If you are doing business in Myanmar, what is more valuable than speaking Burmese?
What is Chinlone?
Chinlone is the most quintessential of all Burmese national sports. It is similar to hacky-sack, but with hundreds of years of development that have incorporate traditional dance and Buddhist philosophy into its playing style.
Playing it well is an art, but the basic rules are simple:
1. Do not control the ball with your hands, and
2. Try to keep the ball aloft while in play.
At the start of play, men form a circle and warm up by passing a rattan ball amongst each other using every part of their body except the hands. When the time is right, one of the players moves into the circle and become the soloist or prince.
The prince juggles the ball using techniques that evolved from traditional Burmese dance forms. The prince’s goal is to execute the most difficult moves with the most beautiful form. Success is a measure of how aesthetically satisfying a move is.
The others players dance around him in a circle. They support him by setting him up with good passes and by keeping the ball aloft when the ball gets away from the prince.
False starts and dropped balls are part of the game and essential to understanding the Burmese character.
Burmese love children. Most kids have countless numbers of adults who find time to dote over and spoil them. Older siblings are taught to sacrifice for their younger brothers and sisters. Everyone shares everything.
When little kids meet strangers, they are taught to call everyone aunty or uncle or older brother or younger sister. Everyone is physically affectionate and caring. Burmese kids think life is fantastic.
As they get older, they start to take on responsibilities and start to support their relatives and friends just as they were supported. Older siblings teach their younger brothers and sisters how to treat their younger siblings. Everyone cares for everyone else.
Because Burmese kids grow up in a supportive environment they form close bonds with their family and childhood friends. These friends are called tha-nge-gyin:. They are lifelong friends who differ from meiq-s’we or ordinary friends by the depth of trust that exists.
Lifelong friends must be loyal and generous to each other almost to the point of being selfless. They strive for unity of thoughts and opinions. Friends never talk about divisive topics as discussing them will upset one or the other. Burmese friends always focus on what they have in common rather than what separates them.
If friends start to compete, one usually bows out to preserve the friendship. As strange as this seems to westerners, Burmese do this without jealousy or envy. Competition is seen as being self-serving and against a friend, it is morally reprehensible.
Rivalry and competition are discouraged because they threaten friendships and group unity.
Everything is about unity.
Like friendships, chinlone...