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Family Customs in Myanmar (Burma)

India has greatly influenced the lives of Myanmar's population, especially with Buddhism as the focal point of their existence.  The monastery (pongyi kyaung) is considered to be the center of community life in villages.  The shinphyu is something every boy goes through during adolescence.  He goes through the experience of Gautama (who became Buddha) by going into the monastery and lives as a novice monk.  At any point in his life, he is welcome to return for any length of time, but if he's married its understood he should ask his wife for her consent.  

For clothing, both men and women wear skirts in the Myanmar's hot climate with the exception of those in the military, who wear pants.  The "skirts" that are worn are made out of longyi, which is a cloth that is wrapped around the body (one way for men and another way for women) and with the end slipped into the waist.  Above the waist, women wear blouses, either short-sleeved or long-sleeved, while the men wear a thin shirt with theirs.  They don't wear shoes, since the weather is so hot, but sandals.  An item used year-round is an umbrella.  Umbrellas are used year-round as protection from the intensely hot sun or for protection from the rain.  

 


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