Chin National Day Celebrated
covering burma and southeast asia
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Burma

Chin National Day Celebrated


By ZARNI MANN / THE IRRAWADDY Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Chin refugees celebrate the 64th anniversary of Chin National Day in New Delhi on Feb. 20, 2012. (Photo: Zarni Mann / The Irrawaddy)
COMMENTS (3)
RECOMMEND (239)
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
PLUSONE
 
MORE
E-MAIL
PRINT

NEW DELHI, India – A community hall in West Delhi is buzzing with Chin refugees dressed in colorful traditional costumes. Smiles light up the faces of everyone—young and old. The air is alive with traditional songs as the 64th anniversary of Chin National Day is celebrated.

Several girls are busy in the corner arranging their dresses as they prepare to perform a traditional dance. Their audience, meanwhile, are busy indulging in an array of mouthwatering sweets and homemade dishes in the opposite corner.

“I would be much happier if I could celebrate National Day in our Chin Land,” said Diana, a Chin refugee who now lives in New Delhi. “I feel that this environment is quite different from our land. However, we are Chin and the spirit to celebrate our national day is deep in our heart.”

After Burma won independence from Britain, Chin leaders set out to inaugurate a Chin National Day. Feb. 20 was an overwhelmingly clear choice as there was a series of historical events that coincided on that date.

It was on the 20th of February in 1928 that the Chin Hills Union Organization was established in Hlatui village in Kapetlet Township. And exactly 10 years later, on Feb. 20, 1938, the Chin Patriots submitted its nine proposals to the British colonial government.

Then, 10 years to the day later—on Feb. 20, 1948—the General Assembly of Chin Land was held in Falam in Chin State. At the general assembly, representatives of the Chin people voted to overturn their traditional feudal system and adopt a democratic method of electing local and state leaders.

The first Chin National Day was celebrated on that auspicious date in 1951 in Mindat, Chin State, and the event was attended by Burma’s first prime minister, U Nu.

“We organize this special day every year so that the Chin people can get together to remember our history and to spread our valuable culture to our young people,” said Rose Zahaung, a member of the Chin Students’ Union in New Delhi.

There are an estimated 20,000 ethnic Chin refugees living in New Delhi.

Of course, Chin people inside Burma celebrate the anniversary, too, although it has been adapted and changed in name.

“Today we celebrate Chin State Day—not National Day,” explained a resident of Hakha, the capital of Chin State. “We have many cultural traditions, but are afraid our history may disappear. It is our duty to urge the government to allow us to celebrate our National Day.”

Chin National Day celebrations were modified after a new Constitution was introduced in 1974. Many Chin people express fears that this was the first step toward slowly erasing their culture.

“We feel that the regime tried to abolish the ethnic identity of the Chins by taking away their rights,” said Col. Solomon Thang Ding of the Chin National Front.

Over the past few decades, thousands of Chin people have fled the conflict in their homeland and taken refuge in other countries. Others have left due to economic hardship and a lack of opportunity for their children.

“I would like to urge all Chin people around the world to bring back what they have learned from developed countries,” said Solomon Thang Ding. “Then we can work together in our Chin Land and better develop our society.”

COMMENTS (3)
 
Please read our policy before you post comments. Click here
Name:
E-mail:   (Your e-mail will not be published.)
Comment:
You have characters left.
Word Verification: captcha Type the characters you see in the picture.
 

Martin Wrote:
24/02/2012
Dear Editors,

As a Zo(Chin) national, want to thank you for putting up this news but then the photo used hardly seem to be the best choice ever possible. There are dozens of Zo(Chin)National Day Events around the world and i am sure you would find more appropiate photo than this.

Thanks
Martin

Human Wrote:
23/02/2012
Is that the Best photo you can come up with?

With all the dozens of celebrations around the world?

I am sure you have hundreds of other photoes more appropiate than this one

thanks

C Thein Han Wrote:
22/02/2012
My first friends at the Rangoon University in 1947 are the Chins students. My room-mate was Richard Liam Kim who later became a Session Judge and my neighbours were Pau Lu, Robert Sun Khar,Christie Tai Kwell who got his MSc from Oregon State University, Pau Khan Tang (Burma Air Force)later became a Minister, and Ngau Cin Pau. All of them were hard working, kind and sincere.I attended The Chin National Day Celebration with them in 1948 and joined the dances with them.

more articles in this section