Before arriving in Myanmar, I knew that the country wouldn’t have Burmese people in the same way that… well, let’s say Japan has Japanese people. But I suppose I didn’t really KNOW know what a mixture the country would be like. It’s like the country is made up of a strong mixture of various ingredients which has then been squirted out into a pancake. That one circular deliciousness that combines everything together is Myanmar.
There is a strong presence of those from countries near west of Myanmar (perhaps India, Bangladesh etc.), and to the near east (say China, Cambodia etc.).
The integration of different groups can also be seen in religion. Just in the city centre lies a pagoda for Buddhists right next door to a mosque, which is also opposite a catholic church. Just down the road is Chinatown that houses many local Chinese shrines as well.
It’s perhaps this integration that allows for the friendly atmosphere inside this country. Whilst with most south eastern countries I feel the need to be extra aware of my surroundings, it seems less so here. Perhaps this country wasn’t as restricted as I initially (and perhaps naïvely) thought.