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Understanding Myanmar: Home
This guide provides useful information and links to resources on Myanmar.
The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries (firstname.lastname@example.org ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.
This video gives a brief introduction and the top things to do while you are in Myanmar.
Understand more about the cultural etiquette in Myanmar.
Cultural Dos and Don’ts
Myanmar has its own customs, traditions, and rules for manners. Observe the following etiquette for a great experience:
DO cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites.
DON’T go where you’re not allowed. There are still many restricted areas that require tourists to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs and/or Ministry of Tourism before they are allowed to enter.
DON’T touch a monk. Monks are deeply revered in Myanmar society, you will notice that the highest seats on a table or bus are usually reserved for them. You should never touch the robe of a monk, not even when there is a worm crawling up his robe.
DO mind your feet. At the lowest point of the body, the feet is considered to be “dirty”. It is rude to point at people and things using your feet. When sitting in front of a Buddha statue, do not stretch your legs out with the soles of your feet facing Buddha. Instead, sit cross-legged with your feet tucked in.
DON’T touch anyone on the head. As opposed to the feet, the head is the most esteemed part of the body. Touching someone’s head is taken as a sign of aggression. Patting a child on the head is believed to be dangerous to the child’s wellbeing.
DON’T buy wildlife products or antiques. The sale of wildlife products is both illegal and a threat to the environment. On top of that, Myanmar loses its heritage every time antique items are taken out of the country. Help protect Myanmar’s wildlife and heritage by ending the demand for wildlife products and antiques.
Basic Conversational Language
Some phrases in Burmese that are handy to know when visiting Myanmar.
Kyay Zu Tin Bar Deh (Thank you)
Na meh bel lo khor lel? (What’s your name?)
(Male) Kya nor na meh ka ____ phyit par tal / (Female) Kya ma na meh ka ____ phyit par tal (My Name is _____)
Nay kaung lar? (How are you?)
Nay kaung ba deh (I’m well)
Nout ma thway mae (See you again)
Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.
This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting Myanmar.
Common Tourist Scams Learn how to protect yourself from these common scams and crimes when visiting Myanmar.
Crime & Security
Overall Crime and Safety Report
Find out more information on the common crime threats, areas of concerns, transportation-road safety, and even terrorism threat.
This section lists some recommended readings about Myanmar.
Myanmar in the Fifteenth Century by Michael A. Aung-ThwinWhen the great kingdom of Pagan declined politically in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, its territory devolved into three centers of power and a period of transition occurred. Then two new kingdoms arose: the First Ava Dynasty in Upper Myanmar and the First Pegu Dynasty in Lower Myanmar. Both originated around the second half of the fourteenth century, reached their pinnacles in the fifteenth, and declined before the first half of the sixteenth century was over. Their story is the only missing piece in Myanmar's mainstream historiography, a gap this book is designed to fill. Renowned historian Michael Aung-Thwin reconstructs the chronology of this nearly two-hundred-year period while challenging a number of long-held beliefs. Contrary to conventional histories, he contends that Ava was the continuation of an old kingdom (Pagan) led by its traditional ethno-linguistic group, the Burmese speakers, while Pegu was a new kingdom led by more recent arrivals, the Mon speakers. Although both kingdoms shared many cultural components of the "classical" Pagan tradition, Ava was inland and agrarian, while Pegu was maritime and commercial, so that each was shaped by very different geopolitical and economic environments. In that difference rests the dynamism of their "upstream-downstream" relationship, which, thereafter, became a regular historical pattern in Myanmar history, represented today by inland Naypyidaw and "coastal" Yangon. Original in conception and impressive in scope, this well written book not only fills in the history of early modern Myanmar but places it in a broad interpretive context based on years of familiarity with a wealth of primary sources. Full of arresting anecdotes and colorful personalities, it represents an important contribution to Myanmar studies that will not easily be superseded.
Call Number: This is an E-Book.
Publication Date: 2017-05-31
Myanmar : reintegrating into the international community by Chenyang Li; Chaw Chaw Sein; Xianghui ZhuLocated at the junction of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, Myanmar is one of the most important countries in the world's geopolitical landscape. Its ongoing political and economic reforms arouse growing concern from the international community, especially great powers like the US, Japan, India and China. Will the demostic reform bring Myanmar back to the international community? How and to which extent does the demostic reform change Myanmar's relations with other countries?This book is based on papers presented at an international conference on Myanmar held at the Institute of Myanmar Studies in Yunnan University, China in 2014. Based on their long-term observation and studies, experts from China, Laos, Myanmar, Germany, Singapore and the US share their opinions on Myanmar's domestic reform and foreign relations, as well as the current situation and future prospect. This book contributes to better understanding of Myanmar in its dramatic political and social transition.
Call Number: This is an E-Book.
Publication Date: 2016-06-01
Liberalism and Democracy in Myanmar by Roman David; Ian HollidayHistoric Myanmar elections in 2015 and the installation of an NLD government led by Aung San Suu Kyi in 2016 contrast with ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in 2017. One critical question that now confronts the 50 million people of this Southeast Asian nation is whether the push for greater democracy is strong enough to prevail over a powerful military machine and undercurrents of intolerance. What are the prospects for liberal democracy in Myanmar? This bookaddresses this question by examining historical conditions, constitutionalism, democracy, major political actors, ethnic conflict, and transitional justice. It presents a rich array of evidence focusedon 88 in-depth interviews and three waves of surveys and experiments conducted in 2014-18. The analysis culminates in the concept of limited liberalism, which reflects a blend of liberal and illiberal attitudes. The book concludes that a weakening of liberal commitments among politicians and citizens alike, allied with spreading limited liberal attitudes, casts doubt on the prospects for liberal democracy in Myanmar.
Factiva have many content types includes newspapers, magazines, trade journals, blogs, podcasts, websites, and newswires like Dow Jones and Reuters. Search in English, or another language of your choice. Find listed Singapore and international companies information under Companies/Markets.
Use this database to gain access to analyst reports and forecasts for both economic and political aspects. The reports examine and explain issues shaping the countries, including the political scene, economic policy, domestic economy, sectoral trends, and foreign trade and payments.
Use Business Monitor International (BMI) Research to locate SWOT analysis, risk/reward ratings, macroeconomic forecasts and brief company profiles for countries in Asia and the Middle East. Use the data and forecast feature to compare geographies and indicators to perform analysis and generate charts.
The Doing Business project provides objective measures of
business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level.
This section provides useful links to the Myanmar social media.
Let Myanmar inspire you with its magical beauty
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