Un ouvrage de référence

27 octobre 2016

Michaud, Jean; Meenaxi B. Ruscheweyh; Margaret B. Swain, 2016. Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the South-East Asian Massif. Second Edition.
Lanham • Boulder • New York • London, Rowman & Littlefield, 592p


Il s'agit d'un ouvrage de référence (cote Z) de type encyclopédique, le premier ouvrage à être publié sur cette région d'altitude asiatique méconnue qui couvre le nord de la péninsule indochinoise, le sud-ouest de la Chine, et le nord-est du sous-continent indien. Il traite non pas d'un peuple en particulier mais plutôt d'un espace social où se voisinent des centaines d'ethnicités aux destinées distinctes mais liées. Elles ont en commun de partager un écosystème d'altitude, et de ne pas appartenir aux majorités nationales des 10 pays qui se partagent le Massif sud-est asiatique..

"In this world of ours in which the state or "nation" is the basic building block, we sometimes tend to forget that that the truly essential underlying unit is the people which is sometimes the largest group in the state... and sometimes not. All too often when a given "people" is small, weak or even divided among several states it is simply ignored or repressed, which explains the importance of this volume in the series on peoples and cultures. The Historical Dictionary of the Peoples of the Southeast Asian Massif deals not only with one or a few such groups but some 300 which together total 100 million persons or collectively more than most states. But they have the big disadvantage of being minorities in 10 states: Cambodia,  Laos, Vietnam,  Burma (Myanmar), Thailand and China, already included in the first edition, now joined by Malaysia, Taiwan,  Bangladesh and India. These various peoples are considered individually and collectively giving us considerable insight into their situation and sometimes plight... for few indeed are to be envied." Tiré de la Préface de l'éditeur.