By Koyin Aw
The earth, “Myay Mitmo,” is of great help for exuberant growth of emerald green grass, plants and trees, as are public-orientated centres to help cast a learning light over the public.
It is none other than books that awakes people’s awareness and senses, thus we emphatically say, “Books for All,” which is another way of saying “Books are friends of all.” Books and literature are the most fundamental for the development of people’s scope of knowledge and intellect. As for a man, accumulation of personal experiences in his life is in fact very limited, whereas vicarious experiences acquired through books and literatures are infinite and timeless. Existences, feelings and passing of life of all beings including various kinds of people from all walks of life remain left in literature.
At such a time when literature needs to be upgraded so that our national image can rise up, parents belonging to the ageing generationare required to collectively cultivate and nurture the people, especially the younger generation, to learn to love books, spending their precious hours in the circle of literary fanatics. Here, we need to form small-scale groups or in-groups/cliques depending upon our capabilities. On the other hand, the Government as well needs to encourage it as a national objective to lift up the literary status.
Students learning at their respective alma maters need to not only take academic learning, but also to learn to savour the taste of literary treasures including aesthetic literature. No one can deny public libraries as well as school libraries are of great importance. Unadulterated/pure literature which can increase the intellect, encourage the survival of readers and awaken consciousness and awareness is in fact the eternal partner for every individual in leisure hours. Accordingly, I would like to claim that “Lovable literature which will change our present era needs to be selected for sharing the acquired knowledge to other younger minds/youths.”
Provided that literature will stand tall as the life-long partner loyal to readers in the midst of the people, it sure will be of great encouragement and grace for us, as if we are in the immediate vicinity of a savant hermit.
On studying as to whether there is any progress concerning the situations of IPRD libraries being upgraded as public-orientated libraries, I have come to realise that a library is a cave in which various kinds of literary treasures are a mosaic with a variety of technologies, intellects, fine arts, cultures, subjects on wonderful nature, hygienic knowledge, books on guidance for success, or rather a cave where the treasures of writers who cast light are buried.
A literary repository or a library, emphatically likened to a literary treasure trove, is a location in which literary hunters can sit digging up literary treasures with ease. In case it was a royal treasure trove guarded by ogres it would be too difficult to dig it up, regarding to be an unfit for the public.
As regards the well-known catchphrase, “Literature is kind of a flaming torch for the success of our lives,” I hereby would like to refer the statement of Sayar Thar Ga Doe, my much-respected literati journalist. He once said, “What created me to stand as the existence of “Thar Ga Doe,” were none other than books. I disclosed it almost everywhere I met my superiors and colleagues. Born in a desperate situation at a village called Phyar Tan where we could reach after a walk of several miles across three or four villages from Dar Ka, 20 miles or so far from Pathein, formerly called Bassein, I became a literary worker-cum-film director-cum-journalist, by courtesy of books.
It is beneficial for us to pay attention to books. Yet, not every book can be beneficial and fruitful for us. There seems to be an element of hyperbole in such a claim that there are lethal books around us. Only if we ponder it carefully with judgment will we manage to discover excellent and beneficial books for our success.
Lethal books referred by Sayargyi Thar Ga Doe will be pornographic ones, books on illegal doctrines and ideas, books of insular patriotism of extremists, etc., n my opinion. If attracted to this kind of literature, I humbly would like to warn you that you will be in for trouble like moths attracted to bright lights.
Accordingly, people desirous of searching for knowledge and wisdom should approach the public libraries rich in literary virtues like an ocean, without occult matters excluded.
Public-orientated centres and public-orientated libraries are locations where literary talks are held, rendezvous points for writers and literature lovers and places from which meritorious deeds increase through acquired literary knowledge. Being a place where fellow devotees gather for regional affairs, it can be said to be a place of great use for sharing knowledge, discussing matters on philanthropic affairs and giving help to each other.
Oh! Dear colleagues,
The place of which we can claim, “This is our place!,” is none other than a public-orientated centre or a public-orientated library. By sharing frankly what we want, friendship between us will be strengthened, with the soaring family spirit, I firmly believe.
At the public-orientated library, we can not only read and borrow books but also open training courses for children such as computer training courses, English-speaking classes and noble education sharing courses. Thus, it will be a place of nobility for all regardless of age, which will be beneficial forever.
A public-orientated centre and public-orientated library are not the places which reflect explosive symptoms of greed, anger and ignorance, absolutely not a place of evil wills. It is just a meeting place established with the intention of casting light over the community by holding an intellectual discussion. As it can be said to be a suitable place for all, it agrees with “the Auspicious Sermon,” which Myanmar people greatly value.
Now, we found out that IPRD has been implementing in cooperation with the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation to transform the public-orientated centre and public-orientated library into the place savants and literary lovers meet, a lovable place with the fragrant atmosphere of Myanmar’s respected and honourable writers, poets and journalists, enjoyable places for children by holding storytelling contests, poem-recitation contests, ad lib speech contests, drawing contests, color painting contests and so on.
At the time of establishing public-orientated centres, public talks are being held across the nation. I assume that it is an auspiciousness of the nation. Public talks are not the places full of indecent or vulgar speech. Arguments are being presented reasonably in sweet and polite terms at public talks, hence making for a welcoming place for the people.
In the democratic era, these places are the ones in which the governing body and the people can hold frank discussions, the places which can bring about opportunities for negotiation of all matters, small or big, a place to lift up thinking capacities and places that will cultivate practices of participating in public.
Would that it be better to increasingly hold such public talks in every part of the nation, from remote villages to urban areas.
(Translated by Khin Maung Oo)