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Burma's Culture: Music, Fashion, Art

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Cultural Studies
Wordcount: 1580 words Published: 31st Jul 2018

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Culture is a modern concept based on a term first used in classical antiquity by the Roman orator, Cicero, cultura animi. The term culture refers to a universal human capacity, the sample of human activity or “the cultivation of individuals through the agency of external forms which have been objectified in history”. Youth is the time of life between childhood and adulthood. Myanmar culture (Burmese culture) means Buddhist culture, and is not identical with the modern geographical unity. Elders and others of a higher status, such as monks, should be addressed and treated with polite behavior. To show respect to grandparents, parents, and teachers on formal occasions, the Myanmar kneel down with their foreheads and elbows touching the ground. There are Three Jewels in Myanmar culture, Parents and teachers are together making up the Five Boundless Beneficence. The traditional garment of the Burmese is called longyi, a sarong worn by both men and women. On formal occasions, Myanamar men wear a collarless jacket over a mandarin collared shirt and also containing a turban called gaung baung, while Myanmar women wear a blouse buttoned at the front or to the side. Nowadays, skirts and pants are becoming more common, particularly among the young. Those improving things make the youth to reject the culture. So, today there are many conflicts between the culture and the youths.

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Culture is important because it is what makes a society unique and invisible link that it is what ties a community together and also effect to the development of one’s attitude towards life. For example, this could include a certain religion or type of clothing, the language that a community speaks, the art forms it hosts, its staple food, its customs, traditions and festivities. Each of these things are unique to a culture. It also lays the foundation for moral values. Culture manifests itself through the lifestyle of the individuals of a community. The language that a community speaks, the art forms it hosts, its staple food, its customs, traditions and festivities comprise the community’s culture. The moral values of the people of a community also represent their culture. The importance of culture lies in its close association with the living of the people. It is the ultimate system of social control where people monitor their own standards and behavior. Different cultures of the world have brought in diversity in the ways of life of the people inhabiting different parts of the world. Culture lays the foundation of the living of its people. They shape an individual’s thinking and influence his/her mindset. Culture cannot be separate from the politics or technological development because they are entirely ingrained.

There are 10 traditional arts, called pan sè myo, Blacksmith, Woodcarving, Goldsmith, Stucco relief, Masonry, Stone carving, Turnery, Painting, Lacquer ware, casting. Various types of Burmese music use an array of traditional musical instruments, assembled in an orchestra known as hsaing waing. Today youths are trying to improve their skill in order to take with the changing world. They have great ambition, great skill and try hard. Dance in Burma can be divided into dramatic, folk and village, and nat dances, each having distinct characteristics. The “traditional” Burmese greeting is mingalaba. The Burmese language is very age-oriented. Young males are addressed as Maung or Ko and older or senior men as U. Likewise, young females are addressed as Ma and older or senior women as Daw regardless of their marital statusYoung people would avoid sitting on a higher level than the elders or passing in front of them unless unavoidable, and then only treading softly with a slight bow. Things would be passed to the elders using both hands together. Men may cross their legs sitting on a chair or a mat but women generally would not. It is considered rude to touch a person’s head, because it is the “highest” point of the body. It is also considered taboo to touch another’s feet, but worse still to point with the foot or sit with feet pointing at someone older, because the feet are considered the lowest. Also, pointing a finger at Buddha images is considered blasphemous, although this custom has slowly eroded. Shoes are always taken off upon entering monasteries and pagoda compounds. Children are taught from young ‘to venerate one’s elders, to respect one’s peers, and to be kind to the young and weak. Burmese funerals typically last a week, with the body traditionally buried or cremated on the third day.

Burial is common, but cremation, more common in the cities, is also practiced by orthodox Buddhists and monks in Burma. During the actual funeral, gifts in the form of paper fans containing the deceased person’s name, as well as Buddhist scriptures relating to the impermanence of life are distributed to all attendees. For seven days, the windows and doors of the house in which the person died may be left open, in order to let the deceased person’s consciousness or spirit leave the home, and a vigil may be kept at nighttime. On the seventh day a meal is offered to monks, who in turn recite blessings and transfer merit to the deceased, concluded with a Buddhist water libation ceremony. Weddings are traditionally avoided during the Buddhist lent, which lasts three months from July to October. The technology is improving quickly and youths also play an important role in developing the country, improving the world and finding the new things.

Every youth also have their distinct styles, behaviors, and interests. Youth also interest in music genres, such as punks, emos, ravers, Juggalos, metalheads and goths and consists of the study of the symbolism attached to clothing, music, other visible affections by members, and also the ways in which these same symbols are interpreted by members of the dominant culture. Gender, intelligence, conformity, morality, and ethnicity can be important in relation to youth. Youth action can be defined as meaning systems, modes of expression or lifestyles developed by groups in subordinate structural positions in response to dominant systems and which reflect their attempt to solve structural contradictions rising from the wider societal context. In our country, today youths take from the broad culture through either fashion, identification with specific musical genres or political perspectives and a strong in-group or tribal mentality. It is great to know that today youths become too interest in none profit things like charity, volunteer, donation and so on. Some youths formed a group and help other such as the flooded towns and towns that are not develop, giving medical knowledge where there is no knowledge about health, donation to the orphaned, etc. And they also interest in their appropriate religion such as going to the pagoda during the Buddha important day such as full moon day of Thindingyut, going to monastery or helping the older at the first day of New Year. But, nowadays everything is changing in times and many youths are progressive, moderate and they think the culture as traditionalist or conservative.

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Every country has their culture. For example, the culture of India associated with its their religions, beliefs, customs, traditions, languages, ceremonies, arts, values and the way of life in India and its people. By the way many Indian believe gods and spirits have an integral and functional role in determining their life. They celebrate holidays and festivals of various religions. Popular religious festivals include the Hindu festivals of Navratri, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga puja, Holi, Ugadi, Rakshabandhan, and Dussehra. Several harvest festivals such as Sankranthi, Pongal, Raja sankaranti swinging festival, and Onam, “Nuakhai” are also fairly popular. Traditional clothing in India greatly varies across different parts of the country and is influenced by local culture, geography, climate and rural settings. Popular styles of dress include draped garments such as sari for women and dhoti or lungi for men. The culture of Thailand incorporates cultural beliefs and characteristics indigenous to the area known as modern day Thailand coupled with much influence from ancient India, China, Cambodia, along with the neighboring pre-historic cultures of Southeast Asia. One of the most distinctive Thai customs is the wai. A notable social rule holds that touching someone on the head may be considered rude. It is also considered rude to place one’s feet at a level above someone else’s head, especially if that person is of higher social standing. Respect for hierarchy is a very important value for Thai people. Traditionally funerals last for at least one week.

We believe that all youth are the leaders and have the responsibilities for the future. Improving technology and the progressive, moderate thought make youth to become think the cultural as traditionalist. But the cultural is the representative of the country and also the representative of someone nationality. If will become more change in future. If we do not protect our culture it will be disappear in a near future. So, we must protect our culture for our nation as a youth.The importance of culture cannot be stressed enough as it is an integral part of living.


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