Myanmar is a well-known Buddhist country, with over 80% of the country's population practicing Buddhism. Monks are highly respected throughout Burma. The greatest wish of Burmese people in their life is to donate money to build pagodas and to add gold leaf to the body of Buddha. Therefore, in Myanmar you will find temples and pagodas all over the city and countryside, and these colorful Buddhist buildings form a major feature of the Myanmar landscape.
Although Burmese people's meager income is not always enough to meet their daily needs, they are not distressed by their poverty because the satisfaction and peace brought by their faith is enough to forget everything.
Burmese people are extremely devout to Buddha and walk barefoot to show their respect to him. No matter who enters a pagoda or temple, they must take off their shoes, and even though the weather is hot and the roads are rugged, there is still a constant stream of barefoot worshipers.
Hinayana Buddhism is a common belief in Burma. Every man in Burma is required to become a monk at least once in his life, and the period of time can be short or long, ranging from a few weeks to a few years, or even a lifetime as a monk.
Burmese monks follow the principle of "no food for tomorrow, no cooking, no accumulation of food" in their daily diet, which is mainly obtained through fasting. In the morning, in the streets of the city and on the paths of the countryside, you will see young monks coming out to fast with their bare feet.
This kind of fasting is common in Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Cambodia, and cannot be considered as begging, because it is a necessary way for ordinary people to willingly express their devotion to Buddha and monks and nuns, and is a way for believers to accumulate their own merits.
The monks observe the precept of "no food after lunch" and eat only two meals a day: one at four or five o'clock in the morning and one at ten o'clock at noon. They are allowed to eat meat, as long as they do not see or hear the killing and do not kill for themselves, and they are allowed to eat the chicken, duck and fish from the fast.
Myanmar is almost universally religious, but the status of female monks is much lower than that of male monks. A Burmese boy who becomes a monk can return to the monkhood at any time, but a girl who becomes a monk can not return to the monkhood once she becomes a monk. Once a girl becomes a monk, she cannot return to the monastic life.
Nevertheless, there are still many women who choose to become nuns, either out of the helplessness of their living environment or out of their devout faith in Buddha, and live a simple, uncontested life with the ancient Buddha and the morning bell and evening drum.
Most of them have gentle and kind faces, quiet and calm demeanor, abiding by the Buddhist precepts, without the desires and distractions of worldly women, perhaps because of this, they can have such clear eyes.
Travel tip: In Myanmar and even Southeast Asia, it is believed that the head is the most noble part of a person's whole body, and no one can touch it at will, otherwise it will be considered as hurting someone's dignity.
In addition, Burmese people worship cows infinitely and respect them like gods. In the past, cows were not allowed to be whipped, and they were not allowed to be killed. Pedestrians and vehicles must avoid the "sacred cow" when they encounter it.