Myanmar is a beautiful country should be on every tourist’s bucket list not only because of majestic landscapes, mysterious temples but also by the unique culture, customs and many impressive festivals. In this article, let’s find out with us some unique cultural characteristics of Burmese people that you may not know so that you can understand more about culture and people before traveling to this country.
Myanmar is home to a lot of great temples in the world
As a Buddhist country, most of Burmese people are Buddhist so it is easy to understand that this country is home to the largest and most famous temples and pagodas in the world. The temples in here feature the typical characteristics of Buddhist architecture with majestic and magnificent beauties. Burmese people show their respect for the Buddha by putting gold leaves on the temples so Myanmar is often called the “golden country” of Asia. Therefore, those who are Buddhists all want to make a pilgrimage to this sacred land at least once in life. Actually, Myanmar has many minerals but not gold; this country is famous for many types of ruby and marble. The marbles here are very large, often used to carve Buddha statues.
Culinary art of Burmese people
Traditional Burmese dishes is a harmonious combination if Indian, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Referring to Burmese cuisine, people often think of the famous Shan dishes such as Shan rice, Shan noodles, Shan tofu and turmeric – an indispensable spice in Myanmar meal.
Similar to Indian, Burmese people use their fingers to squeeze rice into small cubes and mix with other dishes instead of using chopsticks or spoon. However, one more notice is that you have to use your right hand when handling food or giving someone money because using left hand in Myanmar is considered an unpleasant action, left hand is only for personal hygiene. The unique way of eating of Burmese people is also the reason making tourists feel very interesting, especially Western people.
Unique costumes and customs
Myanmar government efforts encouraging people to preserve their national identity, therefore, most of visitors coming here are impressed with their unique costumes and customs. Unlike many other countries in the world, people often wear jeans and T-shirt, Burmese still wear skirts regardless of gender. Longyi is popular dress of people in here and instead of using cream or lipstick, Burmese women often makeup with thanaka on face, neck and hands to to protect their skin from the sun and provide a cooling effect.
There are so many festivals took place all year around in Myanmar but most of them fall in March and April. The festivals are very exciting, attracting many people coming here to visit. Unlike some Asian countries, Myanmar people greet New Year in April by holing Water Festival. During the festival, they splash water each other with the hope of washing all the unlucky things of the old year and welcoming a happy new year.
Another famous festival in Myanmar tourists should not miss is Kasone Festival. The festival is the pouring of water to the Bodhi tree. It is held on the full moon day of Kasone, this day also known as the Buddha’s day. Pilgrims pour water on the Bodhi trees in the pagoda compounds to keep them fresh in the summer heat of May. The processions of men and women of all ages can be seen on the platform of local pagoda with their finest attire. Young women and men carry earthen pots in their hands or their heads and go to pour the sacred Bodhi tree at the Pagoda platform.
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