21-09-2023 4.804 Views

The Burmese culture was influenced by Buddhism as well as by the Mon people. Its culture is very similar to that of its neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia.

Myanmar is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country, with more than 130 different ethnic minorities, grouped into 7 national «races»: the Shans, the Mons, the Karens, the Karenni, the Chins, the Kachin and the Arakanais.


85% of Burmese are Buddhists. They practice the so-called Theravada school (or "Little Vehicle"), the traditional form of Buddhism corresponding to the first teachings of Buddha Sakyamuni. There are about 250,000 monks in Myanmar.


Beyond this traditional Buddhism, many forms of shamanism still exist between jungles and mountains of Myanmar. The belief in spirits called "Nats" is the most widespread. This animistic cult, coming from India, consists in uniting with the spirits of the mountains, lakes or forests by sacrifices and offerings.


  • One of the Burmese specialties is traditional dance. Indeed, this tradition occupies an important place in the Nat celebrations. The Burmese dances, very typical, are solo dances of women dressed in long dresses high in color and that they project in the air with the help of their heels.
  • Also know that respect for the elders is at the heart of the culture, so pay attention to your behavior towards them.
  • Remember to take off your shoes and socks when you go into a temple or home.
  • Women must keep a certain distance from monks on sacred sites. In addition, you should not shake the hand of a monk and one must not give food to a monk after noon.
  • To finish the few rules of manners, you do not sit back to a Buddha and it is very badly perceived to point your feet in his direction.

The Burmese cuisine is a mixture of different cultures: it was inspired by Indian and Chinese cuisine but also by its local ethnicities. This cuisine is based on rice, like many Asian countries, whether served with vegetables, fish, shrimp, poultry or sheep. Often, you will find your meal accompanied by a soup.

To finish your meal, you will be served a variety of fruits, such as mangoes, papayas, strawberries, pineapples and coconuts. A thousand and one flavors that will satisfy your taste buds.

Here are some of Burmese specialties :

  • Laphet Thoke: this is a traditional Burmese salad. This salad is composed of fermented tea leaves accompanied by garlic cloves, tomatoes, peanuts, grilled sesame and dried shrimp.
  • Aung le pine: mix of various shellfish and crustaceans.
  • Shan noodles: wheat noodles or rice noodles with grilled chicken and peanuts. This dish is very common in Myanmar.
  • Mohinga: this is the Burmese national dish. Delicious fish soup with vermicelli, served with cilantro, ginger, eggs, onions, lemongrass and peppers. It is a spicy but delicious dish, test it!
  • Fried noodles: fried noodles with vegetables and a fried egg.
  • Kakatik: fish in sauce.
  • Ohn no khaukswe: noodles with chicken and coconut sauce.
  • Seikhtar hin: sheep curry.
  • Sanwin-ma-kin: egg cakes, semolina and coconut.
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