Although Myanmar is eastern state it is unique in many ways. On the streets of the Burmese capital and its many markets there are full of women. They are holding loose. Girls will not refuse to take pictures with you for memory, allowing even to attach, but purely symbolically, of course. Long scarves and stuff like that you won’t not even see in Burma. Burmese women do not wear headgear at all, unless they work in the field – then they put on wide-reed cane hats. Even the myth of the full equality of women in Asian country of Myanmar was born. The reality is much more complicated. If representatives of the fair sex enjoy significant rights in Burmese society, they owe it not only to the nobility of men, but also to their active role in economic life. In Myanmar, which specializes mainly in rice cultivation, women participate in production on an equal basis with men, not limited only to housekeeping. As for Buddhism, the predominant religion in Myanmar, it has a rather complex attitude towards a woman. As traditionally believed, originally the Buddha opposed the fact that women could became nuns and then changed his anger to mercy and condemned the oppression of women, considering them to be weaker than men. Now in Myanmar, women are forbidden to enter the most sacred places of the pagodas, climbing their upper platforms. Many Burmese women ask in a future life to be reborn as a man while praying.
Burmese woman is a big hard worker. The well-being of many families often depends on the woman and her work. Women of Burma, as a rule, are engaged in trade and associated with handicrafts, thus making a decisive contribution to the family budget. Visiting a Burmese shop or a handicraft workshop you may not even ask whom they belong to. In most cases it turns out that the owner is a woman. Partly, probably, this is due to the fact that a man at any time can leave for a while in a monastery down from worldly affairs and in this case he can not be a possessor of property. In addition to the fact that the Burmese woman works in the field, is engaged in trade and craft, all the work around the house falls on her shoulders. Here we must take into account that food can not be cooked in the tropics for the future, otherwise infectious diseases and poisonings can not be avoided.
An uneasy burden does not prevent the Burmese women from remaining calm, balanced, benevolent and, of course, attractive. The Burmese women rejuvenate local cosmetics – “tanakha.” By inheritance Burmese girls get gracefulness and harmony. After all, Myanmar people are sleeping on hard mats and all the loads are carried by women on their heads. In the family the Burmese girl participates in the resolution of all cases. Burmese love children very much, calling them a jewel. The mother of a large family, who are the majority in Burma, as a rule has 5-7 children and is revered and respected. No wonder there is a Burmese proverb: “A hand swinging a cradle rules the whole world.”
A woman has the right to divorce and the children always remain with her mother after divorce. Divorces in Myanmar are quite rare as marriages are usually made for love, with the consent of young people. And if the parents do not agree, the beloved couple can secretly leave their parents’ homes and start living together in the houses of their relatives or friends and parents have no choice but to recognize the marriage. In principle, Buddhism does not prohibit polygamy, and it used to be practiced, primarily by kings and nobles. Now the Burmese family is monogamous.
In Myanmar you can often meet a woman who smokes. Those mostly are respectable mothers of families with a cigar-caruta. Smoking woman can easily come in the street to a man and ask for a light. Smoking not some kind of cigarettes, but huge local cigars is old tradition among women of Burma. It’s a pleasure to watch a Burmese woman smoking a caruta. She does it with special grace. The ordinary inhalation and exhalation of smoke turns into a ceremony. Young student girls do not smoke, considering that smoking is a sign of low culture.
Girls in Burma have access to higher education and in some universities they are even more girls than boys, and they usually are much better at learning. But, as they say, you have to pay for everything. As a rule, Burmese women, who occupy high posts, are not married. It is believed that it is impossible to combine responsible work and caring for the family. Well, everyone is free to make a choice. For women, there are practically no forbidden professions. The Burmese women serve in the army, police, even in the navy, are engaged in initial military training in schools and universities, work as doctors, teachers. The widow of Burma’s national hero, General Aung San Sok Doh Khin Zhi, was Burma’s ambassador to India for many years. And their daughter Do Aung San Suu Kyi became a legendary person. During the struggle for national independence, Burmese women actively participated in it, including those with weapons in their hands. She is known throughout the world as an unbreakable leader of Burma’s democratic movement. Burmese history knew the case when women occupied prominent state posts, were governors of the provinces. The people of Burma also had a single queen, who alone ruled the state. This is the monk queen Shin Soo Pu, who was on the throne of the Mon state (south of Burma) from 1453 to 1460. As evidenced by numerous data, during her rule the state flourished, peace and order were established in the country.
