Religion Beliefs
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Most Myanmar are Buddhist of the Theravada stream. Central to their religious beliefs is karma, the concept that good begets good and evil begets evils. Another belief is tat all living things go through reincarnation. If a person has committed sins, (he or she) will be reincarnated into a lower level being such as an animal or suffer in Hell; on the other hand, if he has done good deeds, he will be elevated to a higher level of existence to the world of devas. The ultimate aim in life according to Buddhist belief is to escape the cycle of rebirth and reach Nirvana.

Meritorious deeds that will help a person to achieve Nirvana include giving donations ( especially to monks) and abiding by the Five Precepts and practising Bavana (meditation).The Five Precepts are exhortation not to kill, steal, lie, drink alcohol, and commit adultery. The Five Precepts are codes of conduct for laypeople. There are also Eight, Nine and Ten precepts, meant to be practised by more serious lay devotees. The Jemghas or monks have to abide by the 227 rules of conduct or vinayas.

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Superstitions belief

Some Myanmar people, especially those from the rural areas, have many superstitions Astrology, palmistry and clairvoyance aresometimes relied upon to make important decisions. These may include marriage, going into a business partnership, naming a baby, and others. To offset bad luck, certain meritorious deeds or yadaya may be performed such as setting free some live birds or animals, building a footbridge, or mending a road.Superstition of different cultures are interesting in some ways. Here are some of the Myanmars:-

Don't go underneath a staircase. You will loose your will power

  • Don't go underneath a staircase. You will loose your will power.
  • Don't go under a pole or rope, where women used to hang-dry their longyis. You will loose your will power.
  • Don't leave a shoe or a slipper up-side-down. It'll cause bad luck.
  • Don't keep a broken glass or a mirror in homes. Replace the window panes asap if broken.
  • Don't wash your hair within a week after a funeral in the neighborhood.
  • Don't hit the pot with a ladle after you stir the curry. It's like hitting your parents' head.
  • Don't hit 2 lids of pots and pans against each other. A tiger may bite you.
  • Don't feed someone with the palm upward. The food might cause you disorder.
  • Don't clip your nails at night. Ghosts don't like that.
  • Don't take kids to dark places. Ghosts may posses them.
  • Carrying some hairs of an elephant tail will avoid evil.

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Male/Female Roles

Myanmar parents favour their sons over their daughters but the latter are treasured as well. Daughters are not considered a burden as no dowry is paid to the bridegroom when they marry. Traditional Myanmar women are not aggressive and usually play second fiddle to their husbands. Women are expected to help with the household chores and take care of their aged parents more than men. Where social life is concerned, unmarried women and bachelors tend to mix with members of the same sex. Between married couples, public displays of affection are rarely seen.

Boss/Employee Relationship

Myanmar employees are hardworking and loyal to their bosses. In return, a boss is expected to be a father figure and give help in times of need. Such help may be the giving advice to sort out personal problems or the granting of a loan in a financial crisis. As in all Asian cultures, Myanmar respect people who are older than them. To avoid friction in the workspace, make sure that a subordinate is not resentful of working under a younger supervisor. Negative communication is usually indirect. If it is necessary to discipline an employee, it is best to do it in private and with tact. Loss of “face” is a serious matter among Myanmar people.

Business Relationship

Friendship, trust, and honesty are important in a business relationship. Favours received, such as introducing a potential client or supplying a reference, must be repaid at a future time. When two Myanmar businessmen meet for the first time, chances are that business may not be discussed in depth. Rather, the meeting may be spent evaluating each other’s personality and business strengths and weaknesses. In general, it is easier for Asians to deal with Myanmar businesspeople than Westerners.

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