Culture Shock – Beware of your Feet

I met many foreigners (mostly westerners) who do not feel anything to put their feet on the table while sitting on the chair. This seems a normal habit to them. They don’t feel like it is a strange or rude thing to do it. And I know they don’t mean to be rude. However, in the eyes of a Burmese (Myanmar) man, it is a strange behavior. Indeed, in the eyes of a Burmese, it is really a very rude thing.

For Burmese (Myanmar), head is the most sacred part of the human body while feet are the most read more



Culture Shock – When a Myanmar do not say NO

Many a time, foreigners (especially western foreign expats working in Myanmar) will notice that things they ask from Myanmar friends are met with affirmative answers but never materialized. For example, a westerner expat might invite his friend to a dinner party. The Myanmar friend is not free on that day. Normally, a westerner will simply decline to the invitation and tell his friend that he cannot come because he is not free. In case of Myanmar friend, he would probably say yes, even though read more


Culture Shock – The Story of “YES”

Myanmar way of saying yes
Myanmar way of saying yes

I worked for a French Company for over 10 years. When I talked with my boss and other French friends, I used to prompt the conversation with YES, not with “ah ha”, “I see”, “really” etc. like in western way.

After some times they came back and asked me if I have done their requests. I was puzzled. “I have never promised to do that thing for you”, I told them. But you said, “YES a few days ago” they countered.

This kind of incident happened not only to me but also to my other read more