Union Minister for Information Dr. Pe Myint attended the Ethnic Literature and Culture Development festival and funfair at the Awaiyar Kone Myint Tharyar grounds in Taunggyi, Shan State, yesterday morning.
The five-day event is being held from 9.30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is organised by the Ministry of Information and the Shan State government.
Dr. Pe Myint, along with Shan State Chief Minister Dr.Lin Htut and Minister for Bamar Ethnic Affairs Dr. Aung Than Maung, opened the festival by cutting a ribbon. School children then sang a song titled “A Unity Song” to entertain the guests.
During the opening speech, Dr. Pe Myint said, “This festival aims to revive literature and the cultural heritage of Shan State, as well as ensure sustainable development in the region.”
“Although every ethnic tribe in the country has its own literature and cultural heritage, it is of vital importance to promote them as much as we can to prevent from extinction,” he noted.
Some ethnic races have their own languages, yet they need support to develop their literature, he added. “Myanmar is an ethnically diverse nation of various ethnic races; therefore, we are duty-bound to preserve our own language, literature, culture and customs,” he said.
According to the 2008 constitution’s Article 22, the Union shall assist: (a) to develop language, literature, fine arts and culture of the national races; (b) to promote solidarity, mutual amity and respect and mutual assistance among the national races; (c) to promote socio-economic development, through education, health, economy, transport and communication, and so forth, of less-developed national races.
Later, officials presented certificates of honour to the representatives of various groups. Dozens of dove-shaped balloons were then released as a sign of peace, after which the officials took a commemorative group photograph.
The festival included reading the papers on a wide range of ethnic minority groups in Shan State, such as Tai Lue (Shan Gyi), Gon Shan, Tai Khamti, Tai Sa (aka) Mai Tar, Tai Leng (Shan),Tai Neua (Shan), Wa, Pa-O, Danu, Inn Thar, T’ang (Palaung), Kokang, Kachin, Kayan, Yin Net, Yin Kyar, Taung Yoe, Hta Naw, Lisu, Akha, Lahu and Inn at Taunggyi University convocation hall.
Arrangements were made to entertain the audience with musical concerts and the display of booths, entertainment and traditional food stalls at the fire balloon launching field in Taunggyi.