Myanmar, also known as Burma, sits in Southeast Asia between Thailand, China and India. The country has dense jungles, rich farmland and natural resources, such as pearls, jade and oil, yet most of the people here live in poverty. A harsh military government has ruled the country since 1962. In 2011, the government allowed elections and is slowly working toward democracy. However, the military retains a lot of political power.
Myanmar is home to many ancient Buddhist pagodas and monasteries. Tourists come to visit these sites, as well as the beaches. Myanmar has a tropical climate and is prone to heavy rains and tropical storms.
- 48.3 million people live in Myanmar.
- The country has 261,970 square miles of land.
- The official language is Burmese.
- Buddhism, Christianity and Islam are the main religions.
- The life expectancy in Myanmar is 62 years.
- Dense: thick
- Poverty: without adequate resources, such as money, food or housing
- Harsh: fierce, unkind
Visit the BBC to learn more about Myanmar.
Question: Is the country named Burma or Myanmar?
Answer: The military government changed the country’s name to Myanmar without the consent of its citizens. Many world leaders, including the U.S., have been unhappy with the military government because of its harsh treatment of its people. For a long time, the rest of the world refused to acknowledge the name change.