Mon Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tion in Yangon

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - News - NAW BETTY HAN naw­bet­ty­han@mm­times.com

YANGON cel­e­brated the 71st Mon Na­tional Day An­niver­sary in Peo­ple’s Park on Pyay Road on Wednesday and Thurs­day.

The cer­e­mony opened by salut­ing the Mon flag and the Myan­mar na­tional flag while the au­di­ence – many of them wear­ing tra­di­tional white and red Mon dress – en­joyed the cel­e­bra­tion with pride.

“To­day is our Na­tional day for which we wore Mon cos­tume proudly, sung Mon Na­tional song and saluted the Mon Na­tional Flag to­gether,” said Nai Soe Kyi, sec­re­tary of the Mon Na­tional Day Ex­ec­u­tive Com­mit­tee.

As for pre­vi­ous years, the cer­e­mony in­cludes tra­di­tional songs and dances per­formed by a pop­u­lar Mon drama troupes and other cul­tural events. Tra­di­tional Mon mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, food and hand­i­crafts were also sold at the fes­ti­val.

Mon Na­tional Day is cel­e­brated an­nu­ally across Mon State and Yangon Re­gion and by Mon com­mu­ni­ties abroad. Sig­nif­i­cant Mon com­mu­ni­ties are found in Taninthayi, Yangon, Bago and Ayeyawady re­gions, as well as along the south­ern bor­der be­tween Thai­land and Myan­mar.

For the oc­ca­sion, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi noted that she was proud of the many cel­e­bra­tions that bring to­gether eth­nic peo­ples to pro­mote tra­di­tional cul­tures as it re­flects the Union of Myan­mar, based on di­ver­sity.

“The dig­nity of the Union is the dig­nity of all na­tional peo­ples. To have dig­nity, we want to build a demo­cratic na­tion. The demo­cratic sys­tem re­spects the peo­ple and the coun­try. There­fore, democ­racy and hu­man rights are in­sep­a­ra­ble. We can­not call it a democ­racy if it does not re­spect hu­man in­tegrity,” she said.

The cen­tral cel­e­bra­tion took place in Zathapyin vil­lage, Hpa-an town­ship, Kayin State, where res­i­dents from Mon State and Kayin State gath­ered. The cel­e­bra­tion dis­played Mon cul­ture, lit­er­a­ture and danc­ing.

This was the first cel­e­bra­tion of the Mon State Na­tional Day cen­tral-level cer­e­mony in Kayin State with the sup­port of both gov­ern­ments. Mon State govern­ment pro­vided K20 mil­lion and the Kayin State govern­ment K10 mil­lion.

The Mon Na­tional Day cel­e­brates the found­ing of the longest-rul­ing Mon king­dom, Hong­sawati (Han­th­n­wa­tee), by the two princes – Sa­mala and Vi­mala – on the 1st Wan­ing of Ta­bodwe, in the year 1116 of the Bud­dhist Era, ac­cord­ing to Mon tra­di­tion. Since 1947, Mon Na­tional Day has been marked on that day. It is called ‘Gitu Mook’ in Mon text.

Photo: Phoe Wa

Women sell tra­di­tional clothes at the Mon Na­tional Day cel­e­bra­tion at Peo­ple’s Park, Yangon, on Thurs­day.

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