A voyage to Surat in the year 1689 (my review of Arracan section)
A Voyage to Surat in the year 1689, no doubtly is one of the great travelling account gives full details about old India, Golconda, Persia and many other port cities and kingdoms. This is one of the travelling account that also describe about a kingdom called “Chacoma” located on northern part Arracan. From page 553, it give a vast details about people, religion, culture, rituals of Arracan.
This book is really old that sometime new readers might get confused aboutold English letters. But when you follow from one to another page, it will be easier to recognize the letters and what exactly they sound.
Interestingly this book also gives us ideas how some terminologies change by time and how we got them in the present form. Book explains, merchants from Pegu, East, China, Japan, Malacca (Mayalsia), Malabar used to trade with Arracan, which means the Arracan was well connected with the world seaport trading.
This book also gives some linguistic aspects of that time. Like Pora means lord, Raulini (Luri Buddhist priest of Chakma), Xoxom Pungri as head monk, whereas kings and netizens respect those personalities. The way the author explains give clear understanding that he had no knowledge about Buddhism or not familiar with Buddhist culture. The details also give clearn image that every Pora, Raulini, or Xoxom Pungri had their different roles in the society where Xoxom Pungri placed at highest.
Talking about food, this is the only page on 570 says about Sidol! Sidol is kind of paste made fish or shrimps. Sidol is only said by Chakma poeple at present day where Burmese call it Nappi and Thai/Cambodian call it Kappi. Again the book tells about cultural feast, cuisine, religion and religious funeral etc. The author divided three orders of Raulini or priests followed as Pungrini, Pangiani and Xoxom Pungri which he compare to Christian order as Bishop, Priest and Deacon. In the details, Xoxom Pungris were more educated and venerated even by nobility. The author introduced them as great Yogis who meditate in mountanous regions.
On Latter pages, the book explain about Pegu, Siam, Ceylone and other kingdoms. But the author did not mention the exact names of inhabitants rather just explaining their physical appearance, lifestyle, culture and religous festivals.
READ THE WHOLE BOOK HERE