May Shin (Burmese: မေရှင်; pronounced [mè ʃɪ̀ɰ̃]; 10 March 1917 – 3 September 2008) was a Burmese actress and singer, who was popular from the 1930s to the 1950s.[1]

May Shin
May Shin portrait.jpg
Than Shin

(1917-03-10)10 March 1917
Died3 September 2008(2008-09-03) (aged 91)
Mandalay, Myanmar
Years active1936–1961
Parent(s)U Khin Lay and Daw Pwa Yon
AwardsWunna Kyawhtin


May Shin was born Than Shin (သန်းရှင်, [θáɴ ʃɪ̀ɴ]) in 1917 to businessman Khin Lay (ခင်လေး) and his wife Pwa Yon (ဖွားယုံ).[1] in Mandalay in British Burma. She was the youngest of five siblings.[2] She passed seventh grade from Wesleyan School. At 18, May Shin joined A1 Film Company as an aspiring actress. She was soon highly acclaimed for her soft gentle singing voice.[1]

Her first film was Hpuza Shin, starring opposite actor Yegaung Chit Swe[2] but she became known in the first Burmese sound film Hmya Nat Maung.[1]

As a radio presenter at the Burma Broadcasting Service in the 1950s, she actively supported U Nu’s government against the left-wing campaign by appealing to armed insurgents to surrender. In 1958, she was awarded the title Wunnakyawhtin (ဝဏ္ဏကျော်ထင်), the highest honor given to an artist by the Burmese government in that time. In 1962, at the age of 45, May Shin gave up acting and singing and withdrew from public life. She became devoutly Buddhist and practiced dharma until the day she died.[1]

In 2004, purged Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt visited her in Mandalay shortly before he was arrested.[1]

In her old age, the venerated actress and singer spent most of her time in Buddhist contemplation at her residence in Mandalay. Win Win Myint (aka Nandaw Shay), author of May Shin's biography, Pan Pwint Ye Yin Khon Than ("The Heartbeat of a Flower"), said that she never married and that she loved to uphold Burmese traditional culture and religion.[1]

May Shin died of pulmonary edema at her residence in Aung Daw Mu Ward, Mandalay.[2] She was 91.


May Shin made 14 films in total.[3]


She released over 40 records with A1 Records. The following is a list of her successful records.[3]

  • Chit Yay Sin
  • Shwe Pyaung Pyaung
  • Aunggyin Shitpa
  • Pyo Mha Dan
  • Myat Lay Ngoun
  • Thawda Ngwe Min
  • Kyay Say Taman
  • Chit Khet Thetlya
  • Mya Kay Khine
  • Phoo Sar Paing
  • Shwe Moe Nyo
  • Lei Lei Win
  • Ko Pine Myittar
  • Kyaung Pate Yet
  • Mae Darli
  • Chit thal swal
  • Paramidaw
  • Shwe Wah Phoo
  • Shae Bayin
  • Chit Pann Hlwar
  • Mal Khu Hmyaw
  • Chit Pan Hlwar
  • Mane Yar thi
  • Khit Pyaung Chein
  • Mya Kay Khine
  • Thet Wai (With Pyi Hla Pe)
  • Shae Ku Tho (With Pyi Hla Pe)
  • Shae Yae Set (with Pyi Hla Pe)
  • Chit Mar Larr (With Pyi Hla Pe)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Min Lwin (4 September 2008). "May Shin Dies". The Irrawaddy.
  2. ^ a b c Phanida (4 September 2008). "Actress and singer of yesteryear Daw May Shin dead". Mizzima. Archived from the original on 1 December 2008.
  3. ^ a b Maung Mandalay (September 2008). "Obituary of Wunna Kyaw Htin Daw May Shin". The Mandalay Gazette. p. 19.

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