By Nyunt Ko Ko, Photo: Pho Htaung
Ethnics Culture Fest was continued for the second day in Kyaikkasan Ground, Yangon yesterday and Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs Nai Thet Lwin and state/region ministers for ethnic affairs opened an exhibition where ethnic national’s traditional products were displayed and sold.
Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs’ Association (MEEA) Joint Secretary Dr. Aung Ye Zaw said, “This morning seven ethnic affairs ministers including Union Minister Nai Thet Lwin came to open the ethnic national’s traditional products exhibition. There are a total of 200 exhibits including beauty products in the festival.”
Ethnics Culture Fest has 200 air-conditioned exhibits that includes ethnic national traditional food sales shops, ethnic national traditional culture exhibits in addition to a staged “Miss Ethnic Myanmar 2019” selection program.
“Selected Miss Ethnic Myanmar will be the brand ambassador for MEEA in connecting and working with other organisations. All 135 ethnic nationals are included. In addition to the main eight ethnic nationals, self-administered regions and zones such as Wa, Kokang, Ta-ang (Palaung), Danu, Pao exhibits are exhibiting their history and other unique things that are of interest. It certainly would be hard to find another place where all the traditional foods of the ethnic nationals are available as here,” said MEEA Joint Secretary Dr. Aung Ye Zaw.
Ma Aut Aut from Wa self-administered region said, “We came from Pangsang and is selling Wa and Chinese foods. We came so that other ethnic nationals can know about our foods. Come and taste our foods.”
Pa-O ethnic national Ma Naw Naw Aye who was selling Pa-O foods and clothing said, “Pa-O traditional foods, avocado and orange, garlic etc. are available.
We want other ethnic nationals in the country to know about us. As it is an ethnic culture fest, we’ll exchange and trade goods. Everything sold here comes from our region. As these are organic foods, we can raise the price but instead offering it at low price. Many people from the south, including our own people bought Pa-O costumes. I’m glad to see people from all regions came over to one place. We love our costumes and we also love their costumes. It is very much appealing to the eyes. I’m happy beyond word to see all 135 ethnic nationals of Myanmar here.”
Dr. Aung Ye Zaw remarked that is not easy to put up this exhibit. There is a hundred per cent interest from the people and since there is no entrance fee, everyone should take this opportunity. Come study, comment and suggest he said.
Mon ethnic national from Mawlamyine Daw Mo Mo said, “I’m a Mon traditional costume maker. Through selling our traditional costume here other ethnic nationals will know about us. As the cultures and traditions of ethnic nationals were shown, we also want to participate. That is why we are here. I can say a lot of sales were made. I didn’t expect it to be this much. Other ethnic nationals also knew of Mon styles and Mon costumes and they buy. Foods are traditional Mon foods. It is rare to attend this sort of event. There were some when we were young but at this part of the time, I think this is the biggest. MEEA creates a lot of business opportunities for ethnic businesses like ours. It is nice to see and connect with other ethnic nationals in their traditional costume. I hope this fest is conducted every year.”
Ethnic Culture Fest was held for ethnic nationals in Myanmar to meet, create friendship among ethnic nationals, enable ethnic national businesses to work together and establish small and medium enterprises. Through holding this fest ethnic national’s economy will develop and through this walk toward peace and development.
An ethnic Lisu national from Kachin State (Ma) Aquamarine said, “We came to sell Lisu traditional foods. I’m happy to see ethnic nationals in one place.”
Ma Khin Wut from Kayah State, Loikaw who came to sell Kayah State products said, “We have various Kayah foods and medicinal herbal roots. We want all to know what we have. Kayah is a beautiful and pleasant place. Come, see and buy from shops like this in Kayah. I’m happy to see such a wide varieties as there are traditional costumes, utensils and foods of other ethnic nationals.”
According to MEEA there were more than 100,000 visitors to the fest on both days. 75 years old Lisu ethnic national Daw Naw Khawrmi from Myitkyina Waingmaw Ward 3 said, “I work on a handloom. I’m happy to work on a handloom here. I met with many relatives here. I’m now weaving a traditional Lisu belt. Lisu is one the six tribes of Kachin. I’m 75 years old and had been weaving since I was 20.” Ethnics Culture Fest will be held for six days until 30 January from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m daily.