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About Myanmar

The Land

Now Myanmar,one of the biggest countries in South-East Asia with the total land area of 686577sqkm (677000 sq miles). Friendly stay around with neighboring countries, Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand and has a 2832 km long coastline on the India Ocean.The Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea are on the south west.

In comparison with other Buddhist countries such as Srilanka, Tibet, China and Thailand, Myanmar has more pagodas and religious buildings This is effect given deep meanung to the name “The Golden Land”.

Myanmar Comprises of 7 states and 7 divisions enumerated in Myanmar alphabetical order as below.

1. Kachin State
2. Kayah State
3. Kayin State
4. Chin State
5. Sagaing Division
6. Tanintharyi Division
7. Bago Division
8. Magway Division
9. Mandalay Division
10. Mon State
11. Rakkhine State
12. Yangon Division
13. Shan State
14. Ayeyarwaddy Division

The People

Myanmar is a Union of over 135 ethnic groups with the name Myanmar embracing all the ethnic groups. The major ethnic groups are Bamar, Chin, Kachin, Kyayh, Mon, Rakkhine and Shan.The Bamar is the largest group forming about 69% of the total population of 55 millions. The Best Known sub groups are the Danu, Dawei, Kadu, Meo,Myeik (Beik), Naga, Pa-O, Palaung, Padaung, Rawang, Salono, Mokan, Thel, Wa and Zo. Each national race group has its own culture and most of the sub groups live in the remote mountainous regions. They preserve their traditions and customs and enjoy festivities that can be seen by outsides both locals and foreigners.

The Culture

Myanmar located between two big nations with their great civilizations India and China. But it has developed its own distinctive culture. Myanmar culture is unique and exotic. Many cultural resources are found everywhere in terms of religion, architecture arts, handicrafts, dresses, literature and language. The daily lives of the Myanmar people are strongly influence by the Buddhism. The people have preserved the traditions of close family ties, respect for the elders, devotion to the Buddhist teachings and wearing the simple native dress. The people even of small numbered races live contended and cheerful in the face of adversity. In their regions the celebrations and feast, they hold are not put up shows for tourist but their usual cultural activities. The wealth of natural resources may be impressive but the great fascinations of Myanmar lies in its people.

The official language is Myanmar and it is spoken by at least 80% of the population. The spoken Myanmar language differs slightly from region to region and the minority ethnic groups have their own languages and dialects. English is spoken by many and is widely understood.

Religion

The country parcticed the complete freedom of the Religion for the people of Myanmar. But the Theravada Buddhism is well accepted by the majority of the people. About 87% of the populations are Buddhists and the rest are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and some animists.

Climate

Myanmar has three seasons. The rainy season ( or ) the monsoon starts from mid May to October and the cool dry season ( or ) the winter from November to February, which is considered to be the best time for the tourists with around 18° to 24° Celsius. And the hot season for the summer from March to May. But the country itself has large area with different geographical locations and the temperature vary from region to region.

The History

Early civilization in Myanmar dated back to the 2nd Century with archaeological evidence of the Pyu Kingdoms of the Thaye-Khittaya ( Sriketra ) Beikthano ( Visnu ) and Halin. The Pyu however left a wealth of gold artifacts that testified to their civilized and rich kingdoms lasted till to the 9th Century AD.

After the fall of the Pyu in the 9th Century, King Anawrahta united into the first Myanmar Empire and setup Bagan as the capitol. Due to his efforts that Theravada Buddhism flourishes in the country today. Bagan become as the birth place of Myanmar culture. But in 1787 AD, there was invasion by the Mongols and the city was totally damaged and slowly diminished in power. Several of the smaller kingdoms were founded by descendents of the Bagan kings. In the middle of the 16th century, the second Myanmar Empire was founded by King Bayintnaung, known as Hanthawaddy ( or ) the present name of the city called Bago.

Again Bayintnaung's successors did not have his vision as strength and the kingdom of Hanthawaddy has declined by the 17th Century.

In 1752, the King Alaungpaya founded the third and last Myanmar Empire with Konbaung Dynasty of eleven monarchs, who were to be the last kings in Myanmar. Mandalay was the last capital of the country from 1857 to 1885 and annexed by the British and become a British colony.

During the World War II, Myanmar was occupied by the Japanese and in the post war period the independent movement, which had begun in the early 20th Century came to a climax and Myanmar attained independent on 4th January 1948.

 

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