Women in Myanmar society have a special position. Sir James George Scott, who wrote the book “The Burmese” in 1881, which survived many reprints and is still a kind of “reference” for this people (at least in Myanmar, it is sold in every corner), wrote that “a married Burmese woman is much more independent than any Western woman even in the most advanced states. She can marry whom she wants and divorce when she wants. At the same time, all her dowry, and everything that she earned during her marriage, belongs to her and her descendants. ” At the same time, the sir noted that the women of Myanmar do not aspire to education, but pray in pagodas that in the next life they become men. “On this their inequality with men ends.” It was written back in 1881, before the women’s struggle in the enlightened world for voting rights and other “benefits.”
What are Burmese women memorable for? Never before have I seen such proud posture, long black hair and incredible, but modest grace. The vast majority of Myanmar’s women smear their face with tanakkho, a special white compound made of powdered wood and bark of the same name. This “make-up” (mostly covers the cheeks, as well as the nose, forehead and hands) have a practical effect – this is the best way not to burn in the sun, besides disinfecting. At first, these smeared cheeks cause an ambiguous feeling, but very soon you begin to understand how beautiful the girl with tanakha is.
What Myanmar men think about their women? What are they, the girls of Myanmar? Men fight, and women hit in the back, which is more dangerous. If you give something to your beloved, this is never enough for her. When a man does too much effort to impress his girl or gives expensive presents too often it’s wrong and will have bad consequences. Too much is not good and it is better to live in a golden middle in everything and the same when it is going about Myanmar women. Those are honest thoughts of average Myanmar man, who has a family and is the representative of the society. And you have to make your conclusions if you are thinking of dating or even marriage with Myanmar woman. You have to consider women in Myanmar are stern and imperious, in fact, matriarchy rules in the country, although it is implicit: a woman does not need to occupy a certain post, it is enough just to influence her husband. The groom’s mother usually chooses the bride.
In Myanmar, the husband is considered to be the head of the family, but it is rather formal. Burmese live closely, often live together for three generations. Families are usually large; they have 5-7 children. Burmese grow children without violence, with respect to the personality of the child; small Burmese have the right to speak out about home affairs and their opinion will be carefully listened to.
Women run a family budget and the welfare of their households often depends on them. They are faithful and good wives, keep very modestly, observing the traditions – wife always asks the advice and consent of the husband for any purchase, sits down at the table after the men, on the street she goes a few steps behind her husband.
Marriages in Myanmar are conducted by love. Since Burmese have no surnames, then after marriage, women do not change anything, they remain with their own name. It is important that Burma’s women have equal rights of inheritance along with men. Nevertheless, connoisseurs of fancies and human inconsistencies are unlikely to be surprised to learn that outside the legislative sphere, in society and the family, it is customary to consider that men are “more equal” than women.
Historically, the education of girls in this rural country has received less attention and its quality has been lower. In 2004, only 86 percent of Burmese women were literate. There are no forbidden professions for women in the country. Many Burmese become doctors, teachers, dentists, lawyers, they serve in the police and the army. Women of this country have much greater rights than in other eastern countries, they are almost equal in rights with men. But women are living hard life here as the well-being of Burmese families is based on them. They are busy with daily household chores: cooking (it is hot and you will not cook for the future), washing, caring for children. In addition, Burmese are certainly engaged in some craft or trade, and in the villages are still working in the field.
Traveling Myanmar, you can see women working under the scorching sun on the construction of roads. This is not an indicator of gender equality, as is the case in other countries, when a woman does male work. Here it happens only because women are paid a third less than male colleagues. They are a source of cheap labor. The country has many successful women who are entrepreneurs or work in the business sector. There are women working in so-called “non-traditional” sectors such as construction and architecture. But women, as a rule, are paid lower wages for equal work with men.
Burma’s women deftly and skillfully wear objects of varying severity on their heads: baskets of fruit and vegetables, trays, bales of fagots, pots of water. It’s impressive to see them, when they are crossing the road, they turn their heads from right to left, almost without holding a heavy burden on it. Perhaps it is this habit, as well as the fact that they sleep on hard mats, contributes straight, like a string, back and proudly raised head.