Dos and Don'ts
Every country or every race has its own moral
culture and traditions which is the characteristic of that
country or that race. Of course, Dos and Don'ts in each country
may not be the same. Knowing one's cultural and social factors
will help us not to offend others and build up the precious
Unlike other people, Myanmar name their children as they like
and so Myanmar has no family names, first name, middle name and
last name. All they have is just the given names with the
astrological calculation of the day of the week he or she was
born based on Myanmar Lunar calendar.
In Myanmar, it will be considered impolite way of calling
someone's name in a direct manner of speaking except he or she
is younger than us or the same age. Expression of respect is
also a matter of utmost importance to address the name of
Myanmar people. We have to use a proper prefix to call the name.
The prefixes are U, Daw, Ko, Maung, Ma,etc. ' U ' is for adult
males - U Bo Bo ( Mr. Bo Bo). ' Daw ' is for adult females –Daw
Thuzar ( Madam Thuza ). Ko or Maung is for younger males - Ko Bo
Bo ( Mr. Bo Bo ), Maung Bo Bo ( Mr. Bo Bo ). Ma is for younger
females - Ma May (Miss May). ' Kya Naw ' is used to express
oneself in men and ' Kya Ma ' is in women.
When one visits a certain pagoda or monastery, one should ware
proper dress. One must take off one's hat, umbrella and any
footwear before one enters the precinct of a pagoda or a
monastery. In fact, taking off the footwear in those places
shows respect to sacred persons, objects and place.
When one passes by Buddhists monks, the virtuous or the aged or
passes through an audience, one should go slowly, slightly
bending forward and bowing one's head.
When one gives something to someone or takes something from
someone, one should give or take with one's two hands even
though it may be a small thing.
- One should not greet Buddhist monks and nuns by shaking their hands nor gesture
to them. One should greet them respectfully with joined- palms.
Don't point anything with your leg.
Don't touch any person with your leg.
Don't offer a hand-shake to a woman
unless she initiates.
Don't step over any part of a person.
At the pagodas and monasteries;
Women should wear decent clothes neatly.
Wearing lose blouse, semi-through clothes and short skirts
can cause others to sin.
No kissing, no hugging, no teasing at
No photos if it is prohibited.
Don't lean on Buddha images.