When we started planning for our vacation to Myanmar, every book or travelogue mentioned that you will be greeted with ‘Mingalarbar / Mingalaba’, Myanmar’s very own version of ‘Hello’ except that it means a lot more than just a ‘Hello’, since it is apparently derived from the Buddhist Pali word ‘Mangalar’ meaning ‘source of prosperity, blessing or anything joyous or auspicious’.
We were first greeted with a ‘Mingalarbar’ at the security check at Changi Airport, Singapore. After that, right from the drivers to Hotel staff to shopkeepers, everyone everywhere continued to greet us the same way. There were even those that went to greet us with a ‘Namaste’. Greetings apart, the entire set of people we came across all through our trip turned out to be very courteous.