Friday, April 23, 2010

Maung Shaw Loo

According to Bucknell University, its first international student, Maung Shaw Loo, Class of 1864, was the first Burmese native to study in the United States.

Born in 1839 in Moulmein, the eldest son of U Shwe Tha and Dwa Hla, the first converts of the pioneering Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson, the early years of Maung Shaw Loo were difficult. U Shwe Tha, a scholar of the Burmese language who tutored British officers, developed an addiction to alcohol that led to divorce in 1854. Because of these family problems, Shaw Loo grew up in the care of relatives.

Shaw Loo, by the way, is the Burmese transliteration of King Saul, the biblical figure. My grandmother, Daw Lun Aung, told me that he was Mon.

Read more about him at Bucknell University's web site.


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