Burma is now officially known as Myanmar. It was one of the countries least influenced by the West, virtually sealed off from the outside world, when a brutal military dictatorship took control of the government and economy in 1962 and never let go. Five decades later, the epic and often bloody struggle for democracy remains a constant uphill battle. Burma itself remains one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. While Burmese constitute the largest ethnic group in the country, comprising 68% of the population of 42 million, 8 other major ethnic groups and 135 subgroups form much of the rest.