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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 relationship.

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 those areas.
  • No photos if it is prohibited.
  • Don't lean on Buddha images.




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