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Welcoming Myanmar

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The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia. Myanmar is blessed with abundant water resources, fertile soil, and a favorable climate. Half of Myanmar's territory is covered by forested plateaus, valleys, and plains.

Myanmar’s people are kind, gentle, friendly, and generous. The country is home to more than 135 separate ethnic groups, each with its own traditions, history, and customs, making it one of the world’s most ethnically diverse countries and an exciting place to visit. Myanmar is considered a paradise of tropical fruits by the growing number of tourists who have recently discovered this destination. Many tropical fruits that are exported to countries around the globe originated from Myanmar, including grapes, papayas, cherries, plums, tamarinds and durian.

For vegans, the most important word to learn in Myanmar is “Thatalo,” which means “No living things” or plant-based food. The country’s street food stalls and restaurants offer vegan-friendly items such as fried vegetable dishes and raw salads, accompanied by peanut sauce and rice or noodles. You will also find spring rolls, savory patties, samosas, and bread. Shan noodles, originally from Shan City, is a popular vegan dish and commonly served for breakfast.

Myanmar hosts many festivals throughout the year. The Kachin Manaw Festival is a New Year’s celebration of the Kachin people and the most important event for the Kachin State. The festival’s name means peace and unity and is celebrated at the beginning of January. According to the Burmese lunar calendar, the celebration of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival occurs in October or November. It is one of the largest annual Buddhist festivals in Myanmar. Religion has been extremely important in Myanmar throughout its history and is still present in modern-day spiritual practice. Theravada Buddhism is practiced by roughly 90% of the population; while other religious minorities include Protestant Christians, Muslims, and Hindus.

The sublime and spiritual beauty of Myanmar is expressed in the following verses by Supreme Master Ching Hai from Her poem “Mandalay – Burma,” written under the pen name Wu Tzu: “From the distant hill A temple bell peals Resonating ethereal sounds In a world that seems unreal!”
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