The Myanmar Language Department of Yangon University kicked off its 75th anniversary celebration with the opening address by President U Htin Kyaw.
President U Htin Kyaw said he appreciated the efforts of the department for the past 75 years for promoting the Myanmar language, calling for preserving and simultaneously developing the country’s own language and literature.
“The whole nation is required to preserve and simultaneously develop our own language and literature. I myself wish for the Myanmar language and literature to develop and for outstanding students to appear who will upgrade the status of Myanmar language and literature in the country,” said the President.
Present at the opening ceremony were Daw Kyu Kyu Hla, wife of Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Services, Dr Myo Thein Gyi, Union Minister for Education, U Maung Maung Soe, Mayor of Yangon City, departmental heads, chairman of theNational Education Policy Commission, faculty of scholars from the fields of Arts & Science in Myanmar and national curriculum committee, vice chairmen and members, Myanmar scholars of the board of Myanmar Language Commission, rectors from universities, responsible officials and invited guests.
The President added, “Outstanding and elite persons who were well-versed in both Myanmar and World literatures such as U Pe Maung Tin, U E Moun, U Wun (Min Thu Wun), U Thein Han (Zaw Gyi) initiated the campaign for Myanmar Language and Literature Development, the Myanmar Faculty became a well-established department, with the responsibility of developing the language taken by consecutive professors. It is an honour for me to have an acquaintance with Myanmar professors during the period of 75 years of the Myanmar language department led by my father.
The founding of the Department of Myanmar Language at the Yangon University could be said to have been a historic epoch in the history of education in Myanmar. Prior to the establishment of the University College in 1920, Yangon University did not have a separate department of Myanmar Language.
The teaching of the Myanmar language at the university was under the department of Oriental Studies. Yet, due to strenuous efforts of the first-ever principal of the University College, U Pe Maung Tin, and remarkable students such as Sayar U E Moun, Sayar U Wun, Sayar U Thein Han, Sayar Theikpan Maung Wa and others, a separate department of Myanmar Language was established in 1941. The successful establishment of the Myanmar Language Department under colonial rule proved that the whole nation loved and admired their mother language and Myanmar literature.
On account of U Pe Maung Tin’s effort, U E Moun became the first-ever head of Faculty of Myanmar Language in Yangon University, followed by Sayargyi U Wun (Min Thu Wun) who made many efforts in developing Myanmar literature and teaching of Myanmar language. Afterward, Professor U Maung Maung Gyi, U Tin Aye, U Myint Kyi, Daw Than Swe and others continued to lead the Myanmar Faculty. Yangon University’s Myanmar Faculty, founded in 1941, reached its diamond jubilee of 75 years in 2016.
“We saw successive Myanmar professors and teaching staff actively taking part in developing Myanmar language and literature as much as they could,” said the President.
On the occasion of the diamond jubilee ceremony, an offering of “Soon—a day-meal” to 75 Members of the Sangha, ceremony of paper reading by literary scholars, exhibition of diamond jubilee show-room of Myanmar Faculty, Book Fair on Myanmar literary works, Special Friendship Dinner Party and entertainment programme presented by School Veterans and students of new generation will be included.
Language and literature is a country’s most valuable cultural heritage. In addition, Prof Dr Khin Aye, the retired dean and Dr Po Kaung, rector of Yangon University respectively made speeches. Then Dr Saw Htay Myint and Yangon University Myanmar Faculty donated monetary funds.
The celebration will last until 24th December. At the end of the ceremony, the President inspected the book fair and Myanmar Jubilee Exhibition in the recreation centre of the Yangon University.—Myanmar News Agency