Burmese Time

In this excerpt from the book, we pick up an entry from our "Burmese Days" chapter. Following is a short excerpt:

Burmese also have a special way of marking time in rural areas, which was common to use before the introduction of time-keeping pieces:

· Lin Kyet Tun Chain: “the rooster crows at dawn time” (daybreak)

· Nay Htan Ta Phyar: “the sun reaches the top of the toddy palm time” (about 9 am)

· Soon Khan Pyan Chain: “the monks come back from alms round time” (about 10:30 am)

· Yay Khat Sin Chain: “the girls collect water time” (around three pm)

· Nwar Yine Thwin Chain:
“the cattle return from the pasture time” (around five pm)

· Nyi Ako Ma Thi Ta Thi A Chain:
“it-is-difficult-to-know-if-one-is-friend-or-foe time” (dusk)

· Thu nge eight sate: “children are put to bed time” (around seven pm)

· Thet Kyee gaung Cha:
“when the elder puts his head to bed time” (around eight pm)

· Lubyo(or Kalathar) pyan chain:
“when the bachelors return home” (around midnight)

Time durations are similar marked, with htamin oh ta kha khet meaning the time needed to boil rice (30 minutes) and kun a yar nyet, meaning the time needed to chew a quid of betel.

Two Burmese pilgrims outside Botataung Pagoda on Yangon River