Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is the Land of Human Origin. It is also recognized by the world as the Golden Land. Myanmar is a diamond-shaped country extending 925km (575 miles) from east to west and 2100km (1300 miles) from north to south. It is bounded by China, Laos and Thailand in the east, by Bangladesh and India in the north and by the Indian Ocean in the west and south. The Irrawaddy River runs through the center of the country and fans out to form a delta on the south coast; Yangon stands beside one of its many mouths
The country of Myanmar, which has a total area of 678,500 square kilometres (261,970 sq mi), is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia, and the 40th-largest in the world (after Zambia). It is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas and slightly larger than Afghanistan. Myanmar is located between Chittagong Division of Bangladesh and Assam, Nagaland and Manipur of India to the northwest
Located between the tropic of Cancer and the Equator, Myanmar has the effects of the Monsoon in different parts of the country. Myanmar has a largely tropical climate with three seasons: the monsoon or rainy season, from May to October; the cool season, from November to February; and the hot season, generally from March to April
Myanmar is divided into seven states and seven divisions. The divisions are predominantly Bamar. The states, in essence, are divisions which are home to particular ethnic minorities. The administrative divisions are further subdivided into townships, wards, and villages. Major cities are divided into districts called townships.
The country is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement and isolation. Burma's GDP grows at an average rate of 2.9% annually – the lowest rate of economic growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Under British administration, Burma was the second-wealthiest country in South-East Asia. It had been the world's largest exporter of rice. During British administration, Burma supplied oil through the Burmah Oil Company. Burma also had a wealth of natural and labour resources. It produced 75% of the world's teak and had a highly literate population. The country was believed to be on the fast track to development.
Myanmar has a population of about 50 million. Current population figures are rough estimates because the last partial census, conducted by the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs under the control of the military junta, was taken in 1983. No trustworthy nationwide census has been taken in Myanmar since the 1930s. There are over 600,000 registered migrant workers from Myanmar in Thailand, and millions more work illegally
Burmese, the mother tongue of the Bamar and official language of Myanmar, is linguistically related to Tibetan and to the Chinese languages. It is written in a script consisting of circular and semi-circular letters, which comes from the Mon script.
The main religions of the country are Buddhism (89.2%), Christianity (5.0%), Islam (3.8%), Hinduism (0.5%), Spiritualism (1.2%) and others (0.2%). Religious intolerance or discrimination on grounds of religion is nonexistent in the Union of Myanmar throughout its long history.
The education system of Myanmar is operated by the Ministry of Education. Universities and professional institutes from upper Myanmar and lower Myanmar are run by two separate entities, the Departments of Higher Learning 1 and 2, whose offices are based in Mandalay and Yangon respectively. The education system is based on the United Kingdom's system, due to nearly a century of British presence in Myanmar.
According to the Myanmar tradition, a person has no family name. A woman has her own name and retains it even after marriage. A child is normally named according to the day of the week he(or she) was born, whereby each day of the week is denoted by certain letters of the Myanmar alphabet. For example, Monday is denoted by the names Kyaw,Khin, Kyin, etc;Thuesday by San, Su, Nyi, etc, Another way to name a child is based on his (or her) date of birth.
The literature of Myanmar spans over a millennium. Burmese literature was historically influenced by Indian and Thai cultures, as seen in many works, such as the Ramayana. The Burmese language, unlike other Southeast Asian languages (e.g. Thai, Khmer), adopted words primarily from Pali rather than from Sanskrit. In addition, Burmese literature has the tendency to reflect local folklore and culture.
The food in Myanmar has its own special identity. Although it draws on its’ neighbors, it is neither as hot as Thai, as spicy as Indian nor does it resemble Chinese cooking much except in the stir-fry vegetables. Nowadays various kinds of Myanmar food and snacks are available in the street stalls, market stalls and local restaurants. Also most of hotels in different destinations offer Myanmar set menus, which allows visitors to try the taste of the Myanmar cuisine.
Myanmars have a penchant for theatre and festivals. Most festivals called pwe in Myanmar are related to religion and quite often, they are carried out under the patronage of a pagoda or a pagoda trustee committee. Since long time ago, most of the famous pagodas in Myanmar had their paya-pwes (pagoda-festivals) during winter and usually most are celebrated in the month of Tabaung (March). Pagoda festivals are literally glilttering affairs.
The Burmese music has a combination of several different musical instruments. There are five kinds of musical instruments: kyay (alloy containing copper ) , kyo (strings) , tha-yay (hide) , lay (air) ,lekkoke (clapper) The Myanmar musical instruments can be further categorized into two kinds including concert ( a-nyeint) and orchestra ( saing-waing). There are more Myanmar traditional musical instruments such as Harp, Pattalar, Hne.
The earliest physical evidence of Myanmar traditional dance is excavated antiques in the site of the Pyu city of Srikshetra. Excavated antiques include small bronze figures of a flute player, a drummer, a cymbal clapper, a dancer and a fifth figure that looks like a dwarf clown carrying a sack on its back. The heads of the figures are large but the bodies are of fine proportion. They are well dressed and bedecked with ornaments, and their postures are animated indicating they were engaged in performance