BY NAW BETTY HANThe Myanmar Times FEB 2, 2018
Performers belt out a traditional song at the 71st annual celebration of Mon National Day at People’s Park in Yangon on Thursday. Phoe Wa/The Myanmar Times
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.
Women sell traditional clothes at the Mon National Day celebration at People’s Park, Yangon, on Thursday. Phoe Wa/The Myanmar Times
“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.
From: THE MYANMAR TIMES (MYANMAR) Friday February 2, 2018