Children compete in sprinting contest, top-left, a child partaking in needle threading, bottom-left, young men scramble for posession of a coconut, right, as part of games and activities held to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Independence Day in Yangon. PHOTO: PE ZAW
The streets of Yangon City were full of people holding celebrations, games and sporting events in commemoration of the 71st Independence Day yesterday.
U Tun Hlaing, member of the Development and Management Committee of Shwe Lin Ban Low-Cost Housing 2 in Hlinethaya Township, said it is their first time holding fun fairs and sport contests to honour Independence Day. “We planned some fun activities for the children and presented prizes to them from modest cash donations from kind donors,” said U Tun Hlaing. “We’ve included a lot of sport contests too. We planned these events so that every citizen, young or old, will remember and value Independence Day.”
Yesterday was a valuable day for all Myanmar citizens, as they can be seen commemorating 71st Independence Day in various wards of Yangon City. In addition to fun fairs, activities, commemoration events, and sport contests, almost every ward held ‘sathuditha’ (giving charity food).
The various fun games and activities held included relay races, eating contests, balloon popping, sprinting, sack racing, potato picking, threading needles, coconut scramble, lighting candles, piggyback racing, slapping a tin can, hitting coconuts, htote-see-htoe (game combining hopscotch and tag), climbing a greased pole, pillow fights, and football matches.
Fifth grader Maung La Min Maung said, “It’s always happy on Independence Day because there are so many fun activities. I got prizes in sprinting and relay racing. I entered contests in previous years too, and won prizes. Independence Day is always in our hearts because they always plan memorable activities.”
Daw Moe Moe Kyi, Yangon Region Hluttaw representative, said successive generations had held fun activities for children and sport contests to commemorate Independence Day. She said it has become a tradition for the people to do so. She added that the activities and contests give children the opportunity to get fitter and healthier, which will aid in their brain development.
Fun fairs and activities held on Independence Day intend to raise public awareness on the endeavors of Bogyoke Aung San, the architect of independence, and the national martyrs in their quest for independence, to inform the history of Independence Day and to value its significance, to promote unity and sportsmanship, and to revive the fading traditional games of Myanmar. —Zaw Gyi (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)