Myanmar Ethnic Traditional Performing Arts Competition kicked off in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday, with participation of 1,766 contestants across the country.
The 22nd competition aimed at preserving and safeguarding the cultural heritage of the country’s ethnic people and its national character.
The competition is categorized as from basic level to professional level.
The contestants were selected from regions and states after holding the preliminary contests.
Speaking on the occasion in his capacity as the Chairman of the leading committee for holding the competition Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko said that one of this year competition’s distinctive features is the designation of two ethnic traditional dances as union dances, namely Thaleswa (Pleasant) Rakhine State group dance of Rakhine ethnic people and Lettwenyinyi Shaethoche (Move forward hand in hand) group dance of Kayin ethnic people, and inclusion of them at this year’s dance competitions.
Vice President U Henry Van Thio, Patron of the leading committee of holding the competition, said that each and every country in the world is proud of its longstanding culture, heritages and traditional fine arts, and tries to preserve them.
It has been about 25 years since the first Myanmar ethnic traditional performing arts competition was held with the aim of not just preserving but also propagating them, he added.
Norms of performing arts seem to be different due to their locality but all have the same nature and it is incumbent on all to preserve performing arts of ethnic peoples. Historically developed performing arts and traditions are one of the characteristics of sovereignty of a country along with its politics, military, economics, wealth, resources, technological development and education.
The aim of the event is to delegate the duty to leave the traditional heritages to the younger generation.
The vice president has urged doyen artistes, new generation ethnic youths and supporting organizations to cherish and keep our traditions and performing arts intact and to hand down to new generations as a national duty.
Speakers of Pyithu and Amyotha Hluttaws and other government officials attended the opening ceremony.
Myanmar has held the traditional cultural performing arts competitions annually since 1993.
The nearly two-decade-old competition has gradually developed both in content and essence with experience.
The competitions include contests of song, dance, composition, music and play at different stages such as professional, amateur, higher education and basic education levels.