Shan Culture and Photos – Shan are ethnically and linguistically members of Tai ethnic group (Siamese branch of Indochinese people) to which Thais and the Laotians also belong to. It was suggested that the term Shan may come from Siam, the root of Syam and Assam. Referring to their skin colour, neighbours called Tai people as “Siam”, derived from Sanskrit (Pali) word Syama, which means “golden” or “dark” colour. It was written as Syam or Rham and pronounced as Shan in Burmese. When British came to rule Burma in 19th century, they called Tai people as Shan based on Burmese pronunciation.
Although the Shan State has been under the British and Burmese rules for centuries, Shan maintain their distinct identity from other fellow ethnic groups of the Union of Myanmar, in terms of language, culture and tradition.
Like Thai food being famous in worldwide, Shan food is the most popular flavour in Burma. Typical Tai temples are mainly found in Yunnan province of Southern China and its architecture is very much similar to those of temples in Thailand.
Shan traditional long drum, sheep dance, sword dance, martial arts dance, and Kinnara and Kinnari (female and male mythical birds whose faces look like human or said to be half human-half bird creatures) dances are very unique cultural materials of every Shan celebration events.
Shan has its own flag which was one of the outcomes of Panglong Agreement in 1947, which served as the most important stepping stones to independent Union of Myanmar today. On Shan flag, Yellow represents the religion of the people of Shan states (Buddhism), Green represent the good agriculture the people of Shan land dwell on, Red represents Bravery of Shan State people and White represent peace and stability for the future Shan State. (Source@SCA)
Photos Source@Shan Culture Image Facebook