Language and Culture

There are 8 main ethnic groups in Myanmar – Kachin, Kayar, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. The main language is Burmese. Apart from Burmese, there are 7 other main ethnic groups and their sub ethnic groups speaking more than 135 dialects in Myanmar. Moreover, there are Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindustani, Urdu spoken Chinese and Indian immigrates. You can experience different cultures and languages throughout the country. It would be better to hire a local guide when you visit the ethnic regions as they can help you with language and also advise you the cultures of different ethnic people. Since Myanmar is a mainly Theravada Buddhism country and conservative, it is not appropriate to wear spaghetti blouse, sleeveless, short skirts or short pants when you go to religious areas. Myanmar people are very friendly and helpful to visitors but they will expect you to respect their cultures. Myanmar people love to wear their traditional dresses and they will like you if they see you wearing their traditional dresses. Myanmar people like tourists when they see them participating in their festivals. Myanmar people do not accept wearing Buddhist or Pagoda tattoos and clothes with Buddha/Pagoda pictures on the lower half of body and they see it as an insult to the religion. Therefore, if you have those tattoos, it is advisable to hide it throughout your stay in Myanmar.