A Samsaric Perspective
In order to create a sense that it is the Myanmar/Burmese, Buddhist worldview that is the norm and that the refugees’ western worldview is perceived as deviant, I have chosen to write The Escape to Myanmar from a samsaric perspective, where rebirth is something natural. Three of the characters in the story are reincarnations of the three main characters in the serial of novels, State of Emergency, of which The Escape to Myanmar is a freestanding sequel. These characters come together again because of the karma they generated in their previous lives. The character Katja from The Escape to Myanmar, who was married to the Burmese man Aung, has been reborn as Nay Lin Aung in Myanmar. Aung has in turn been reborn as the Swedish man Viktor. When they meet again in The Escape to Myanmar, they feel a strange attraction to each other and Viktor get flashbacks from his previous life. The question they both wrestle with is whether the physical sex is important or not.
The concepts of samsara and karma in Buddhism gives a causal explanation for human differences. When the character Viktor comes to Myanmar he adapts very easily and he learns the language much faster than the others. The explanation according to the story is that he lived in Myanmar in his past life.
When learning a foreign language, there are many factors that can create individual differences such as age, aptitude, learning strategies, motivation and willingness to communicate. The same applies of course to the ability to integrate into a new society. Thus, my aim with writing from a samsaric perspective in not to claim rebirth is the reason for differences in adaptation and learning, but it is an attempt to try an alternative model of explanation, in order to show a different world view.