Talk:Irrawaddy River

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The Name[edit]

The Burmese chronicles clearly point out the influence of pre-Buddhist India on Burma. It is likely that when the first people from the India came upon the region and the river, populated by a large number of elephants for which Burma even today is famously known, it would have been natural for them to name the long river which watered these elephants as Airawathy, after the Hindu Lord Indra's large elephant Airawath. In fact it is likely that the peopling of Burma from other places to the North and East/South East of the country, destroyed the original Hinduised people of the country along with all culturo-lingual traditions just as this happened elsewhere in Siam, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia. In the case of Burma, the Buddhist religious influence too would have sought to wipe out all traces of Hindu culturo-religious influence on the place that pre-dated it. It is ridiculous that people speak of "authoritative sources" when such sources are stuff written by early European visitors to the region with little grounding in formal education or exposure and understanding to the culture and languages of the place. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheOnlyEmperor (talkcontribs) 11:15, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

The name[edit]

There is no Sanskrit term airavati that I can find, though there is a clear reference to Iravati, who is also associated with a river. Airavata is her son. I am changing the article accordingly. Imc 17:29, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

PimRijkee (talk) 14:32, 6 December 2008 (UTC) says:

You're right about the problems with the etymology of the Ayeyarwady, but the strict translation of the Sanskrit term is "Erawati", not "Iravati": "a strict transliteration of the Myanmar spelling would result in "Erawati" and not "Iravati" because, as far as I am aware it begins with the vowel "e" rather than the vowel "i". This is a crucial lead in tracing the etymology of the name of this particular river.' U San Lwin, in a written reaction to a Japanese letter asking about the etymology of the Ayeyarwady, 22 Feb, 1999. To my best knowlegde, U San Lwin is Pro-rector of the institute of forestry /Forest Department in Myanmar.[1]

You can read San Lwin's respons in it's entirity here:

A few interesting excerpts: In the "Buddha Sasanika Pathavivan Kyam:" (a gazetter of place names associated with Buddhism) written by Maha Thera Taung Bauk Sayadaw in Myanmar, we find the Pali name of the Ravi rendered in Myanmar script, the equivalent of which in romanised Pali would be "eravati". From the above it can be concluded that the Myanmar name of Ayeyarwady (formerly transliterated as Irrawaddy) is derived from the ancient name of the Ravi in Panjab, but through its Pali, rather than its Sanskrit form.

And: Finally, whatever connotations the stem "era" may have in Sanskrit or Pali, by its association with the great river which runs through the geographical centre of the country it has come to mean, bigness, centrality, dominance or in poetic usage, a river, in the Myanmar language. I'm the writer of the Ayeyarwady article on the Dutch Wikipedia, which you can find here, and it has a lot more information and details than it's English equivalent. If you writers don't mind me trying, I can expand this article too. PimRijkee (talk) 14:32, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Bridge name?[edit]

The article states that the only bridge for a long time was the Inwa Bridge, yet the picture's caption states that its the Ava Bridge. - cgilbert(talk|contribs) 23:46, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Updated etymology[edit]

I've done some research on the etymology of the Ayeyarwady River, and added some clarity. I've only used clear, reliable sources, but review from a native speaker would be welcome. Additional links on my userpage (scroll down, 'extra links added for research'). Please discuss before changing big parts, okay? Thanks, Pim Rijkee (talk) 14:05, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm not sure if the source qualifies as reliable but Harvey's book should be easy to find. --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 16:09, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
And here it is! --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 16:12, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, added it to the article where it is relevant. Main source for my research can (as noted in the article) be found here. It is written by U San Lwin, member of the editorial board of Perspective. I suspect San Lwin has also written the traveller's dictionary Myanmarese - English, (here), but I'm not completely sure, as my mails to him get bounced back. —Preceding unsigned comment added by PimRijkee (talkcontribs) 19:08, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Main river source[edit]

I stumbled upon a reference that I think justifies listing the Mali river as main source river at the confluence with the N'mai Kha. In the book Rivers of the World by Penn I read that locals call the N'mai Kha Irrawaddy, although it is the smaller branch of the two at the confluence. I added this information in the article, and references to Penn's work in the article and infobox.Pim Rijkee (talk) 21:10, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Biodiversity in the Delta area[edit]

