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Arakan State

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Flag of Arakan state

Arakan is a Burmese state on the western coast of Myanmar. It is next to Bangladesh.


Map of Arakan state

The term Rakhine may have come from the Pali word "Rakkhapura" from "Rakkhita" meaning the land of the people of Rakhasa (Rakhasa > Rakkha > Rakkhaing > Rakhaing) who were given this name in honor of their preservation of their national heritage and ethics or morality. The word Rakhine means, "one who maintains his own race."[1] In the Rakhine language, the land is called Rakhinepray, the ethnic Rakhine are called Rakhinetha.

Arakan, used in British colonial times, is believed to be a Portuguese corruption of the word Rakhine that is still popularly used in English. Many English language users[note 1] no not use the name changes made by the military government.


  1. For example, see Staff (2009) "An Introduction To The Toponymy Of Burma" The Permanent Committee of Geographic Names (PCGN), United Kingdom


  1. စန္ဒမာလာလင်္ကာရ။ ရခိုင်ရာဇဝင်သစ် ရခိုင်သမိုင်း ၊ ၁၅ ၊ ၁၈ ရာစု။