The Land of the White Elephant

The Land of the White Elephant with the subtitle Sight and Scenes in South-Eastern Asia a Personal Narrative of Travel and Adventure in Farther India is the accounts of Frank Vincent’s travels in 1871-1872 in India, Burma, Siam and Cochin-China. Vincent’s descriptions of the societies and people he meets are very personal and he goes into details about religion, politics, economy and daily life in every aspect. Here is a some of his thoughts and descriptions of the Burmese:

“The Burmese men are remarkably indolent; the women, however, are industrious, but it is because the men compel them to do all the household work, at least the heaviest and most irksome part of it, and they will even sit about a place where their wives arc at work, chatting and smoking, or else stretched upon the ground at full length asleep. If you give the native sufficient rice and ngapee to keep him just above the starving point, he will not work for Rs. 2 per diem; but take these articles of diet away, and he will cheer­fully work for eight annas (25 cts.) However, like their neighbours the Chinese, they make excellent carpenters and blacksmiths. Marriage among the Burmese is a most peculiar institution, and the ‘ mar­riage knot ’ is very easily undone. If two persons are tired of each other’s society, they dissolve partnership in the following simple and touching but conclusive manner: They respectively light two candles, and shut­ting up their hut, sit down and wait quietly until they are burned up. The one whose candle burns out first, gets up at once and leaves the house (and for ever), taking nothing but the clothes he or she may have on at the time; all else then becomes the property of the other.”

Download The Land of the White Elephant here (406 pages/19.5MB):

The Land of the White Elephant

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