Mon, also spelled Mun, Burmese Talaing, people are primarily live in Mon State, the Southern part of Myanmar and borders with Bago Region, Tanintharyi Region and Kayan State. The Mon are one of the first people in the southeast Asia and the earliest one to settle in Myanmar. They founded an empire, and introduced both writing and Buddhism into Burma. The Mon were responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Myanmar and Thailand. The Mon culture is credited as a major source of influence on the dominant Myanmar culture. Their estimated population is around 8 million. They are always proud of their traditions and culture which is very rich and ancient.
Mon people are divided into three sub-groups such as Mon Nya, Mon Tang and Mon Teh. Religion is very important to the Mon. Majority of Mon people are Theravada Buddhists and much of the culture is influenced by Buddhism. Mon people speak Mon language and cultivate their traditions.
The Mon have lived in village settlements from the last three or four hundred years. Their houses are similar to Thai homes, except that they are always situated east and west. They are rectangular, wood-framed houses raised above ground on poles. The walls and floors are made of woven bamboo mats, and the roofs are made of thatch. The wealthier Mon may live in homes with plank walls and floors. There is a verandah in front and a kitchen at the back of the house. A monastery is located in each village.
Mon men wear red checkered longyis, shirts without collars and traditional jackets. Mon women wrap their long hair around a comb and wear longyis and open-fronted blouses that button in the center.
Most of the Mon are peasant farmers, although a few are merchants and craftsmen. The farmers generally raise fruits or vegetables. Irrigated rice is their principal crop, and it is grown for both consumption and trade. The wet rice farmers cultivate their fields with plows drawn by buffalo or oxen. Vegetables, sugar cane, and pineapples are grown in home gardens. Supplementary crafts for the men include carpentry and brick making; while the women engage in pottery, weaving, and basket-making. Some of the men have full-time jobs as blacksmiths.
Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Myanmar. It is a small pagoda built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by its male devotees. According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha's hair. The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda Festival is a special festival of lights celebration. On the Full Moon Day of Thadingyut. Locals offer the lighting of 9000 candles and 9000 flowers to the Buddha. On the next morning, rice, sweets and other snacks are offered. The platform and passage of the pagoda are usually filled with visitors from all over the country. Tourists also find the golden rock pagoda magnificent. Thadingyut usually falls in October, depending on the lunar calendar. At such a time, the weather is cold up on the mountain.
During the festival time most of the local places and hotels around the pagoda are fully booked. Some people travel to the base of the mountain by car and then hike up the mountain on foot. Some people climb the mountain by ferry buses and cable car. Some hike up with carriers. There are also some beautiful beaches at Mon State such as Sutse Beach.
Mon Tribe Program
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