“Kyin, a wrestling-like sports, is an age-old tradition and the soul of the Rakhine people,” said a regional cabinet member at the opening of the Kyin competition, held to mark the 44th Anniversary Rakhine State Day in Sittway.
Kyin, whose name comes from the word Kya-Hlin (quick tiger), referring to the quickness and cleverness of a tiger in catching a prey, is the most important sports contest during the anniversary festival.
“Kyin competition should be held annually with the aim of arousing awareness by cherishing and preserving the traditional heritage, especially among youths, added U Kyaw Win, the Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry and Mining of Rakhine State.
Every town in the state should hold Kyin competitions in celebrating Rakhine State Day, as it symbolizes unity and strength”, he said, adding, “If the Day was held in conjunction with traditional festivals and sports meets, and included Kyin in all towns of the state, it will become more alive and attractive.”
Officials formally opened the competition at Wingaba ground in Sittway, capital of Rakhine State, followed by a demonstration of Kyin in the style of a chorus dance to the accompaniment of traditional music.
“In previous years we opened the competition with dance and songs, but this year with Kyin performances,” said U Soe Paing, chair of the subcommittee for holding the competition.
This year’s competition will present over 100 first and second prizes, which are called mong (gong). “The secret of winning a Kyin competition is not strength, but hard training, cleverness and skill,” said former Kyin wrestlers who retired from the sport because of old age or due to their health.
The main tactics of Kyin is attack and defence. It’s a dual contest, and the one who falls to the ground is the loser. Over 300 persons are taking part in the first division contest, and about 40 will participate in the championship matches. Prizes will be given to winners on 18 December. — Mawsi, Ko Min (Translated by TMT)