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Chan did not originate in the Chinese appropriation of Indian Buddhist texts. Instead, its origins can be traced to the appropriation of Indian Buddhist practices

The Five Buddha Districts system prevailed from the 1790s to the 1880s on the frontier between Yunnan, in Southwest China, and the Burmese Kingdom, in the mountainous areas to the west of the Mekong River. Through more than a century of political mobilization, the Lahu communities in this area became an integrated and militarized society, and their culture was reconstructed in the historical context of ethnic conflicts, competition, and cooperation among the Wa, Dai, and Han Chinese settlers. The political elites of the Five Buddha Districts, however, were monks who had escaped the strict orthodoxy of the Qing government to become local chieftains, or rebels, depending on political changes in southern Yunnan.

No one enters Burmese traffic with any assumptions about fundamental rights. Pedestrians, certainly, enjoy no “right of way.” No one, by the same token, is ever excluded from the game as long as they remain in motion. […] If you get ahead, you were right to try. If you don’t, you were right to yield. What’s to argue?