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The People

Myanmar is home to many early civilizations of Southeast Asia and is ethnically and culturally diverse. Myanmar lies between two of the world’s great civilizations, China and India, yet Myanmar culture is neither: it is a blend of some 136 different ethnic groups.

The largest are the Bamars (indigenous Myanmar or Burmese) at about 65% of the population of over 50 million. Other ethnic groups include the Chin, Kachin, Karens, Kayas, Kayin, Shan, Rakhine, and Mon, each of which have historically dominated a particular area of the country. Although Burmese is the major and official language, more than a hundred local and regional dialects are spoken throughout Burma.

Myanmar is a country with freedom of religion. Although 89% of the population embrace Theravada Buddhism as their religion, 1% of the population are animist, 4% Christian, 4/% Muslim and 1.5% Hindu. Monks number 500,000 and are considered the civil institution of the Nation

Theravada Buddhism psycho-philosophical beliefs greatly influence the daily and social lives. You will discover a people with a tradition of strong family ties, respect for their elders, kindness, and hospitality.

“Gentle, humorous, engaging, considerate, inquisitive, and passionate, they want to play a part in the world, and to know what you make of their world. Yes, this is Burma – come with your mind open and you’ll leave with your heart full.” www.lonelyplanet.com


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