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Betel Chewing in Myanmar

 Betel chewing in Myanmar

I’m sure if you have been to Myanmar, you must know about betel chewing. Myanmar is one of the lovely countries in Asia, famous for its smiling people. Majority of Myanmar keep old tradition, follow custom and practice traditional religion, Buddhism. Who can give answer that question: chewing betel is old tradition or bad habit?

Everywhere, in the market, at the corner of the street, at traffic point young children with bag sell betel packs. Three packs or 5 packs are in the small plastic bag and sell at the traffic light while cars are waiting. More than 85% of men and 35% women chew betel.  Actually betel is the name of the leaf, which has green color, rounded shape with short stem. It can be cultivated in lower Myanmar and nowadays widely cultivate at central Myanmar. Betel leaf is herbal medicine: when you are ill, drink tea with betel leaves, when you have eye ache, put piece of betel on your eyes, for skin disease use betel leaves, for cough and lung’s cold take traditional medicine with betel leaf and so on.

But when you chew betel pack: betel leaf with lime, tobacco, betel nut and sab from tree together is a kind of poison. That gives you health problem slowly in your life. From small problem to tongue and throat cancer. There are many people who have health problem because of chewing betel. It is like smoking. Everybody knows about that but many many people still chew betel. Betel chewer split red liquid everywhere, makes dirty environment. Who knows that person doesn’t have B,C (liver diseases)!!! Children paly on the ground with out shoes, touch ground with their hands. If children have cut some part of their body, betel chewer has B or C, … is dangerous for children.

When we go to visit pagoda, there are bins with sand to split, but betel chewers split red liquid on the floor. We walk bare foot at pagoda compound.  If a person has cut on his or her heel, very dangerous for him.

Tradition of chewing betel started from the time of Konbaung monarch. If a minister who was very lucky if he got chewed betel from King. If we study about Myanmar Regalia, most of the items are betel box in different shape.

Keeping old tradition is good. But keeping old tradition, bad habit, chewing betel is good or no please gives answer!!!!!!