Myanmar

Burmese Names

Unlike western names, there is no family name in Myanmar. Women keep their maiden names upon marriage, and children can have names which bear no relation to their parents’ names.

Burmese names are either one, two or three syllables. One syllable names (e.g. Ba, Mya, Hla) are no longer in used as they are so outdated although you can still find this name in some older people. Two syllable names (e.g. Zaw Moe, Khin Hla, Tin Oo, Tin Naing, Thet Wai) are mostly found in middle aged people. They are considered outdated by many parents. Three syllable names are a norm of today Myanmar. Examples of three syllable names include Moe Zaw Hein, Thant Zin Myint, Shein Myint Han, Khin Maung Aye, Thet Mon Myint. Now a days, many parents started giving their children four syllable or even five syllable names, such as Moe Tint Tint Zaw, Moe Hae Man Ko, Htet Htet Moe Oo (four syllable), and Hae Mar Hinin Hnin Khine (five syllable).

When the parents choose the names of their children, they usually consult the astrologers. Burmese believe a person’s name can have a great influence on his or her future life. So they consider this a very important thing, not to be considered lightly. The names are usually in accord with the day of the week the person was born. So a person born on Sunday will have a name starts with A, E or O such as Aye, Ei or Oo. A Monday born name starts with K such as Khin or Khine. Tuesday born will have a name starts with S or Z such as San or Zaw. Wednesday’s born name will starts with Y or R such as Yamin or Rarzar. For Thursday born, the name starts with M, P or B such as Myo, Poe or Ba. Friday borne will have name starts with Th or H such as Thiha, Thura or Han, and a Saturday born name will starts with T, Ht, D or N, such as Tun, Htoo, Dwae or Nandar.

In contrast to western culture, a Burmese can change his or her name whenever he likes. Usually, this is done to change the fate of the person, in accordance with the astrological believe, so that he or she can have a greater and better influence on the future life.

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