Kayin New Year celebrations in Nay Pyi Taw

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the celebration of Kayin New Year Day at the MICC II in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the celebration of Kayin New Year Day at the MICC II in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: MNA

The State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi delivered the New Year address at the Kayin New Year Day celebrations held at 9 am yesterday, at the Myanmar International Convention Center-II in Nay Pyi Taw which falls on the 1st Waxing of Pyatho, Kayin Era 2757.
Present at the ceremony were Mahn Win Khaing Than, Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw, U Myo Nyunt, Chairman of Constitutional Tribunal of the Union, U Hla Thein, Chairman of the Union Election Commission, U T Khun Myat, Deputy Speaker of Pyithu Hluttaw, U Aye Tha Aung, Deputy Speaker of the Amyotha Hluttaw, Thura U Shwe Mann, Chairman of Pyidaungsu Hluttaw’s Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission, Union Ministers, Chairman of Nay Pyi Taw Council, Union Attorney General, Deputy Ministers, Hluttaw representatives, representatives from Kayin National Union, invited guests and responsible officials.
First of all, after sacrificial offering were made to “phibiyaw” the divine bird, guardian of crops according to Kayin traditions, the ceremony was opened, presided over by Mahn Win Khaing Than, U Saw Valentine, U Saw Tin Win, U Saw Tun Mya Aung and Mahn Tun Kyaing.
Afterwards, Speaker of Amyotha Hluttaw addressed the gathering as follows: “Every person living in the countries all over the world celebrate New Year Day in accord with the traditions of their nations and races. New Year Day is the first-ever day just after the end of the old year. Our Kayin race has different sub-groups. Though being different in living locations, language used, literature, and religious beliefs, we all have unity of mind and spirit. We have been celebrating the ceremony for 79 years. Our main vocation is farming. At the time of the new harvest, when the new crops have been reaped, families gather to celebrate the festival. That time had been regarded as the New Year Day. That being so Kayin New Year is not only the sign of changing into the New Year but also the symbol of unity. It had been held in Nay Pyi Taw for the 2nd time. To do so, after negotiation with the Kayin national parliamentarians, the decision was made to celebrate it here. Because we have all worked in unity, we are able celebrate successfully. PUMA ENERGY ASIA SUM COMPANY also helped us to make the celebrations a success. So, we would like to thank Ko Than Win Kyaw, a Shan national who is the chairman of Puma Company. Accordingly, the Kayin New Year Day depicts national unity and youths’ effort.”
“Successful celebrations of Kayin New Year Day were attributed to unity and friendship among Kayin nationals. Due to the concerted efforts of Kayin national parliamentarians, the 1st Waxing of Pyatho was officially designated as the Kayin National Day. The first-ever Kayin National New Year address was said by Thalay Htaikhokepho on Kayin Era 2678, 1st waxing of Pyatho, AD 1938 December 21. In the address, Kayin nationals will take part in united Myanmar while building up national unity among Kayin nationals, without selfishness and any prejudices for the national interest. The broadcast speech expresses that Kayin national leaders’ efforts to successfully designate the KNYD. We all wished to take part in the nation building with genuine minds for the national progress. We firmly believe that peace is essentially needed for the emergence of a developed and united country as hoped by our leaders,” said Mahn Win Khaing Than.
The Speaker added, “As this is the time when the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is implementing the Union Peace Conference—21st Century Panglong , we, all the Kayin nationals on our part must help as much as we can. As known by all, we are facing many challenges while making efforts to build up a peaceful and developed federal democratic union. At such a time, we must solve all the challenges in unity without any grudge and prejudices so that we can remove pressures and challenges as desired our leaders. To sum it up, we will continue to celebrate future Kayin New Year Days like the present 79th ceremony. As a way of showing gratitude to our Kayin national leaders, for emergence of an auspicious Union as desired by our leaders, I deeply urge my fellow nationals to work for the nation energetically and in unity.”
This was followed by an address by the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in which she said, “Today is the 1st Waxing of Pyatho, Kayin Era 2757 when the New Year ceremony is being held with auspiciousness just after the end of the old year. At the time of new harvest, family members assemble together, bearing good tidings and partaking in bounteous feasts. That is, it is the time full of unity, happiness and good hopes for the future. Nowadays, Union citizens living in the country are trying their best to overcome difficulties and challenges. We firmly believe that we will be successful no matter how many difficulties we may have to face. Looking back into our country’s history we had managed to overcome obstacles, moving along arduous journeys. In walking towards peace as well, it is evident that Kayins led energetically so much so that we all began to use the term “Kayin Model”. Now, the sound of Kayin drums are echoing on the “Dawna” mountain in Kayin State. The sound of gun fire has ceased; instead the voices of children reciting lessons in their class rooms and school bells have replaced these sounds. Nascent progress of peace is being seen. Those living in regions which are still far from peace look with envy. Kayin nationals from home and abroad who had been there for various reasons will see a brighter future. On such an occasion, I would like to say that I am very pleased for the Kayin State which is building a beautiful future. Our Kayin people are simple, loyal and act with firmness and determination. They had inherited this from their ancestors for 2757 years. There will be no doubt for them to preserve these practices for generations. Kayin dances show swiftness and openness. Songs also are full of happiness. These give us physical and spiritual strength. Kayin nationals will take part in national reconciliation energetically and bravely. For these we would like to thank peace activists on behalf of the Union. Finally, may you bring about union peace with good examples, from now on. May you implement the development of Kayin State. May you preserve traditional culture, national heritage and lovable characteristics of the Kayin race. May have plentiful food and wealth and be free from dangers.” “One Kayin national came to me to explain about the divine bird while watching the festival. The reason for giving offerings to the divine bird is for the benefit of both sides—farmers and birds coming to feed on crops. Birds usually eat crops and snails. When crops are frequently eaten, it will cause loss for farmers. But as it eats snails, it is better for farmers. Advantage and disadvantages always come together. However we need to make sure that advantages far outweigh the disadvantages,” said the State Counsellor.
Following that the State Counsellor posed for documentary photos with those present at the ceremony.
After that, Colonel Kawkasar Saw Ne Soe, a representative of the KNU read out the message sent by General Saw Mutu Sae Poe, Chairman of KNU, followed by Dr Arrkar Htun [a] Naw Christ Tun who read out a paper on the origin of KNYD in Myanmar with Naw Susanar Hla Hla Soe reading in Sakaw Kayin language.
Then, the audience was entertained with Kayin traditional Done-yein dances after which the ceremony came to a close.—Myanmar News Agency (Unofficial Translation)

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