Every year, thousands of people from all over the world come to Canada to start a new life. They come with many different skills and with the hope of contributing to their new society. This cultural profile was written to help Canadians welcome immigrants from Myanmar to Canada. It will tell you something about their culture and what life is like in their original home. This information will be useful if you are hosting a Myanmar family as part of the HOST Program, learning about Myanmar in school or working with colleagues from Myanmar who have recently settled in Canada.

 Of the more than 3,000 people from Myanmar living in Canada, nearly 800 immigrated between 1991 and 1996. Some came to join their families, others to study at a Canadian university. Many left because of political turmoil in the country, or the lack of economic opportunities in the country.

You can help immigrants from Myanmar settle in by answering their questions about Canada. They will want to know the same things that you would if you moved to a different country. What is my new neighbourhood like? Where can I buy food for my family? Which school will my children attend? How do I get around in my new community? What is important is that you share your time, concern and friendship. You have a great deal to learn from your new friends.

 Immigrants from Myanmar may belong to one of several different ethnic groups. Although this cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from this country.

  Did you know?
Myanmar used to be known as Burma in the English-speaking world. In 1989, the government declared that it would be known as Myanmar in English. 
  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Union of Myanmar
Capital Yangon
Type of Government Military Regime
Population 49 million
Area 676,550 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Burman, Karen, Shan, Arakanese, Mon, Chin, Kachin, Kayah
Languages Burmese, English
Religion Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism
Unit of Currency Kyat
National Flag Red, with a dark blue rectangle in the top left corner, on which are a white pinion and an ear of rice surrounded by 14 white stars
Date of Independence January 4, 2022

  Did you know?
In the 13th century, Marco Polo visited Myanmar. He was fascinated by the golden towers shining in the sun and the "vast jungles, teeming with elephants and other wild beasts."