Facts about Myanmar –Myanmar is also known as Burma, was long considered a pariah state. Early civilizations in Myanmar included the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu city-states in Upper Burma and the Mon kingdoms in Lower Burma. For most of its independent years, the country has been engrossed in rampant ethnic strife and Burma’s myriad ethnic groups have been involved in one of the world’s longest-running ongoing civil wars. Myanmar is a mystical land. A country of hills and valleys, mountains and beaches, temples, and jungles.
Country Profile of Myanmar
|China, Laos, Thailand, India, and Bangladesh
|The form of Government
|Unitary presidential constitutional republic
|Aung San Suu Kyi (State Counsellor)
National Identities of Myanmar
|The Green Peafowl –’Daung’
|The Chinthe – ‘guardian lions’
National Flag of Myanmar
The National Flag of Myanmar (Burma) was adopted in 2010. It consists of three horizontal stripes of yellow colour which symbolizes solidarity, green for peace and tranquillity and red for courage and decisiveness, with a large white star overlaid in the centre.
The State Seal
The coat of arms or the state seal has two chinthe(mythical lions) facing opposite one another, and at its centre is a map of Burma. The coat of arms is surrounded by traditional Burmese flower designs and a star at its top. A five-pointed star is at the top centre and “The Union of Myanmar” is written along the bottom of the seal. Burmese is a Tibeto-Burman language whose alphabet is derived from South Indian scripts. The largest ethnic group that speaks Burmese is the Myanma; there is a smaller Burmese-speaking ethnic group known as Baramagyi (or Barua).
People in Myanmar
Myanmar is a country of great ethnic diversity. The Burmans, who form the largest group, account for more than half of the population. They are concentrated in the Irrawaddy River valley and in the coastal strips, with an original homeland in the central dry zone.
The Irrawaddy and Sittang deltas were once peopled by the Mon, who likely entered the country more than two millennia ago from their kingdoms in the Chao Phraya River valley in Thailand.
Economy of Myanmar
- Much of the population is engaged directly in agricultural pursuits. Of those who are employed in other sectors of the economy, many are indirectly involved in agriculture through such activities as transporting, processing, marketing, and exporting agricultural goods.
- Agriculture, forestry, and fishing together constitute the largest contributor to Myanmar’s economy.
- The major agricultural produce is rice which covers about 60% of the country’s total cultivated land area.
- Burma is also the world’s second-largest producer of opium, accounting for 8% of entire world production and is a major source of illegal drugs, including amphetamines.
- Other industries include agricultural goods, textiles, wood products, construction materials, gems, metals, oil and natural gas.
Machinery and equipment, industrial raw materials, and consumer goods.
Natural gas, pulses (mostly dried beans), teak, and minerals and gems.
- Myanmar has been a member of ASEAN since 1997.
- Myanmar is one of the signatories of the nuclear non-proliferation pact since 1992 and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1957.
- World Trade Organization (WTO) also a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Labour Organisation, World Bank Group.
Sports in Myanmar
Chinlone (cane ball)is the national sport of Myanmar. Over 1,500 years old, chinlone is a non-competitive team sport, where players perform a range of “moves” in order to keep the rattan ball from the ground. It takes a lot of focus, teamwork, and skill. Only six points of contact from the knees to the toes are allowed. The teams of six players can be mixed gender and made up of children and adults.
Rivers in Myanmar
- Ayeyarwaddy River
- Thanlwin River
- Chindwin River
- Sittaung River.
Seasons in Myanmar
- Much of the country lies between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator.
- Myanmar has three seasons: the cool, relatively dry northeast monsoon.
- Myanmar continues to perform badly in the global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) with an overall ranking of 153 out of 180 countries in 2016; among the worst in the South Asian region, only ahead of Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Amazing Facts about Myanmar
- Myanmar is shaped like a kite with a long tail that runs south along the Malay Peninsula.
- In 2006 the capital of Myanmar was moved from Yangon (formerly Rangoon) to Nay Pyi Taw.
- Htin Kyaw will be remembered by history as the first civilian president for Myanmar and the head of its first government to be elected in free and fair polls.
- Initially, many Burmese girls served the courts of the Kings of Siam, now known as Thailand.
- Mandalay, the last capital of the Myanmar Kingdom is the cultural centre of the country.
- Myanmar is mostly a Theravada Buddhist country. Here, you will also find other religions such as Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Muslims, and Christians.
- Myanmar has a rich topography. Except for a desert, it has almost every habitat right from its northern snow-capped Alpine mountains to the tropical forests in the south.
- This is probably one of the few countries in the world where your health is judged by how overweight you are. Plumpness is regarded as a sign of health.
- Under British rule, Myanmar was the richest country in south-east Asia.
- Myanmar is endowed with a rich ecological diversity. Here, you will find about 100 bird species, 300 reptiles, 7000 species of plant life and 300 recorded mammal species. The rich ecological diversity is also an important national asset.
- Both men and women in Myanmar use a yellow paste from the bark of the Thanakha tree as a cosmetic. Applied to the face, it is an effective sunscreen that also tightens the skin and prevents oiliness.
- Myanmar is one of the few countries in the world half-hour time zone. The time in Burma is UTC +6:30, which 30 minutes different from a neighbouring Thailand.
- Burma is a home of the biggest book in the world. The book is situated in Kuthodaw pagoda in Mandalay. It has 1460 pages and 730 leaves. Each page is 107cm (3.51 ft) wide, 13cm (5.1 in) thick and 153cm (5.02 ft) tall.
- The Irrawaddy River in Myanmar is believed to be a symbol of ‘Continuity’.
- Coca-Cola was banned from the country until 2013.
New Year’s Day in Myanmar is on April 16 and consists of a 3-day celebration.