State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi attended an event to celebrate the Kayin traditional wrist-tying ceremony held in Yangon yesterday and struck the Kayin traditional Phasi drum together with Vice Chairman of the Kayin National Union Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win to open the ceremony.
Speaking at the ceremony held at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Mayangon Township, the State Counsellor said the traditional ceremony of Kayin ethnic people has showed the strength of loving kindness as it shows the way for living in unity and in peace by combining diverse races.
“I assume that the festival represents the reunion of Kayin ethnic tribes by gathering at the festival to tie white threads on their wrists to know each other. Calling back the souls of relatives to the festival and gathering at the festival is the symbol of unity,” said the State Counsellor.
She also reminded all the ethnic people in the country of individual responsibility for non-disintegration and for development of the Union which is made up of different ethnic national races.
State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also called on ethnic races to hold their traditional festivals as much as possible as part of efforts for promoting understanding and mutual respect and propagation of loving kindness among them.
She also expressed thanks to Kayin ethnic leaders for helping the government to achieve success in peace making process as the country is on the road to total peace.
“I want to say thanks to Kayin ethnic leaders for their courage and strong will to move from the path of armed struggle to the path of peace because it is not easy to change from the path of armed struggle which they have been used to for decades to the path of peace,” said the State Counsellor.
“Meanwhile, I thank other ethnic leaders and colleagues for their help to make the peace process a success”, said the State Counsellor, “especially, I also thank the people who support us as they aspire for peace.”
The State Counsellor also said she took pride in and felt delighted to enjoy a Kayin traditional meal together with Kayin ethnic leaders and people, saying that having a meal together means all are committed to living together through thick and thin and it is also a great chance to make friends with each other.
In her concluding remarks, she wished that the festival would be held successfully every year.
Afterwards, KNU Vice Chairman Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win delivered an address saying that everyone of Kayin ethnic race has responsibility to value and take pride in significant characteristics such as literature, language and traditional culture and customs as part of efforts for promoting their significant characteristics.
Meanwhile, the government concerned is obliged to promote and encourage conservation of traditional characteristics of an ethnic national race, and it is important to provide guarantees for legal protection and encouragement to ensure conservation of traditional characteristics of an ethnic race by enacting laws, said the Vice Chairman of KNU.
He urged the Kayin ethnic people gathered at the festival and in other areas to be in unison and to promote and conserve the traditional characteristics, culture and customs.
Afterwards, the State Counsellor posed for a documentary photo together with Union Minister for Ethnic Affairs Nai Thet Lwin, Chairman of the Peace Commission Dr. Tin Myo Win, Chief Minister of Yangon Region U Phyo Min Thein and members of the Yangon Region Cabinet, Speaker of Yangon Region Hluttaw U Tin Maung Tun and Deputy Speaker U Lin Naing Myint, regional and state ethnic affairs ministers, Vice Chairman KNU Pado Saw Kwe Htoo Win and party, chairmen and secretaries of the Kayin ethnic literature and culture committees from regions and states and youths.
Yangon Region Kayin Ethnic Affairs Minister Naw Pann Thinzar Myo presented a photo of Daw Khin Kyi, wife of Bogyoke Aung San, and Naw Thein Khin, wife of Saw San Phoe Thin, taken in Kayin ethnic dress in 1948 when they participated in “Kayin Phasi Festival” at Kwinyar Village in Pathein District, to State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Afterwards, Kayin elders tied white threads on wrists of the State Counsellor, the Union Minister, Peace Commission Chairman, Yangon Region Chief Minister and regional ministers, the vice chairman of KNU and party. Following the ceremony, the State Counsellor visited the booth of Kayin traditional culture and enjoyed a traditional Kayin meal together with the dignitaries. About 15,000 Kayin ethnic people attended the festival and the visitors were entertained the traditional dance and music.