The Kayin Ethnic Affairs Ministry of the Ayeyawady Region Government, and the Kayin National Literature and Culture Steering Committee held a ceremony to mark the Kayin New Year day, which falls on the first waxing day of the Pyatho, Kayin Era 2758, in Einme, Ayeyawady Region yesterday.
The New Year and the new harvest festival of the Kayin ethnic people held at the Taungsu Village in Ywathit Village-tract in Einme Township was attended by Mahn Win Khaing Than, the Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw, and his wife, Daw Nant Kyin Kyi.
Union Minster Nai Thet Lwin, Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister U Hla Moe Aung, Region Hluttaw Speaker U Aung Kyaw Khaing, Region Hluttaw representative Mahn Jonny, Kayin Ethnic Affairs Minister Gar Moe Myat Myat Thu, Karen National Union Chairman Saw Mutu Sae Po, and Vice Chairman Padoh Saw Kwe Htoo Win opened the ceremony by beating the Kayin Frog Drum (Pha-si).
Union Ministers Dr. Pe Myint, Thura U Aung Ko, South-West Command Commander Brigadier General Ye Win Oo, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock, and Irrigation, U Hla Kyaw, region ministers, Hluttaw representatives, and invited guests were also present at the ceremony.
Afterwards, Union Minister Nai Thet Lwin read out the Message of Greetings from the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the Kayin New Year.
At the ceremony, the Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw said the Kayin New Year is an auspicious and historic day for Kayin nationals. In 1881, during the British rule in Myanmar, the Karen National Association was established. Thanks to the efforts of Kayin leaders including Dr. Tee Than Pyar to promote Kayin literature, culture, education, society, and health, the bill on the designation of Kayin New Year Day was approved on 2 August 1937 by the Parliament of the colonial era.
Thalay Htaikhokepho on Kayin Era 2678, the first waxing of the Pyatho, AD1938 December 21, was designated as the Kayin New Year day and the first ever new year address was broadcast on 21 December, 1938.
He said the first ever address pledged to strengthen the unity of Kayin nationals and all Kayin nationals are committed to building a unified Myanmar.
Kayin national leaders also pledged that they would serve the interests of the country without selfishness and fear and without racism and religious extremism, said Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than.
“The speech vividly expressed the Kayin national leaders’ farsightedness, selflessness, and willingness to work for the development of the country, and also showed they held no grudges,” he said.
“The Kayin people are honest and faithful, and they rely on agriculture for their livelihood. The families of the Kayin ethnic people and their relatives reunite when the new crops are harvested and pray for each other,” he said.
“The celebrations of the Kayin New Year and the harvest season are held on a grand scale, and today’s ceremony marks the 81st anniversary of the new year and shows the unity of Kayin people,” said Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than.
He urged the Kayin people to cooperate with other ethnic people in the State’s peace efforts to bring about national reconciliation, ceasefire, and equitable development in hilly and plain areas, and to overcome the challenges of the peace process.
He wished the Kayin ethnic people a strong place in the Union while preserving the fine traditions of Kayin prestige and traditional customs, and marching towards a federal democratic country based on peace, stability, and development.
Afterwards, the Chairman of the Kayin National Union Saw Mutu Sae Poe urged the Kayin to conserve their traditional customs.
He also expressed his appreciation of the Kayin people’s dedication and perseverance to hold their annual festival since days of yore.
Union Minister Dr. Pe Myint expressed his delight to see the festival which had pulled in a significant crowd, and called the harvest festival the origin of cultural events of all ethnic groups.
Union Minister Thura U Aung Ko wished the Kayin ethnic people unity, happiness, and a bright future. Afterwards, the Ayeyawady Region Chief Minister and the Command Commander greeted the people.
The Amyotha Hluttaw Speaker and his wife, and attendees then visited exhibitions on Kayin traditional dress and utensils, Kayin literature and musical instruments, and the efforts of Kayin leaders and Kayin nationals who participated in the independence and peace processes.— Min Thit (MNA)