Flower that leads to famine

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chin mautam

Représentants de l’ethnie Chin – Birmanie © AFP PHOTO/ Saeed KHAN

ONCE every 50 years a species of bamboo flowers in the Burmese state of Chin, heralding the beginning of a famine.

This sounds like the stuff of myth, the first line of a fairytale told to wide-eyed children around the campfire. But it is a well-documented freakish natural disaster, known as “mautam”, which also affects states in north-eastern India. The Age

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