country known as Myanmar (Burma) has been in existence for centuries.
Naturally, she has been going through up and downs of time along the
course of history. Under the leadership of the national heroes, however,
the country was usually opulent and peaceful.
In the past, Burma was organized as a strong union in
the early 11th century (i.e. Bagan period) by King Anawrahta.
It is generally referred to as the first union of Burma. Also in the
middle of the 16th century, King Bayinnaung established the
second union of Burma that used to be one of the mightiest countries in
Asia then. Burma was thirdly unified in 1752 by King Alaungpaya, the
founder of the last dynasty of Burma.
On 12 February 1947, all the nationalities were united
again. This event is a milestone in the history of Burma. Accordingly, she
was able to regain the national unity at least in principle and thus was
looked upon as the fourth union. However, she attained the genuine union
only in the late 1960 (i.e. nearly 2 decades after independence in 1948)
when those internal and external dangers were practically overcome.
Myanmar, known as Burma until 1989, comprising seven
states and seven divisions, is one of the most attractive places in
Southeast Asia. Covering an area of 261,789 sq. miles, she is the largest
country in the region. The population is estimated at 44 million. The
coastal districts are usually referred to as Lower Myanmar where as the
inland districts are called Upper Myanmar.
There are altogether 135 ethnic groups in the
country. These have been co-existing with one another for long time.
Kachin, Kaya, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan are regarded
as the major groups. Among them, Bamar is the majority: 69% of the
total population, thus the country name "Burma" is
believed to derived from ‘Bamar’.
A year is generally divided into three seasons:
Hot season (from March to May). Rainy season (from June to October).
Cold season (from November to February). The rainy season being the
longest period of a year, the climate is favorable to cultivation,
and consequently agriculture being one of the main activities. The
climate also helps the forests grow abundantly and thus a large
portion of the country is covered with forests, yielding a wide
range of timber and other products.
Buddhism is the faith of the majority. In fact,
80% of the people profess Buddhism. However, there is full freedom
of workshop for followers of other religions. Thus, we find
Christians, Muslims, Hindus and even animists. Living together
peacefully in Myanmar.
Every ethnic group speaks its own language or
dialect. But the official language is Myanmar, which is spoken all
over the country. English is also widely spoken and understood,
especially in the cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and so on.
On account of Market Oriented Economy initiated
since 29th October 1988, Myanmar has been advancing by
leaps and bounds in economy. Foreign investment is earnestly invited
and the local private sector also is unprecedentedly encouraged.
Business can be done in the form of joint venture (either with the
government or with local private entrepreneurs). To sum up, Myanmar
has reached the golden age through her booming economy.