Do’s and Don’ts in Myanmar

Those who visits Myanmar or who is dealing with Myanmar people should observe certain rules of the Do’s and Don’ts to keep up his politeness and social etiquette.

Do’s

  • Call people’s name leading with “U” (for Man) or “Daw” (for Woman) if they are officials or older people, call name leading with “Mg” or “Ko” (for Boy)/ Ma(for Girl)
  • When you walk pass in front of elderly people, lower your head a little bit to show respect.
  • Say Greeting words “ Min Ga Lar Par”, when you meet others
  • Take off your footwear when visiting pagodas or monasteries or prayer’s room.
  • Pay respects to monks although you are not Buddhist.
  • Pay respect to people who are older or higher rank or senior in the workplace than you.
  • Accept things or presents with both hands.
  • Please remember to dress and behave appropriately when you visit Pagodas. Female tourists are expected to practice a certain degree of discretion in the way they dress. Tight-fitting clothes, short pants, and very short skirts are definitely considered a faux pas. Wear Conservative and Appropriate Clothes.
  • Crowds – if you go to areas in holidays and celebrations, be prepared to encounter many people. To Western experience the volume of these areas can be incredible. Be prepared to be pushed and shoved and be aware that they mean no harm.
  • Watch where you walk – The sidewalks in Yangon are uneven and full of obstacles, pay attention. Oh, also, the streets have many stray dogs; dogs are not aggressive but do leave landmines on the sidewalks.

Don’ts

  • Do not open the present in front of givers.
  • Do not eat with your mouth open.
  • All Buddha images are considered sacred and there are laws against removing these images for anything other than personal worship.
  • Be Quiet – Loud people are considered impolite. Speak softly and do not laugh loudly especially at pagodas and monasteries. Of course there are the common places such as bars that being loud is appropriate.
  • Do not hug or kiss in public areas.
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed in front of seniors and elders.
  • Do not point to direction or show things with your leg.
  • Do not kick or step over written books.
  • Do not  dress in black to wedding receptions.
  • Do not sit on the chair when Monks or elderly persons are sitting on the floor.

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