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Cultural Manner: Public Cooperation Calls For Appropriate Dress Code At Religious Areas

15 March 2019

Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees calls for public co-operation to have visitors and pilgrims dressing in a manner appropriate to culture of the country and religious areas.

The 2,500 years old Shwedagon Pagoda, located on 114 acre Singuttara Hill in Yangon, is the most sacred religious site for Myanmar people and considered a must to visit when travelling to Myanmar.

It has been years since visitors are restricted to dress decently when visiting Shwedagon Pagoda and the Pagoda Board of Trustees is having trouble resolving conflicts between the staffs of pagoda and visitors concerning the dress code.

In-charge, Management, Security and Fire Services (Shwedagon Pagoda), Thaung Htike said “Shwedagon pagoda is the heritage of Buddha Sasana as well as the landmark of the country admired by Buddhists from across the world. By setting policies and guidelines, Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees is taking care of the security and maintenance of the pagoda and convenient travelling of visitors. We hope to see visitors wearing suitable clothing for the pagoda.”

As a solution, longyis for both men and women are borrowed free for visitors with inappropriate clothing such as short skirts, short trousers, clothes that are transparent and those with holes and rips, plunge tops and many more.

According to the policy of the pagoda, the borrower – visitors have to give 3000 kyats or identity card as a deposit but it is still borrowed for free without all those deposits. 

For disciplinary control, Shwedagon Pagoda Board of Trustees provided a total of 70 men longyis and 140 women longyis to 7 security gates with 10 men longyis and 20 women longyis for each.

In-charge, Management, Security and Fire Services (Shwedagon Pagoda), Thaung Htike said “It is against Myanmar’s culture and religion to have visitors revealing certain body parts at the pagoda. We’ll also take action on pagoda staffs who go over the line in disciplinary control. I would like to ask for public understanding on the situation and co-operate with us.”

The dress code for the pagoda is to wear appropriately and modestly with trousers or at least knee length shorts or skirt, t-shirts with elbow length sleeves and to be barefooted when entering Shwedagon Pagoda.