The culture of Myanmar is something all by itself. With a trip to Myanmar with Kipling Travel you get ample opportunity to explore the cultural differences, but before you leave, it can be nice to know a little about it in advance. On this page you can read about and get an insight into Myanmar’s culture including religion, peoples, rhythm and tone, dress, food and specialties as well as holidays.
Religion and philosophy in Myanmar
On your trip to Myanmar you will meet a majority of Buddhists, but other religions like Christianity and Islam are also represented here. Buddhism fills a lot in the streets of Burmese, which is seen by the country many temples and monasteries.
In Buddhism, one believes in the golden mean, where one should live neither in self-brushing nor in luxury – but rather in balance. The golden mean, according to Buddhism, is the path to self-knowledge and serenity.
The noble eight-lane road Magga is the road towards the overall goal is Nirvana. Buddhists believe that if Nirvana is not achieved, one will instead be reborn again.
Peoples of Myanmar
According to healthinclude, Myanmar is home to approx. 52 million people. Of this, approx. 33 million of the population are Burmese, while the rest belong to Shan, Karen, Chin and other small minority groups.
The Shan people are a Thai ethnic group and one will typically meet them in Shan, which is located in the eastern part of Myanmar. The majority of the Shan people are Buddhists like Burmese, but the Shan people have their very own language – Shan.
A trip to Myanmar will result in many cultural clashes of the positive caliber. The many peoples hide their history, but common to them is kindness.
Rhythm and tone in Myanmar
Due to the country’s past as an English colony, the country is not used to tourists to the same extent as other Asian countries. However, you are always greeted with kindness in Myanmar.
Religion fills a lot of the population, and it is important that you respect this. Therefore, remember to take off your shoes and cover yourself when you go to temples, for example. In addition, you should not take pictures of buddha statues without permission.
Tips are always voluntary, but in Myanmar it is normal to give tips for good service – this applies to drivers, waiters, guides, etc.
Attire in Myanmar
When entering a temple in Myanmar, shoulders and knees are expected to be covered. In the street scene, the clothing style is more casual. Be aware, however, that you only encounter the religious Burmese who are wearing religious robes.
Monks wear robes as an expression of humility. It is important that the color of these is not inappropriate. In the Buddhist sense, for example, it means blue or black.
Myanmar’s national costume is called longyi. This is a piece of fabric that is tied around the waist in a knot in front and which is worn by both women and men. But in Burma, one will find that people’s attire can vary greatly.
Food and specialties of Myanmar
On a trip to Myanmar, it’s hard to get around all the delicious food. Myanmar’s specialties will give you a whole new understanding of Asian cuisine. What best describes the country’s culinary specialties are India, Thailand and China in one pot. Therefore, you can look forward to tasting a bite of Myanmar – even if you are a vegetarian!
In Myanmar you will find everything from egg curry and crispy samosas to spicy biryani and noodle soup. Everything you could dream of from delicious food from Asian cuisine can be found in Myanmar.
For the enormously tasty food, it can be nice to have something to drink when it burns a little on the tongue. For example, you can try a fresh fruit lassie, which is a blend made on fruit and ice cream. It may also be that you are more into one of Burma’s numerous teas, and otherwise you can stop at a beer station and taste a real Burmese beer. The possibilities are endless.
Holidays in Myanmar
Myanmar, like many other places in the world, celebrates various holidays – and a large part of these focus on the Buddha. Among other things, the water festival Thingyan takes place in April. This holiday is about celebrating the new year in the Burmese calendar by washing pictures of Buddha and making sacrifices.
In November, one will encounter the very different balloon festival Pyin Oo Lwin. For this festival, there are several balloon challenges, and there will be a wealth of balloons in all colors and shapes. It is definitely worth an experience.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. In Myanmar, they both celebrate various events related to Buddha, different times of the year as well as very special days. No matter when you go to Myanmar, there is a good chance of bumping into some kind of celebration.