Myanmar Traditional CultureBurma Traditional Culture
Myanmar Tradition & Culture: Knowledge before you go
Our pre-trip research was likely to pose a variety of difficulties on our journey through Myanmar - from the difficulties of locating cash machines to a bad communications network and a serious linguistic bar. Although one can say that this astonishing land is not as well advanced as neighboring resorts like Thailand, it is much simpler to visit than we anticipated.
It is a very interesting place to study and there are some intriguing facets of Myanmar's traditions and culture. That' s the thing - this land is evolving so fast that the guides are no longer up to date. From all the places we have been to, it has questioned our perception and there is a good enough explanation why it should appear on so many listings of places to go to as soon as possible, so that at this early stages of its evolution it can be seen as a touristic scenery that will certainly be comparable to other places in Southeast Asia.
Despite the relatively well established facilities - with many hostels, simple and relatively convenient transport and welcoming English-speaking natives - it retains its heritage and culture in a way that appears to be largely genuine. The sidewalks are some of the hardest we have ever seen, the restoring of old memorials is far from meeting global norms and talking to Myanmar residents gives a feeling of how anxious they are about the prospects of their emerging democracies and how vulnerable they are.
It is clear that the next few years will be a time of great changes for the land, and it is a place to do so. Much more tourist than you think - it doesn't take much to click on the commercial benefits of providing food for travelers and vacation makers - but somewhere where you can still see many of the older culture tradition in everyday one.
A few of our favorite and most interesting things we found during our Myanmar culture tour included Many places you go to see puppet dolls are exhibited - whether in a museum, on a tree outside a pagoda or as decorations in a hotel. Elaborately sculpted and wonderfully adorned, they take many different forms that correspond to the characters of traditional Myanmar tales and myth.
As early as the fifteenth centuary, puppeteering was a very much loved way of entertaining, and you can still see it in many parts of the state. There are four puppeteers in the whole range, all of whom have been educated in the traditional way of making and presenting puppets.
It is probably not possible to go to Myanmar without seeing a pagoda - interested to know if anyone has made it? They are unbelievable and despite our anxieties we have never pulled out too many pagodas, although we have seen them on our two week trip to Myanmar.
It is not necessarily one of a kind, but an important part of Myanmar's Buddhaist culture is the traditions in which the construction of a pagoda was a great show of value and esteem. Here it gets even more geeky than ever, but George Orwell's Myanmar Day's contains a little about the importance of this topic and is a must when you visit Myanmar!
The pagoda is still very important and you can see astonishing specimens all over the land - we used to love the famed Shwedagon pagoda in Yangon; the mere size of the thousand constructed in Bagan and the hundred of crumbled and renovated buildings gathered in Indein on Inle Lake. Similar to Thanaka, you can buy Tigers Balsam in any land you are visiting in Southeast Asia or further out.
But few know that it was discovered in Myanmar in the 1870', where it was marketed by a store in Rangoon (now Yangon) before its makers brought the drug to Singapore, where it became more popular. While today one finds rather a local produced one than the world-wide known mark, it is an interesting fact that this miracle cream comes from Myanmar.
On their travels they will discover that many will have a creamy yellow on their faces - often in ornamental designs such as a circle on their cheek and nostrils. It' a truly unique part of the culture and we went directly to Google to find out what it was. It turns out that it is another ancient custom and is used as a soothing tonic that is anti-inflammatory and also protects against the effects of the day.
Its origins go back to the fifteenth and even though it can be seen today sometimes in places like Thailand, it originates in Myanmar. In Myanmar, many people are used to chew on tobaccos covered in bedding sheets - sometimes different flavours of spice are added. Sad as it is for people who smoke, it can cause oral cancers, and programmes are under way to raise and lower the use of beer in Myanmar and other Asiatic states.
It is Myanmar?s traditional international sports and we have seen many folks play it on the streets in every place we have been to. Known as chinloon, it is a pack of about 6 players with a small willow orb. This is another long standing history that goes back over 1500 years.
There are many other tradition in such an old culture that you can get to know on a journey to Myanmar, but those were the ones we really noticed. It is a land where peoples are extraordinarily kind and inviting and we found that everyone we encountered was more than fortunate to be able to answer our queries and speak to us more about these customs.
To learn more about our trips here, take a look at our tour guides to see how much it will cost to spend two week trips in Myanmar and take a look at our 3 days Bagan route.