Buddhist Myanmar
Nearly 90% of the Burmese population are Buddhists. The remainder is Christian (4%), Muslim (4%), Hindu (1%) and animist (1%). Myanmar is said to be the most enrooted Buddhist land in South East Asia. Actually, the culture and daily life are very much defined by Buddhism. Numerous pagodas and temples shape the landscape.

Theravada Buddhism
Buddhism first emerged in the 6th century BC in North East India and it belongs, next to Hinduism, to the oldest religions. It´s not centered around a god or gods but around the human and its cosmos. The buddhist teachings can be understood as an psycho-philosophical system. The widespread form of Buddhism in Myanmar is Theravada. This school follows most closely the Buddha´s saying.

Buddhist Lifestyle
Every Burmese will spend some time in a monastery at least twice in his life: once as novice in his youth and another time as a monk in his adulthood. Altogether there´re more than 170 000 monks in Myanmar. They enjoy the highest social position, prestige and respect from the Burmese society. The most important Buddhist sanctuaries in Myanmar are Shwedagon Paya in Yangon, Golden Rock in Kyaiktiyo and Mount Popa near Bagan.

Ghosts: The 37 Nats
Myanmar is haunted by ghosts, or in any cases, by its belief. The word "nat" comes from the Pali "natha", which means protector or guardian. All in all there exists 37 main ghosts who are headed by "Thagyamin", the king of the ghosts. In every little place in Myanmar you can find a nat-shrine, where the village ghost gets oblations of flowers, money and food.
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