The Mon (Mon: မောန် or မည်; Burmese: မွန်လူမျိုး; [mʊ̀ɴ lù mjó]; Thai: มอญ) are an ethnic group from Burma (Myanmar), living mostly in Mon State, Bago Division, the Irrawaddy Delta, and along the southern Thai–Burmese border. One of the earliest peoples to reside in Southeast Asia, the Mon were responsible for the spread of Theravada Buddhism in Burma and Thailand. The Mon culture is credited as a major source of influence on the dominant Burmese culture.
As the eastern Mon were absorbed into the Thai society long ago, the western Mon of Burma have largely assimilated into Burmese society. In Burma, the Mon are fighting to preserve the Mon language and culture, and regain a greater degree of political autonomy. The Mon of Burma are divided into three sub-groups based on their ancestral region in Lower Burma: the Man Nya (မန်ည) from Pathein (the Irrawaddy delta) in the west, the Man Duin (မန်ဒိုၚ်): Bago in the central region, and the Man Da (မန်ဒ): Mottama in the southeast. Once the predominant ethno-linguistic group in Lower Burma, speakers of the Mon language number fewer than one million today, and those of Mon descent number anywhere between two million and eight million. The majority of Mon are monolingual in the Burmese language, and are counted as members of the majority Bamar (Burmans). Recent studies have suggested evidence indicating that the Mon and Bamar share a common genetic ancestry. A genetic study done on Mon and Bamar showed a high prevalence of a particular glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) mutation not found among Khmers, Laotians and Thais.
Burma (i// BUR-mə), also known as Myanmar (i// MYAHN-mar, // or //), is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Burma's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres (1,200 mi) forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world's 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2 (261,227 sq mi), it is the world's 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.