I've found a rather in-depth report on the biodiversity in the Delta region here. My idea is to add it to the (yet to be written..) Ayeyerwady river fauna section, rather than in the Irrawaddy Delta article with only a brief mention here in the main river article. After all, this is the 'main' page, and as the delta is obviously part of the river, the fauna in it deserves full attention here as well. If someone doesn't want to see it here but instead only on the Delta page, please say so. It'll take me a few days to put everything together anyway. Cheers, Pim Rijkee (talk) 00:02, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was river article moved, division article not moved. —harej (talk) 10:14, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Ayeyarwady RiverIrrawaddy River - Irrawaddy is more common, and uniformity is needed. E.g., the Delta article already uses 'Irrawaddy'. Please read the discussion at talk:Irrawaddy Delta. Pim Rijkee (talk) 09:56, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Ayeyarwady DivisionIrrawaddy Division - The division is named after the river, so is should bear the same name.
    • Support as English usage, still. The official usage of the Burmese government matters to those under their authority, not to us; one of the effects of their choosing isolation has been that their preferences on this - as with the name of the country - have not become usage outside the range of their influence. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:02, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Comment The river move does not automatically mean that the article on the political division should also move. Evidence is required that the political division is referred to in English as Irrawaddy. I suspect that it may not be. The fact that it is named after the river has no bearing on what name we choose for the article. Skinsmoke (talk) 00:49, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I did a search on a few newssites for what name is used for the division:


Irrawaddy Division 1 result[2]

Ayeyarwady Division 0 results[3]

Irrawaddy Division 1 result[4]

Ayeyarwady Division 0 results[5]

New York Times:

Irrawaddy Division 201 results[6]

Ayeyarwady Division 0 results[7]

- non had results on Ayeyarwady Division. Or Ayeyarwady for that matter. The single results at the other sites were relevant. Of the 201 results at, most were on military divisions, but I saw at least one that was relevant. Google has 56.700 results on Irrawaddy Division, 22.600 on Ayeyarwady Division. It seems Irrawaddy Division is more widely used in English.Pim Rijkee (talk) 21:30, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

