Things to know about the Burmese’s culture in Myanmar.
Characteristics of Burmese
The people of Myanmar are gentle, honest, prefer to visit the temple and living slowly. They always think that “rather begging than stealing”.
In addition to the habit of eating betel nut, the Myanmar people from old to young often apply a little yellow powder from the tree thanakha to their face to protect themselves from the sun.
Men wear sandals all year round, whether they wear a vest or attend a wedding. Only the officers and the army wear shoes.
Life of the people
Myanmar’s top specialty is milk tea, light tea mixed with fresh milk and honey.
National electricity is very weak, so hotels and restaurants have to use their own generator. Market is opened at 9am but at 4 pm they started preparing to close already because of the power outage at 5pm. In the evening, there are also few entertainment options, there are only coffee shops, milk tea or snacks, no liquor stores or shopping.
The wedding is held in the morning until noon. The reception department opens the envelope to count the money and write the name of the sender as soon as received. The groom and the bride only open the presents.
Society favor male
In the home, women must serve men. When washing the clothes, they have to wash the clothes separately.
There are many temples
Named the landmark of temples, there are thousands of Buddhist temples in Myanmar. According to LA Times, it is estimated that 10,000 temples were built in the 10th and 14th centuries in Bagan. There are only about 2,200 works exist now though.
Many pagodas here has towers, most of them are embedded with gold, diamond, precious stones. The Buddha statues and towers in the temple are growing larger each day because the Buddhists are constantly adding gold leaf when praying.
Many temples with Buddha statues are nearly a hundred meters long, with statues weighing almost a thousand tons of precious stones, so people had to make statues and build pagodas later.
You can only go barefoot inside the temple
Stepping to the gate of the temple, the visitors had to take off their shoes and go inside barefoot. Heads of state are no exception. The police forces guarding the temple during the holidays also go “barefoot, bare head” while serving.
The price for keeping the slippers for each person or group is the same price 1,000 kyats. If you take the bag carrying shoes to carry, it is the same price.
Traveling to Myanmar, the guests should visit the temple early in the morning or evening to avoid the heat on the ground when walking in the temple. You should also bring a wet towel to wipe your legs after each visit.
Burmese temples do not burn incense but only candles and only on the outside of the hall. Buddhists can eat, even organize musical shows in the temple. The guests who wear short or thin clothes is not allowed inside the pagoda or has to buy more clothes to wear.
Monks in Myanmar outnumbered the military
The monks do not stay in the monastery but only study and meditate where there are thousands of monks like Kyat Khat Wine monastery.
The monks go on their daily alms and eat as the normal people. Otherwise, do not eat after lunch (12 hours), do not kill, do not gather at crowded places, do not use perfume or cosmetics, cannot be in close contact with women. A monastery is a place where life skills are taught to children, where young men have to practice before becoming adults. Summer is the time for the entrance ceremony for the boys.
Does not have many world heritages
Myanmar’s only modern world heritage is Pyu, including the Kanbawza Thadi ruins in Bago (1st century BC – 9th century) recognized by UNESCO in 2014.
Yangon forbids motorbikes so on the whole street, cars run on the right side. The taxis only run per trip, with agreed price, no meter on the cars. The passenger cars have doors on the left, and park right in the middle of the road, which is very inconvenient for people who go up or down the car so the car guide Myanmar always have to stand at the door, blocking the car to ensure safety for visitors.
Although newly developed, Yangoon started jamming but orderly, they do not use the horn too much and always give way to pedestrians. Highways are wide, the motorcycles do not run in the middle of the road, only run on either side of a road, left or right, not the edge. Burmese law does not oblige motorcyclists to wear helmets. In addition, Myanmar has trisaw, an improved bicycle that can carry more people.
Mountainous country but no cable car
The cable car is not available in Myanmar, although there are many temples in the mountains. People used to have 4-wheel trucks, 7-row seats, seven seats, not including the cabin, all-terrain rugged to climb mountains. There are also palanquins, one for every four people. Kieu made of the bamboo stem, diameter from 10 to 15 cm, between placing a chair for sitting or lying. Furniture and both children are carried behind or on board the porters. These ladders are several meters high, capable of loading 100 kg.
Conception of death
Myanmar people follow the cremation customs but do not take ashes to worship or bring to the temple. When they die, they use the same coffin, which is provided by mutual help, they do not leave it for a day and only burn the corpse, not the coffin. There are no ceremonies relating to that person later because they believe that “death is through another world, no debt lingering”.
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