(Republic of the Union of Myanmar, Union of Burma)
Please Note: No merchandise offered for sale on this website originated in Myanmar
- Location: Southeast Asia
- Capital: Naypyidaw
- Language(s): Myanma (Mranma Pran), Kayah, Karen
- Population: 56,212,432
- Total Area: 676,578 sq km
- Currency: Kyat
- Curious Alcohol Fact: There is a common drink made from sugarcane.
- Annual Average Liquor Consumption Per Capita: 0.55 liters
- Most Popular Drink(s): Sugarcane juice, Mandalay Red (beer)
Located on the western flank of Southeast Asia, and has the following nations as neighbors: Laos, Thailand, India, Bangladesh and the People’s Republic of China. Formerly called the Union of Burma, the name was changed to the Union of Myanmar in the late 1980s. Around the same period, the name of the former capital city of Rangoon was changed but the new capital today is Naypyidaw. The relief of the nation shows mountains, coastal plains, plateaus and lowlands. The nation has a number of hydrographic features such as the Rivers Yangtze, Mekong and the Irrawady Delta, which is one of the most important rice cultivating areas in the region. The Irrawady Delta itself is the longest river in the country. The climate of the country has been described as being tropical and equatorial.
By far, the largest ethnic group in the country is the Bamar and they account for almost 70% of the country’s population. Apart from the Bamar, there are some other ethnic groups, and these are the Shan, Karen, Chinese, Indians, Kayah, Mon and the Rakine. On the whole, the total number of ethnic groups in the country is close to 140 groups. Many of the citizens engage in agriculture, and the most important food crop cultivated in the country is rice. On the other hand, large amounts of opium are also cultivated in the country. The most popular figure in the country is the legendary Aung San Suu Kyii, a pro-democracy and human right activist.
In spite of the political challenges that the country is facing, the people have not lost their culinary magic, and all you need to do is to consume just a meal, especially in the countryside and you will experience the true charm of this Asian nation. Talking of Burmese foods, one that many of the tourists find difficult to resist is called letok son and is a salad made up of a masterly mixture of vegetables, rice and spices. Because of the people’s preference for spices, the foods are always hot and tasty. There is also the mee swan and is made with meat and noodles.
For visitors who wish to have something very cool to drink, there are various selections that you can always make. One of such is the local juice made by pressing sugarcane. It is quite popular in various parts of the country. There is also a well-known beer brand named Mandalay Beer.
If you have the opportunity of visiting this ancient and religious land, there are some places that you must visit. One particular site that is known to millions all over the world is the Shwedagon Pagoda. Widely regarded as the oldest pagoda in the world, the Shwedagon Pagoda is the center of attraction for Buddhists all across the region. Covered with tons and tons of gold, very few sights can be as impressive as this particular structure. Other places include Bagan and Mandalay.
Talking of sports in Myanmar, there is no way you will forget traditional boxing in which the rules are actually not fixed and that makes the whole thing quite interesting. Other traditional sports in the country include chinlone in which a ball is played with various parts of the body –except the hands! In the villages, you will also be enraptured with the various martial arts and spectacular shows of cockfighting which can be very dramatic!
- This country is also sometimes referred to as Burma.
- Myanmar is home to the legendary Aung San Suu Kyi who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
- The country remains one of the few nations in the world ruled by soldiers.
- The exact pronunciation of the name ‘Myanmar’ varies.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).