Daily Life :: Sports & Recreation

Chinlone or cane ball is the traditional sport of Myanmar. Six players stand in a circle and try to keep a hollow rattan ball in the air as long as possible using only their feet and knees. Both men and women play chinlone, often on the same team.

Chinlone is non-competitive ... there are no losers or winners. The focus is on how beautiful or skilful one kicks the ball. They take turns going to the centre where they try to do as many difficult and skilful moves as they can.

The game is similar to sepak raga in Malaysia.

Lethwei or Burmese kickboxing is popular and tournaments may be seen at pagoda festivals. It is similar to Muay Thai from Thailand. However, head butts and takedowns are allowed in Lethwei and fighters box without gloves or protection, wrapping only their hands in hemp or gauze cloth. Matches traditionally would go until a fighter could no longer continue. Matches are accompanied by a percussion orchestra.

Myanmar Dance
Pwe or comedy dance-drama is a common entertainment for the people. In Myanmar dance, elbows, wrists, fingers, knees, ankles and toes are bent in stylised directions effortlessly. Puppet shows are also popular. Traditionally, pwes and puppet shows were performed as street theaters.

Soccer is the favorite spectator sport of the people, attracting large crowds. Movies have become the most popular entertainment.