Exploring Burma’s Bookshops: C.A.C.C

Hakha is the capital of Chin State, Myanmars least developed region and a restricted area for foreigners without permits until 2012. With very few roads, and many of the villages clinging to remote hillsides, it is detached from the literary centres of the country …

There are no bookshops in Chin State, at least not stores that are solely for the purpose of selling books. In the larger towns, like Hakha, Falam, Matupi and Teddim, there are general stores which may have a cabinet with a few books, almost all of them written in the primary dialect of the town and surrounding areas.

In Hakha, Falam and Matupi, it is probable that these books are published by the Chin Association for Christian Communication.  The C.A.C.C is the largest of the religious organisations Chin State representing many church denominations including Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Pentecostal.  One of the four departments is literature and publications.  Most of their time is taken up with curriculum design for Chin education textbooks, but they do also print books written in the Lai Hakha language.  These works, mostly liturgical based, but also including biographies of famous missionaries and the occasional collection of local folktales, myths and creationary legends can be bought at the C.A.C.C headquarters in Hakha.  Since the devastating floods and landslides of 2015, I am unsure if the headquarters is still in its original location, (on the left fork of the road from the Tower Clock), but if it is, look out for their signboard: a circled hornbill set against a blue sky.