Yangon's People

Yangon is the melting pot of Myanmar. It is very multicultural city, made up of people from all the national races of Myanmar, and migrants from most of Asia. These different cultures come together to add a richness and diversity to Yangon. Here is a short guide to help you discover the people who live here.


The Kachin people largely come from the Kachin Hills in northern Myanmar. They are mainly church in Yangon is the Kachin Baptist Church, situated in San Chaung township. Their most famous festival is the Kachin Manaeo which is held in January. Kachin food can be eaten at Ma Li Khu restaurant at San Chaung township and Myit Sone restaurant at Ahlone township.


Chin people come from a mountainous region in western Myanmar. In Yangon, the majority of Chin people live in Garden City and Dagon Seikkan Township. Most are Christians and their main churches are the Baptist churches in Dagon and San Chaung Townships. Their most famous festivals are the Khwar Do (New Year Festival) and Kauk Thit Sar Pwe (Harvest Festival).


The Kayan people come from eastern Myanmar. Not many live in Yangon. They are religious and ethnically diverse. Some still believe in the traditional Kay Tyoboe religion, but many are now Baptists or Roman Cathilics. Some of the traditional pre-Christianity festivals and practices are still followed. Ku Htoe Boe or Flag Mast Festival is popular and annually held, village by village, every April. Their most famous traditional dance is the Dine Dance.


Kayin State is in south-east Myanmar and is home of the Kayin people. In Yangon, they mainly reside in Kha Wae Chan and Bo Gon (Insein), Kayin Chan, Hmawbi, Hlaing Thar Yar, Shwe Pyi Thar, Hlegu, Tike Gyi and Htan Tapin Townships. The majority of Kayin are Buddhist and some are Christian. Their main festivals are the Kayin New Year Festival and Kayin Bonfire Festival, which are held at the Arr Lein Ngar Sint Pagoda at Insein township. Kayin are famous for their boxing skills and most of Myanmar boxers are from Kayin State.


These are the dominant group of people in Yangon and throughout the country. The majority are Buddhist, with their most prominent pagoda being the Shwedagon Pagoda. There are Buddhist festivals throughout the year, especially on full moon days. Most local restaurants in Yangon serve their cuisine.


The Mon people come from the south of Myanmar. In Yangon, they mainly live in Tamwe and Kyauk Myoung townships. The majority are Buddhist, though some are Christians. Typical Mon festival are the Kyeik Hti Yoe Pagoda festival, Kyaik Kha Mi The’ Pon Zade festival and Phar Auk Deible Oil Offering ceremony. The most popular Mon dish is Yae Sein Mont Hingha, and food particularly from Mawlamyine, the capital. These specialities can be found at M Club Restaurant in Yuzana Plaza.


The Rekhine people are found in the costal region on the west of Myanmar. Popular festival include, Rice Pounding Festival (at the end of Buddhist Lent), Carriage Festival (February), and the Boat Festival (April). One of their traditional sports is wrestling. Rakhine Mont Di and Rakhine fish paste are popular foods with Myanmar people. A famous restaurant in Yangon serving Rakhine Food is Minn Lan Restaurant in Mayangone township.


Shan State is in eastern Myanmar. In Yangon, Shan communities can be found in San Chaung and Mayangone Township. They are mostly Buddhist and their New Year Festival and religious affairs are held at the 9 Mile Shan Monastery. The Shan State National Day is celebrated on the 7th February every year. Shan Food is very popular in Yangon, and can be found at Lashio Lay Restaurant at Botathaung, Shan Min Thar Restaurant at Lan Madaw, Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle shop at Bo Yar Nyunt Street and Khemarat Restaurant at Kamayut township.


There is a large Chinese community in Yangon. The earliest record of Chinese immigration was in the 18th century when trades arrived in Yangon. Another wave of immigration came in the 19th century under the British Colonial Administration, and many became merchants and trades. Most of the Chinese practice Theravada Buddhism, incorporating some Mahayana Buddhist and Taoist beliefs. The main Chinese temples are fushan Si Temple (a Buddhist temple), Kheng Hock Keong Temple(a Taoist temple dedicated to Mazu) and Guanyin Guumiao Temple (a Buddhist temple dedicated to Guanyin). There are also some Chinese Muslims who practice Iclam. There is avibrant China Town in downtown Yangon. Some of Chinese cuisine has been incorporated into Myanmar cuisine, such as steamed buns, roasted duck, fried rice and rice porridge.


Indians have lived in Myanmar for many centuries. Most emigrate here at the start of British rule in the mid 19th century. They are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and include Andhras, Tamils, Punjabis, Parsis, Gujaratis, Marawaris, Bengalis and Pathans. Their religion is also diverse and include Hindus, Moslems, Sikhs and Christians. The main mosques in Yangon are Masjid Petchampek, Masjid Soorthy Majid Syiah, and Ahmaddiya mosque. There are four Sikh Gurudwaras in Yangon, and main one is on Theinbyu Street. The main Hindu temples are the Sari Kali Temples on Anawhatha Road and Kone Zay Dan Street. Many Indians live in Yangon, and there are distinct India communities in downtown Yangon, on both sides of Sule Pagoda Road, Tamwe and Thingankyun townships. India food can mainly be found at Pabadan Township.

source: yangon directory