During your trip to Burma you will have the opportunity to admire a country which is full of charm with many golden temples and absolutely beautiful scenery. You will be touched by the simplicity and generosity of Burmese people. However, during this journey of discovery, it will be necessary to know some taboos in Myanmar.
It is said that Myanmar is like “the girl still sleeping”. While the world around is noisy and turbulent. It remains the wildest, oldest and simplest characters to create a distinct identity of Myanmar. However, it is precisely because of the mentioned fact that bad practices and bizarre prohibitions still deeply affect the daily life of the Burmese.
The dominant role of men
In Myanmar, men occupy the dominant position by playing the role of head of the family. In most large spiritual temples, women are often forbidden to enter and approach statues. The position of women here is very “inferior” to that of other developed countries. Men here are kings, while women are not allowed to put their heads on the arms of men because they believe that action will make them lose their strength, spirit and even intelligence.
In Myanmar the position of women is very modest
The head is considered a sacred part of the body.
For Burmese inhabitants, the top of the head is a part of the body that expresses respect and dignity. As a result, they do not allow others to touch their heads. In general, as in Vietnam and some other countries, when you meet cute and adorable children, it is normal to rub their heads. However, you are not allowed to do so in Myanmar.
Use only the right hand to eat
When you travel to Myanmar, if you want to give something to someone or if you want to get food, you have to use your right hand. Because, according to the people here, using the left hand is an indecent act, not clean and the use of the left hand is only for the toilet.
The eastern preference of Burmese people
The idea that going east brings luck has existed for a long time. In Burma, it is said that the East is the place where Buddha sets out in search of purity. If you travel to Myanmar, you will find that in families, Buddha statues are often placed near the eastern wall of the main room. When they go to bed, too, people here are turning heads east, not west. If anyone turns to the west, he will be punished, and become unhappy because he will have insulted the Buddha. The Burmese also assert that the West is a mortal place because, in the past, King Sultan of Myanmar ordered to decapitate a large number of prisoners in a western port city. Moreover, the South also attaches great importance to it. Consequently, when you visit Burmese families, you will notice that the master of the house is placed towards the East while the guests are placed towards the South. The same is true in business meetings.
The people of Myanmar have perceptions towards the Buddha and the east
Prohibition of marriage between April and July
According to the regulations of Myanmar, the period between the 15th of April and the 15th of July is the important period which monks meditate, so it is not allowed for people to marry. In addition, people should not be married in the months of September and October either. Otherwise, the couple will have no love, and may be separated. However, this has disappeared over time and existed only in some remote rural areas.
Prohibition of slaughter
This is one of some taboos in Myanmar, especially for Buddhists. The people here are not going to buy living poultry, fish, shrimps, crabs, snails on the market but they buy felled foods that have been made available. Many people in Myanmar refrain from certain kinds of meat such as beef because they say that these animals are the men’s companions. Know that the Burmese do not eat dogs because it is a scary thing in this country of the sacred temples.
Be polite and sensitive to women in Myanmar
Embrace and have indecent acts towards women – one of the most significant taboos in Myanmar
About 30% of Myanmar women in big cities do not want to get married and the percentage is even higher in offices. Thus, travelers to Myanmar need to notice that questions about the family, husband and children should not be asked in conversations with Burmese women. In public places, they do not accept embraces or acts that express feelings.
Above is information about some taboos in Myanmar. Knowing what to do and what to not do will help you deal with delicate situations in the homeland of golden temples. Be polite and respect the traditions of local people to have a successful circuit in Burma.