, 2003 - Burma
- 304 pages
This text recounts the story of a young man's upbringing in a remote tribal village in Burma and his journey from his strife-torn country to the tranquil quads of Cambridge. In lyrical prose, Pascal Khoo-Thwe describes his childhood as a member of the Padaung Hill tribe, where ancestor worship and communion with spirits blended with the tribe's recent conversion to Christianity. In the 1930s, Pascal's grandfather captured an Italian Jesuit, mistaking him for a giant or a wild beast; the Jesuit in turn converted the tribe. (The Padaung are famous for their giraffe women - so-called because their necks are ritually elongated with ornamental copper rings. Pascal's grandmother had been exhibited in a touring circus in England as a freak). Pascal developed a love of the English language through listening to the BBC World Service, and it was while working as a waiter in Mandalay to pay for his studies that he met the Cambridge don John Casey, who was to prove his saviour.