Myanmar TBurma T
Dos & Don'ts of the Myanmar label
Burmese have only recently opened their gates to international travellers; after years of comparative isolation from the outside environment, the Burmese are now struggling with flocks of aliens without knowing how the natives work and livethe. However, the land is not entirely obscure in terms of habits and tradition.
Myanmar is a Mahayana Buddhist cultural land, like its neighbours Cambodia and Thailand, its inhabitants adhere to standards and customs that are intimately linked to the community's faith. By following these easy guidelines, you can make your way through Myanmar without insulting the people. Study a few words from the native tongue; use them if you can.
Burma is a generally open and kind nation, even more so if you can speak to it (albeit hesitantly) in its own language. Both these words are essential to promoting good will when you are traveling in Myanmar: You go on-site. Myanmar residents appreciate the efforts you have made to monitor their way of life.
Trying to wore Myanmar clothing, such as the longgyi (for women) and pasu (for men). To learn more about the benefits of weaving Myanmar dresses, learn about the longyis and why it is good to wear them. Also try some of the typical folk traditions, such as the use of Tanaka make-up and munching Kun-ya or betelnut.
The thanaca is a pasty made of thinaka treebark and is applied to the cheek and nostrils. People in Burma say that it is an efficient sunscreen. The Kunya is rather an earned flavor; the burmese wind arenca walnuts and dry spices into bedding sheets, then they bite the cotton ball; this is what tarnishes and contorts their tooths.
Take part in some of the festivities. As long as they do not disregard the procedure, visitors are permitted to take part in all festivities that take place at the moment of their visits. The stupas and landscape are a real challenge for touristic photography, but not for humans. Some distant Myanmar strains also wrinkle their foreheads when visitors take photos of expecting mothers.
Be respectful of your own religion. While most Burmese are believing Buddhists, and although they will not force their faith on the visitor, they want you to follow their tradition. If you are going to visit places of worship, dress appropriately and do not hurt their space: do not touch the garments of a friar, and do not interfere with the prayer or meditation of temple-goers.
Burmese, like their fellow religions in Southeast Asia, have powerful emotions for their minds and sockets. Keep your hand away from people's minds; the touch of other people's minds is regarded as the climax of irreverence, something not to be done to them. Burma is still a traditional Myanmar and the natives can be insulted by popular affections.
Don't respect Buddha. Pictures of Buddha can be used freely in the whole wide globe, but Myanmar is marching to the time of another one. Article 295 and 295(a) of the Burmese Penal Code require up to four years in prison for "insulting religion" and "violation of religious feelings", and the agencies will not be reluctant to use them against aliens they believe to use the Buddha picture in a contempt.
The New Zealander Philip Blackwood and the Canadian Jason Polley were both molested for their perception of dishonor towards the Buddha; the latter came out of Dodge, but the former was condemned to two years in jail. This is what they are reading for what they did, what they did afterwards, and the effects of Myanmar's hard handling of perceptible disregard for religion:
Travelling in Myanmar? You must honor the Buddha... or Else. If you visit Myanmar's market and businesses, be careful not to plunder the country's valuable physical and social heritage. Please note that antiquities of a strictly Islamic character cannot be removed from Myanmar. Myanmar still has many places that are off limits for visitors.
There are many causes: some are sheltered areas, others are off-limits to normal tourism, and others are hot spots for persistent religion-struggle.