Who are Karen Ethnic People?

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Who are Karen Ethnic People? Blog Image


Recently, Airstrikes by Myanmar's military on two villages inhabited largely by ethnic Karen killed five civilians.

About Karen Ethnic Group:

  • They are a large and dispersed ethnic group of Southeast Asia.
  • Origin: They trace their origins to the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, or Tibet.
  • Location: Karen settled in Burma/Myanmar’s southern Irrawaddy river Delta area and in the hills along the Salween River in eastern Myanmar and in neighboring Thailand. 
  • Religion: The vast majority of Karen are Buddhists (over two thirds), although large numbers converted to Christianity during British rule and constitute about 30 per cent among the Karen.
  • Population: Their total population has been estimated at around 4 million.
  • Language: The languages of the Karen are generally considered to be of the Tibeto-Burman family and the main dialects are Pwo and Sgaw.
  • In Karen society women are often considered inferior or subservient to men and both women and men are encouraged to adhere to strict gender roles.

About Irrawaddy River:

  • It is a river that flows from north to south through Myanmar.
  • It is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway.
  • Originating from the confluence of the N'mai and Mali rivers, it flows relatively straight North-South before emptying through the Irrawaddy Delta into the Andaman Sea.
  • Its drainage area of about 255,081 km² covers a large part of Myanmar.


Q1) What is meant by Tatmadaw?

Tatmadaw simply means "armed forces" in Burmese, but the name has become synonymous with the current military authority, given its huge power in the country and global notoriety.

Source: 5 die as Myanmar airstrikes hit churches: Relief groups