In this episode, we paint a portrait with the fragments of an elusive Burmese woman as she navigates the complexities of her identity.
Su Su Maung was born in Burma. She then grew up in Singapore, immigrated to Canada and finally settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. She has been writing short fiction, reflective prose, and poetry since she was 12. Her writings have been published in multiple journals and magazines, and she’s published three poetry collections. She was once very active at Poetry Mission Open Mic in San Francisco. Her professional training was in Counseling Psychology. She teaches courses on psychology at Myanmar Clinical Psychology Consortium. She currently runs a social enterprise, Citta Consultancy, that is a psychological consulting firm.
Citta is a Pali word that means Heart/Mind. In Burmese, the word is pronounced as Sait-ta. It refers to mindset. This name represents the social enterprise because its area of focus and expertise is in shifting paradigms for the mind/heart of individuals and organizations. Citta Consultancy is based in Myanmar with a mission to empower the people of Myanmar with social and emotional intelligence so that they can heal, transform, and grow to reach their fullest potential and contribute to the development of their country. Citta provides counseling and wellness services, psychoeducational workshops and training, consultation on culture and human behavior, and social sciences research.
I have known Su Su Maung for about 15 years. We met when we were active members of the online writers’ workshop and journal The Writ. She’s a close friend. When I founded The Nasiona and made a list of people to interview who matched what The Nasiona is about, Su Su was on the top of my list. When I think of someone who has explored the spectrum of human experience and glimpsed into foreign worlds, I think of Su Su. She’s been an immigrant numerous times and has had to maneuver through the obstacles of being the Other in many settings. And like The Nasiona, she also looks to erase borders, tackle taboos, resist conventions, explore the known and unknown, and she explores renaming herself to claim herself.
This is the portrait of Su Su Maung: the elusive Burmese from liminal space.
The Nasiona Podcast shares stories that explore the spectrum of human experience and glimpse into foreign worlds. We focus on stories based on facts, truth-seeking, human concerns, real events, and real people, with a personal touch. From liminal lives to the marginalized, and everything in between, we believe that the subjective can offer its own reality and reveal truths some facts can’t discover. Hosted, edited, and produced by Julián Esteban Torres López.
Our theme song is “Into the West,” courtesy of Tan Vampires.
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SU SU MAUNG, a.k.a. Dabetswe Natasha, was born in Burma, grew up in Singapore, immigrated to Canada, and settled down in California, USA. Her writings were published on the WritOracle, Bleach Magazine, Haight and Ashbury Literary Journal, 16th and Mission Review, San Francisco Peace and Hope online magazine, and in three of her self-published books. Some of her writings are also on her blog. She is a psychotherapist who runs a psychological consulting social enterprise, Citta Consultancy.
Julián Esteban Torres López is a Colombian-born journalist, researcher, publisher, podcaster, and editor. Before founding The Nasiona, he ran several cultural and arts organizations, edited journals and books, was a social justice and public history researcher, wrote a column for Colombia Reports, taught university courses, and managed a history museum. He’s a Pushcart Prize nominee and 1st place winner of the Rudy Dusek Essay Prize in Philosophy of Art. He has authored several books, including Marx’s Humanism and Its Limits, which was BookAuthority’s Best New Socialism Book of 2018, and Reporting on Colombia: Essays on Colombia’s History, Culture, Peoples, and Armed Conflict (forthcoming, 2019).
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