Significance Of Myanmar Names


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Asia » Burma
January 14th 2006
Published: January 14th 2006
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There are various ways of naming system in every country according to their religion, tradition and custom.

In western countries, peoples have Christian names and surnames. In Myanmar, we don’t have surnames and Christian names because we use bilateral kinship system we don’t use bilateral kinship system.

Most of Myanmar parents give the name of their children according to their birthday’s alphabets. Some parents consult an astrologer or a monk who has supernatural knowledge in selecting the name.

Most of Myanmar peoples have their horoscopes cast on a palm leaf. It’s called in Myanmar, “Zar Ta”. The horoscope records the name of a person and exact time of the birth. Myanmar believes that the planet in ascendancy at the time of birth influences a person’s whole life. Each day of the week is represented by a planet, symbolic animal and the letter of the alphabets.

There are separte alphabets for different days of a week. They can be divided into 8 days. There are 7 days in a week but according to Myanmar astrology Wednesday is divided into 2 parts. Morning part is Wednesday and evening part is “Rahu” . So, we can see the eight planetary posts at the corners of the pagodas. Planetary posts are not from Theravada Buddhism. It derives from Hinduism. Each planetary post has symbolic animal and sidereal period.

For a Sunday-born will be given a name beginning with the letter of “A”. It’s symbolic animal is a “garuda bird”, and planet is sun.

For a Manday-born will be given a name starting with the letter of “Ka, Kha, Ga, Nga”. The symbolic animal is a tiger, and planet is moon.

For a Tuesday-born will be given a name beginning with the letter of “Sa, Has, Za, Zha, Nya”. The symbolic animal is lion, and planet is mars.

For Wednesday morning-born will be given a name beginning with letter of “La, Wa”. The symbolic animals are elephant with tusk, and planet is mercury.

For Wednesday evening-born (Rahu) will be given a name beginning with the letter of “Ya, Ra”. Symbolic animal is an elephant without tusk.

For Thursday-born will be given a name beginning with the letter of “Pa, Pha, Ba, Bha, Ma”. Symbolic animal is rat and planet is Jupiter.

For Friday-born will be given a name beginning with the letter of “Tha, Ha”. Synbolic animal is a “guinea pig” and planet is venus.

For Saturday-born will be given a name beginning with the letter of “Ta, Hta, Da, Dha, Na”. Symbolic animal is a dragon, and planet is satarn.

By using this method, one who is Sunday-born can be named by starting with the “A” letter. For example: Aung Pe. A Myanmar has a name of one, two or three syllables.

According to this naming system we exactly know the day a person was born immediately after hearing the name.

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