This map illustrates a basic overview of the cyclone affected areas of the Ayeyarwady Delta region in Myanmar. from United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme : Overview of Cyclone Nargis-affected Ayeyarwady Division, Myanmar
Unusually heavy rains in Myanmar from beginning of July to mid-August have caused localized flooding along the Ayeyarwady River. Areas especially affected include the northern state of Kachin, the central Mandalay Division and the southern Ayeyarwady Division. from International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies : Information Bulletin : Myanmar : Floods
Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008, making landfall in Ayeyarwady Division and directly hitting the country’s largest city, Yangon from Cental Emergency Response Fund : Myanmar : Facts and Figures
Named after Myanmar's famous river, Ayeyarwady is a picturesque spot and the perfect place to begin travelling on the water. The river is the lifeblood of the Burmese people with ferries, rafts, barges and fishing boats all plying their trade. from Backpack Myanmar : Ayeyarwady Division
The most-affected townships in Myanmar were Labutta and Ngaputaw Townships in Ayeyarwady Division, Kawthaung Township in Tanintharyi Division, and KyaukPhyu Township in Rakhine State. from Myanmar : Cyclone Nargis
Total service route miles is about 2190 miles in Ayeyarwady division from Pyay to Bamaw and from Sinbo up to Myitkyina along the Ayeyarwady river. from Myanmar Ministry of Transport : Inland Water Transport : Ayeyarwaddy Division
Nine of the activists are NLD members of parliament-elect from the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) Division in southwestern Myanmar. from Amnesty International : Myanmar : Over 200 Activists Still Held
Since 1963, the DoF has implemented a project to propagate and conserve marine turtles on Thameehla Island (Diamond Island) in Ngaputaw Township, Ayeyarwady Division. During 1986-87 the project was fully revived. The first hatchery was established by skillful technicians. from Indian Ocean-South East Asian Turtle Memorandum of Understanding : Conservation Status of Leatherback Turtles in Myanmar
On May 10, OCHA reported that approximately 206,000 people in four townships of Ayeyarwady Division were living in 218 makeshift camps. from US Aid : Burma : Cyclone
The coastline of Myanmar faces the Indian Ocean in Rakhine State, the Bay of Bengal in Ayeyarwady Division, and the Andaman Sea in Tanintharyi Division. These long stretches of coast provide 213,720 km2 of continental shelf with water rich in nutrients and marine life from Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific : Opportunities and Challenges in Myanmar Aquaculture
Pathein - situated in the Ayeyawady Delta about 190 km west of Yangon is the capital of the Ayeyarwady Division and the port of Pathein is noted for the taste of its speciality Pathein Halawar from Travel Myanmar : Tourist Destinations : Ayeyawady (Irrawaddy) Division >> Pathein (Bassein)
Ayeyarwady Division is a division of Myanmar, occupying the delta region of the Ayeyarwady River (formerly the Irrawaddy River). It is bordered by Bago Division to the north, Bago Division and Yangon Division to the east, and the Bay of Bengal to the south and west. from Myanmar Travel Information : About Myanmar : Ayeyarwady Division
The Ayeyarwady Delta represents an important and extended mangrove forest. It is located in the Ayeyarwady division, and it is included in the Delta Forest Division, which comprises 13 forests reserves, among which eleven contain mangroves and their associated flora and fauna. from Food and Agriculture Organisation : Myanmar : Vegetation Description
With the overall goal of “reducing the immediate vulnerability of households and communities affected by Cyclone Nargis in Yangon and Ayeyarwady Divisions”, the Cyclone Nargis Emergency Response (CNER)Program focused on providing emergency assistance in the form of food, shelter, household items, water, sanitation, child protection and livelihood support. from World Vision : Cyclone Nargis Emergency Response (CNER) Program : End of Program (EOP) Evaluation Report
Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008, making landfall in the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) delta region and directly hitting the country’s largest city, Yangon. A majority of the 40 townships in Yangon and 7 townships in Ayeyarwady Division remain on the Government’s list of disaster zones. from United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs : Cyclone Nargis : Myanmar : OCHA Situation Report No 5 : 8 May 2008
Flood occurs in Myanmar every year especially tropical cyclones associated with surge and flood during the southwest monsoon period (June- October) is the severely affect the lower reaches of the Ayeyarwady river. from Unit for Social and Environmental Research : Research Proposal : Khin Thein Htwe January 2009 (Round 7)
Cyclone Nargis has affected the same areas in the Ayeyarwady division which were hit by the 2004 tsunami claiming lives and resulting in the displacement of thousands of people. This time around, the impact is believed to be far more severe. The population of the Ayeyarwady division (approximately 6.5 million or 12 percent of the national population) basically live from exploiting the rich natural resources both within the delta areas and out at sea. from Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission : Emergencies and Disasters: Cyclone Nargis
UNICEF took immediate actions in provision of safe water, water treatment options along with necessary latrine and hygiene supplies in the eight most affected townships namely Bogale, Dedaye, Labutta, Mawlamyaingyun, Ngaputaw, Pyapon in Ayeyarwady Division; Kawhmu and Kungyangon in Yangon Division. from UNICEF Danmark : UNICEF Emergency Response : 60 Days after Cyclone Nargis
The first five townships selected for ENC were Ye Kyi, Kyangin and Ingapu townships from Ayeyarwady Division and Seikphyu and Salin Townships from Magway Division. from World Health Organization : Monitoring and Assessment Trip for Essential Newborn Care
According to reports, out of the targeted area of 3.69 million acres of monsoon rice in Ayeyarwady Division, about 3.14 million acres or 85 per cent have been already planted by the end of July, 2008. from Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association : Yangon : Agricultural Credit for Monsoon Rice Disbursed
  • Support moving Ayeyarwady RiverIrrawaddy River per WP:UCN; support Ayeyarwady DivisionIrrawaddy Division per User:PimRijkee
  • Comment:I think my search on the newssites only indicated that the major news networks use 'Irrawaddy Division' instead of Ayeyarwady Division, if they ever speak about the area. Of course, google gives tens of thousands of results on Ayeyarwady, but that doesn't necessarily mean it is the most widely used name. I use the name Ayeyarwady, because it is the more correct term. However, naming conventions on Wikipedia say we have to use the most common name in English, and your list does not really mean that is Ayeyarwady. Instead, everything from google to newspaper sites seems to point towards Irrawaddy Division as the most common name. Pim Rijkee (talk) 11:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment News sources are just one of the categories we consult when making a decision. The choice of three sources is not conclusive evidence of anything. I still would like to see evidence that Irrawaddy Division is used in English prose; so far we have had no examples presented. Once we have, it may then even come down to a question of National varieties of English. Perhaps we need to examine our convention on Burmese names, which may, or may not, be helpful! For place names, this advises us to refer to An Introduction to the Toponymy of Burma, published by The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use, a document which may well contravene our policy of Neutral Point of View. That advises against using the names adopted by the Myanmar authorities, but then later refers to Ayeyarwady Division being the first tier administrative division. Confused? Frankly, the whole thing is a mess, and a clear Wikipedia policy on Burmese place names needs sorting out, rather than dealing with each one individually. Unless we do this, we are going to finish up with endless edit wars, as we did with Macedonia or Derry. Skinsmoke (talk) 13:44, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment I agree. Whatever comes out of this, it will not solve the broader problems with Burmese names. The best thing would be to think about a clear policy that will help resolve (most) of the issues with Burmese names. I am not at all an expert when it comes to Myanmar, nor am I an experienced editor. Let's give this 'request to move' a rest, and concentrate on broader guidelines for the Burma project. Are there any objections to this? Pim Rijkee (talk) 16:07, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
    • You have a point about concentrating on broader guidelines when it comes to the names of administrative divisions but the river is a separate issue and it has a long, clear history of English usage as Irrawaddy River. — AjaxSmack 18:43, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.