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Myanmar Culture

89% Theravada Buddhist. The remainder are Hindu, Muslim, Christian and animist. Many Buddhists also hold some animist beliefs, including worship of nats (spirits) which are rationalised as being disciples of the Buddha.
Religion:
89% Theravada Buddhist. The remainder are Hindu, Muslim, Christian and animist. Many Buddhists also hold some animist beliefs, including worship of nats (spirits) which are rationalised as being disciples of the Buddha.
Social conventions:
Handshaking is the normal form of greeting, but only with the right hand; the left hand is associated with using the toilet. Full names are used, preceded by U (pronounced oo) in the case of an older or well-respected man's name, Aung for younger men and Ko for adult males; a woman's name is preceded by Daw. There are no inherited family names.
Courtesy and respect for tradition and religion is expected; for instance, shoes and socks must be removed before entering any religious building and it is customary to remove shoes before entering a traditional home (in modern residences this may not be observed any longer except in bedrooms). When sitting, avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards people or in the direction of Buddha images as this is considered offensive. 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.
Penalties for drug-trafficking range from five years' imprisonment to a death sentence. Homosexuality is illegal, although Yangon does have a very discreet gay scene.

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