Myanmar Traditional Culture

"Mingalarbar” is a word of greeting in Myanmar that came into wide usage only after the country regained her independence. In former days the usual greeting was “Kyan gan thar lo mar yet lar.” or “Mar bar yet lar”. or more informally “Nay kaung lar” which the nearest in English means “How are you?” or “How do you do” to which one replies in like manner without the necessity of going into a long story of one’s state of health. It is the same almost for the Myanmar equivalent. but if someone should take you literally to give a reply in the affirmative it is also acceptable. But then the second person can in turn ask the same question as a form of politeness. Today however “Mingalarbar” has come to be the accepted form of greeting and it is widely used by schoolchildren to greet their teachers. It is also on the lips of tourists and other foreign guests since it has found its way into English-Myanmar conversational phrase books. It is easier said and easier to remember than the cumbersome “Nay kaung bar lar” for those who do not know Myanmar. but wish to use a Myanmar greeting. How this word of greeting originated is still obscure (at least to me!) but it is indeed a most fitting word because the word “Mingalar” has. aside from its religious background. great cultural import in Myanmar society. Some interesting topics are listed as follows.

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