Local Laws & Customs
Under Burmese law, insulting religion is a prosecutable offence. Insulting religion is a broad term, and can include any disrespectful depiction or image (including tattoos) of Buddha or other religious representation, or wearing any tattoo of Buddha anywhere below the waist.
Respect religious customs when visiting Buddhist religious sites. Shorts and sleeveless tops will cause offence. You should remove shoes and socks before entering a pagoda or monastery.
Drugs: Penalties for drug trafficking range from a minimum sentence of 15 years imprisonment and can include the death penalty.
Homosexuality is technically illegal in Burma, although these laws are rarely enforced in practice
Burma is a party to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
Over 800 species of animals and plants are banned from international trade and a further 30,000 are strictly controlled by the legislation. You should consider the restrictions on the export of endangered species when deciding whether to buy exotic souvenirs, including those made from turtles.
Taboos in life
- The man's conception of Myanmar society is quite heavy, some sacred temples prohibit women not to shy statue, not to stand in the man's region, not to plate the gold leaf in the sacred temple; even more taboo that woman is not to overlap her head on the man's arms, because this man will lose strength, and his spirit is no longer good
- The Burmese consider a person's head top must be respected , so others do not touch his head, even should not touch the head of the adorable children . When the donation or gift for the elderly, do not use the right hand because his right hand is considered as unclean corrupted people.
- The Burmese consider the EAST as luck, goodness . it is believed that the East is the place for the purity of the Buddha. That is why the Buddhist shrine in Myanmar families are usually placed close to the eastern wall of the main room. So during sleep, certainly the head must turn eastward, Not Westward. That's the way to respect Buddha, and get good luck.
- For multiple reasons, about 30% of women in major cities of Myanmar not to get married. In the office, this rate can be up to 50%. So among the communication, you should not ask women about family, husband and children. The Burmese people do not hug or kiss in the public. If you use your foot to point something , will be considered as impolite action.
- Also killing animals should be avoided in Myanmar . Burmese people do not go to the market to buy poultry, shrimp, fish, cattle that are alive .. usually to buy meat, dead fish. Quite many Burmese people don't eat the buffalo meat or cow meat, they think these animals are friends of people or useful domesticated animals . Eating dog meat is a taboo and a abhorrence in Myanmar.