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Shin Mway Loon and Min Nandar

Name of a legend in Myanmar, about a Kinnari Princess and Kinnara Prince, whose love for one another led to their tragic end. Princess Shin Mway Loon was the beautiful daughter of the Queen of the Kingdom of Okkalapa, i.e. present-day Yangon, who died with her unborn child still in the womb. It wasn't discovered until the royal cremation ceremony that the child was actually still alive. Hence, it was freed and taken to the palace, but believed to be a bad omen because she was born on the cremation ground, the poor princess grew up lonely and isolated in her palace, until she became the lover of Prince Min Nandar, a handsome prince and the only son of the King of Dagon, on the other side of the Thanlyin River. The Prince was much loved by the people and the King, and was given a magic cane by Thagyamin (fig.), the King of the Nats, which he could use to summon all living animals whenever he wanted, both those on land and in the water, including Nga Moe Yeik, a giant crocodile and the King of Crocodiles (fig.). After the Prince heard about the beauty of Shin Mway Loon, he started to visit her, riding on the Crocodile King to cross the river. The prince and the princess fell in love at the first sight. When the King eventually learned that his son was visiting the princess every day, he was furious that his son fell in love with a girl of bad fortune and forbade any boatman to take his son across the river, not knowing that his son was in fact using the giant Crocodile King as his means of transportation. The other crocodiles became jealous of Nga Moe Yeik and attacked the Prince and the Crocodile King on their way back from the Princess. That day, the prince had forgotten to bring his magic cane, and when the attack broke out, Nga Moe Yeik hid the Prince in his mouth for protection and fought off all the assailants, after which it fell asleep on a sandbank, totally exhausted. When the King of Dagon heard that his son had paid a visit to the princess and found the magic cane, he seized the cane and struck it on the ground three times, waking up Nga Moe Yeik, who hastened to bring Min Nandar out of his mouth. However, the prince had already died inside and Nga Moe Yeik carried the body of the dead prince to the King, who consequently executed the Crocodile King. When the princess heard the fate of her lover, she died of a broken heart. The rising columns of smoke from their funeral pyres, set up separately on either bank of the river, joined in the sky, where they turned into a rainbow, making onlookers believe that the two lovers were reunited in heaven. The tragic love story is usually described as the local equivalent of the western romance Romeo and Juliet, and likewise bears the names of the protagonists. The story is in part also reminiscent of the Canda Jataka (fig.). In Burmese, it is known as Shin Mway Loon nae Min Nandar.