Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest was formally opened with a ceremony unveiling its archway at the Kyaikkasan Sports Ground in Tamway Township, Yangon Region yesterday.
Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs, Nai Thet Lwin, delivered the opening speech. He first thanked the Myanmar Ethnic Entrepreneurs Association (MEEA) for organizing the culture fest, as it provides an opportunity to materialize the close relations and unity of all the ethnic races in Myanmar.
Myanmar is a Union all the ethnic races are living together in, and as such, ethnic solidarity is of critical importance, said Nai Thet Lwin. He said this solidarity is essential for implementing peace, which in turn will drive socioeconomic development. He said the various ethnic races in Myanmar may historically hold different perspectives. He said it is possible to cast aside our differences and combine our similarities as we move forward or still unite with our differences in hand. He said our nation can be united even with these differences.
He said organizing culture fests such as this one will knit ethnic races together by exposing them to the different customs and traditions of each other. This will dispel doubts between the ethnic brothers and sisters and establish firm trust that will pave the way for the success of the peace process and establishing a democratic federal union.
The Union government is providing leadership to the all citizens striving to establish this democratic federal union, said the Union Minister. He said the Union Peace Conference – 21st Century Panglong has already held its third session, where they managed to establish fundamental principles on democracy and federalism. He said if all the ethnic races succeed in building lasting mutual trust and cooperation then we will be able to strengthen national reconciliation and unity, which will lead to a peaceful and prosperous democratic federal union.
The Union Minister said his ministry is always actively promoting ethnic languages, literature, traditions and culture. He requested every ethnic race to value the traditions and culture from other ethnic races as much as they did to their own. He said the basic need for economic development is good infrastructure and sufficient energy. While the Union government is working hard in that area, businesses from the private sector also need to chip in to boost development, said the Union Minister.
The Union Minister said with the variety of ethnic races displaying their tradition, customs, regional products and other aspects of their lives, in addition to the Miss Ethnic Myanmar 2019 pageant, attendees will feel as if they are in all the states and regions at once. He expressed his desire to hold consecutive culture fest in Yangon and other parts of the country. The Union Minister said it is important for regional products to penetrate into the global market so as to attract more foreign tourists, raise the standard of regional products on par with global brands, and to bring in benefits to the nation.
Next, Yangon Region Minister for Rakhine Ethnic Affairs, U Zaw Aye Maung, delivered a speech and MEEA Chair U Yaw Set explained the motives for organizing the culture fest.
Afterwards, Union Minister Nai Thet Lwin, Union Minister for Commerce Dr. Than Myint, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Ohn Maung, MEEA Patrons Dr. Tin Myo Win, Chair of the Union Peace Commission, and Dr. Aung Tun Thet, regional minister U Zaw Aye Maung, regional minister for Kayin ethnic affairs Naw Pan Thinzar Myo, MEEA Chair U Yaw Set, Vice-Chair L Pai Kunsar, general secretary U Min Banyar San, and Mr. Ai Min and Mr. Zhang Rui from Inner Mongolia Kincaid Industrial Group, formally opened the archway for Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest.
The Union Ministers, officials and invited guests then toured the ethnic culture exhibits, business exhibits, and Kachin manaw dance at the culture fest.
The Myanmar Ethnics Culture Fest will be open from 11 am to 10 pm every day from 25 to 30 January. The culture fest will include performances from famous artists, the Miss Ethnic Myanmar 2019 pageant, various exhibition booths on ethnic culture and way of life, an ethnics night market, game activities, and over 800 stalls selling food and souvenirs. —Yi Yi Myint, Ohmar Thant (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)