When traveling to any new country, knowledge of local etiquette will be essential for interacting with local people.
This is absolutely true in Myanmar, where many local customs are unique, and unheard of in the west. Being a foreigner, you will be excused for many things, but you can avoid offending locals unnecessarily by knowing some basic local etiquette for visiting the religious monuments in Myanmar .
01-Take any footwear off
Wearing the any kinds of footwear is strictly prohibited . So sandals ,shoes and socks should always be removed and left outside of the main worship area. It is believed to be respectful practice of Burmese People for entering to any religious monuments .
2. Show respectful manner and behaviors
Turn off mobile phones, remove headphones, lower your voice, avoid inappropriate conversation, remove hats, and no smoking or chewing gum when entering an actual consecrated area, where locals go to commune with the sacred; any hint of irreverence might cause deep offense.
3- Pay the great respect to Buddhist Monk
Kindly advise you not sit on the level which is more higher than the lever where monk is sitting . Besides, only use your right hand when giving or receiving something from a monk. It is extremely important that women should never touch or hand a monk something.
4- Cover yourself
Shoulders should be covered and long pants worn rather than shorts. Dress should be modest, so both men and women should avoid shorts cut above the knee (a few local men wear shorts, but really long trousers are more appropriate if you can tolerate them in the heat). Mini-skirts and tight or revealing clothing should not be worn. In brief, never wear clothes which are revealing.
5- Pay a great respect to the Buddha Statues
Never touch, sit near, or climb on a Buddha statue or the raised platform. Get permission before taking photographs and never do so during worship.
6. Don’t disturb people praying or meditating
Avoid loud talk and should take care not to touch them unless you want to be considered impolite.
6- Smile and Be Friendly
Having said all this, please don’t let these dos and don’ts deter you from interacting with locals.
Being a foreigner means you are entitled to more lenience in interpreting these social rules. People will probably understand if you are not familiar with some of their cultural etiquette and make minor mistakes, without intending to offend them.
Furthermore, Myanmar people are generally very friendly and like to smile. If you are not sure whether it’s appropriate to take pictures of them, approach them and ask. So, while keeping all the etiquette in mind, put on your best smile and enjoy your interactions with locals.
Visit Myanmar with Panoramic Myanmar Tours
We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 13 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.
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