Guenther, Christian (2013). Urban Heritage under Transition: Theingyi Zay in Yangon / Myanmar. Masters thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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Heritage under Transition: Theingyi Zay, Yangon, Myanmar By Christian Guenther The focus of this study lies at the Thein Gyi Zay, a market colonially established in downtown Yangon by Indians under British legitimation in the 19th century which is still a focal point for local and regional, long term as well as short term day to day trade and a significant representative of the colonial layer in Myanmar. Beyond its original function of trade the social function of Thein Gyi Zay is of immense importance. As Yangon can be regarded as melting pot for a variety of ethnical groups and religions the Thein Gyi Zay market reflects this heterogeneity because it is operated and used by people with Burmese, Indian and Chinese ancestry as well as Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and Christian religious backgrounds. While the downtown area of Yangon is characterized by ethnical segregation, the Thein Gyi Zay assembles a mixture of this heterogeneity in a very dense space. Furthermore, it also reflects to a great amount the socio economic situations of Yangon’s citizens as people of all social classes come here to follow their business. Since the initialising of transition in Myanmar in 1988 through political and economic reorganization this process has reached a stage of unprecedented velocity which sets a volatile frame for urban heritage within the context of urban development in Yangon and consequently for the future of Thein Gyi Zay, as well. This development leads to a variety of urban planning challenges because it demands a readjustment of local infrastructure (traffic, electricity, social housing, etc.). In order to approach this complex environment I have conducted field work during two month this summer which compared the statuses of the market in 2005 and 2012 by mapping commodity groups at the market. However, it has not been possible to identify significant trends in change but that the market is very vital. In a second step interviews at the market investigated reasons for changes from an economic and social perspective in order to prepare for future developments and demands. Business is declining as interview partners complained while the social value has been regarded as mostly stable. Future scenarios drafted from wishes and demands depict a necessary upgrading of the market while expecting a possible displacement of local communities.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Guenther, Christiancguenth@gmail.comUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-54583
Date: March 2013
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences > Department of Geosciences > Geographisches Institut
Subjects: Geography and history
Geography and travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Urban Heritage TransitionUNSPECIFIED
Date of oral exam: 26 November 2013
NameAcademic Title
Kraas, FraukeProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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