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Myanmar: Top 10 facts about the country

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1. The country’s official name was changed in 1989 from Burma to Myanmar. Traditionally Myanma was the literary and Bamar the colloquial name.
2. The national sport of Myanmar is chinlone, a sort of six-a-side football in which the object is to keep a woven rattan ball in the air.
3. Burmese language has 33 letters and is written traditionally with no spaces between words.
4. One of Myanmar’s traditional dishes is lahpet thoke, a salad of fermented tea leaves.
5. Most cars in Myanmar have right-hand steering but are driven on the right hand side of the road.
6. The time in Myanmar is six-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT.
7. Women and children in Myanmar can often be seen with faces daubed with “thanaka” a white protective cosmetic paste made from tree bark.
8. Myanmar has competed at every Summer Olympics since 1948 but has not yet won a medal.
9. Myanmar, Bangladesh, East Timor, Guatemala, Israel, St Lucia and Yemen have all won more Nobel Prizes than Olympic medals.
10. Most Burmese cats descend from Wong Mau, a female, brought from Burma to America in 1930.

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