During the presentation about Myanmar I find that the social status of this country quite impressed to me. There are a number of factors which affected the social status such as occupation, wealth, education and family background (New World Encyclopedia, 2008) but the most interested factor to me is marital status or we can call gender role. According to August B. Hollinghead (1975), marital status defines a role of adult male and adult female to a family, and it may or may not be change from the early adult year to the old age. Furthermore, Hollinghead also states that adult male are the one who usually join the labour force but in the new industrial society more and more woman join the labour force. Despite of the rapid change in perception toward gender role around the world, Myanmar still being influenced by the old fashion tradition. Kelly Mutchler (n.d) states that woman are not able to drink alcohol especially in public, they are not able to ride on top of buses and boats and many temple prohibit woman from entering particular room. Furthermore, IOM Bangkok (2005) has showed that Myanmar woman have a really low social status, they could not laugh loudly or talk especially in the presence of man; and man is the head of the family, they are the one who making money, while woman have to take care all of the chores such as cleaning, cooking, child minding and so on. In contrast, Myo Thwin (2007) argues that althought Myanmar is still being influenced by traditional social norm, but woman living in this country are having a higher social status and there is a part of young adult males who are willing to share the chores with their wife. In addition, Thwin pointed out that the group of adult male who are well educated or living in the urban are usually understanding more about man and woman equality. As the result, we can see that Myanmar is still a traditional country but the young generation who have more accessibility to education are starting to change their mindsets, they start treat woman equally and the role of Myanmar woman in society and family is increasing day by day.
This new insight is really related to me because tradition Myanmar gender role is quite simmilar to our family one. As a full Chinese person living near to China town of Vietnam, therefore I can spot the simmilarity between Myanmar and China tradition. In Chinese family, man also being seen as a head of the family, they are the money earner of the family and woman are the one who take care of chores and children. For example, my grandfather, my dad and my uncles are the one who have to work for money and feed their family; while my grandmother, my mom and my aunts have to stay at home cleaning, cooking and taking of us. As the result, the man is the one who have a voice in the family because they are making money to feed their family members. And me is a boy of Chinese family I even acheive more power than my mom and my aunts eventhough I did not made any money. Furthermore, all the woman and girls of my family are not allowing to go home late or drinking alcohol even they are old enough to and there are no law prohibit them doing that. Because I am living in a Chinese family where I alway have more power than woman or girls, I turn out to down grade them, therefore, I never ask a women for help and I am not even listen for their ideas.
For now, after I knowed that Myanmar’s tradition is simmilar to China one and they are starting to change, I realize that these kinds of my thinking are out of day and it will no longer suitable for the mordern day anymore and it is my turn to change too. Furthermore, I realize that this new insight about gender equality is not only giving woman their right to have ideas, to be a leader and to be great; but it also allow man their right to be weak, to cry, to express their feeling. I hope that one day I will live in the society where woman will not being judged when they are a leader, a boss or the manager and man will not being call “sissy” if their passion job is a bale dancer or a baby sister. Let everyone chosing their own life, let people did what they good at and let them explore their ability. I will learn to change my way of treating woman, listening more, accept that woman can do anything as good as man does and learning from them. In addition, I will take a chance and do everything and every jobs I want to without affraid of being judged by the society; and this is the only way that I will not limited myself from learning new thing, working with new people, finding my passionate and being successful in my fulture life. Furthermore, as a Culture and Business practice in Asia student, I might have to work with Myanmar or other countries partner in future, I will avoid to make myself look bad in front of my partners and create a better image of myself as educated man instead.
Mutchler, K n.d., “10 Ways Not To Offend Burmese Culture”, Go Abroad, viewed 4th September, <https://www.goabroad.com/articles/volunteer-abroad/10-ways-not-to-offend-burmese-culture>.
New World Encyclopedia 2008, “Social Status”, New World Wncyclopedia, viewed 4th September, <http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Social_status>.
Thwin, M 2007, “Differentials in Gender Role Expectations in Marriage among Youth gon Division, Myanmar”, 1st International Conference on Reproductive Health and Social Sciences Research, pg 140, <http://www.ipsr.mahidol.ac.th/ipsr/contents/books/fulltext/2008/final_proceeding2007_complete.pdf#page=150>.
UKCO, IOM Bangok 2005, “Burmese Cultural Profile”, IOM, viewed 4th September, <http://www.peianc.com/sitefiles/File/resources/cultural_profiles/Burma.pdf>.