Traditional culture that is worth keeping in our minds
- Khin Maung Oo
- Out of the 12 seasonal festivals, the Myanmar New Year Water Festival is the most crowded and joyful festival. Usually, during Thingyan, we experience happiness and disappointment, pleasure and displeasure at the same time. It must be said that the civilized traditional water festival is coming nearer and nearer to the danger of extinction, hence the need to remind our youths of throwing water happily and keeping our traditional cultural heritage whenever we have this festival season. The real essence of water festivals is for us to take part in throwing water. Our forefathers used to play water with “Tha Byay Khet” (that is, spraying water with a tiny branch of the Tha byay tree), then with water tube pipes, thence with water pipes used for extinguishing fire in present times.
Yet, Thingyan revelers cannot stop their rejoicing just by enjoying themselves to that extent. Many revelers are found to throw water on to Thingyan wanderers who go about the town to experience the Thingyan water throwing, to the extent of harming their bodies. Moreover, careless and undisciplined driving, intoxication, drug abuses and excessive merry-making are found to be the common practice, leading to the incidence of harmful and dangerous events.
To prevent such events from occurring, authorities concerned are taking disciplinary and preventive actions to take action against those who break the law during the festival period. During the Thingyan Water Festival, despite all these efforts to prevent crimes and accidents, violation of rules and laws, and failure to follow certain disciplines are happening everywhere in the country. So, it is not an easy task to control these violations. Year after year, those who take actions against and those who violate rules are increasing, like playing hide and seek. In fact, we should help the authorities to prevent those who commit mischievous deeds from committing crimes excessively, even if we cannot maintain our Myanmar traditional culture. Without people’s cooperation, we cannot achieve anything. At the same time, we should cooperate with the authorities to prevent such events from happening across the nation.
Though a disciplinary body by itself cannot perform its duties well to some extent, we need to co-operate with respective organizations for the long term and for gaining more success. Nowadays, warnings and notifications as to what to do and what not to do, in the Thingyan Water festival, have been disseminated one month ahead of the Thingyan festival via the news media.
During previous Thingyan festivals, we have found cases of excessive drinking and drug abuses that threatened people’s security. And, it is difficult to distinguish good and bad men, as a lot of people participate in the festival, especially just prior to the accidents and crimes. Thus, it is necessary for the public to join in and assist the authorities to prevent such kinds of mischievous behaviour. The most important thing is to take care of our girls so that they do not become prey to those villains who will try to commit sexual abuse by using drugs which promote sexual urges and promiscuous behaviour.
Last but not least, we humbly urge our people to help the authorities concerned to assist in the task of maintaining Myanmar traditional culture and preventing our girls from becoming victims of debauchery.