Social Customs & Home Life

Myanmar people are a warm, genial, generous, open people with a special welcome for foreigners.

Myanmar greet each other with expressions which exhibit consideration for the other person. If it is meal-time, the greeting is;"Have you had your meal?" If people meet in the road the considerate greetings are "Where are you going?" or "Where have you come from?" In Schools, the children greet their teacher with "Mingalarbar" (auspiciousness) and the teacher replies with the same expression. When foreigners ask Myanmar, the equivalent of "Good Morning" or "Good Evening", they reply "Mingalarbar", but actually that expression is not commonly used and is thought to be an affectation.

On visit to Pagodas, temples, shrines, care should be exercised not to show disrespect.

As for clothing, both men and women wear skirts in the Myanmar's hot climate with the exception of those in the military, who wear pants. The "skirts" that are worn are made out of longyi, which is a cloth that is wrapped around the body (one way for men and another way for women) and with the end slipped into the waist. Above the waist, women wear blouses, either short-sleeved or long-sleeved, while the men wear a thin shirt with theirs. Therefore, proper dress should be worn. Ladies should change from semi-see-through, halters, or shorts. Men too should wear decent attire. They don't wear shoes, since the weather is so hot, but sandals. An item used year-round is an umbrella. Umbrellas are used year-round as protection from the intensely hot sun or for protection from the rain.

Shoes and socks should be removed in the precincts of the pagoda, temple or shrine. Religious objects should not be pointed at with the feet. When sitting, the feet should be tucked away from the religious objects. Show of affection such as kissing should be avoided.

Do not pose for photographs before Buddha images or shrines in a disrespectful manner.

If holy objects are bought, do treat them with respect. Back home, do not display them at the foot of the stairs or such places but put them in locations of respect.

When visiting monasteries, take off shoes & socks unless allowed by précising monk in certain places. Sit lower than the monk and tuck the feet away from him.

Ladies should not touch the monk, not even his robes. The monk will not ask for anything. If you wish to donate an object, it should be presented to him with both hands. If money is to be donated, it should be put in an envelope and placed on the floor at his feet. The monk should be addressed as "a-shin-hpayar" and oneself as "da-pyi-daw". The head of a person is considered worthy of respect.

Do not put it or touch it even with affection. Do not points to a person or object with the feet keep the feet at the lowest level. Do not put them on the table or chair.

Myanmar women do not normally shake hands so a warm smile with a slight and would be sufficient. Do not touch any part of her. There is no need for body-touching to show friendliest.


3rd  floor, Cooperative Business Centre,
Corner of Sayarsan Road & New University Avenue Road , Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar.

Phone Fax

(+95-1) 401480~3, 401485-7 ,545008 Ext: 3100 - 3109  Fax:3109


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