Karen National Union and Burma government representatives, in what is a historic first, attended a literature and culture training ceremony at Koh Koh village in Myawaddy Township.
Padoh Saw Ah Toe, head of the KNU Forestry Department, gave the closing ceremony speech and said that new generation had an important role in maintaining Karen literature and culture as well as promoting unity.
The one month long training finished on May 19; with total 2,018 trainees from 33 villages in Hpa-an, Kawkariek, Hlaingbwe, Kyain Seikgyi, and Myawaddy Townships, Karen state, and Mon state.
The Literature and Culture training committee chairperson, Daw Nan Myint Tin told Karen News. “Trainee numbers have increased this year although there are less villages to find trainees. We opened the first ‘train the teachers’ course at the Karen centre and then those teachers will be sent out into the villages.”
The Literature and Culture training covered not only primary education but also taught the trainees how to play Karen traditional musical instruments. During the ceremony held at Koh Koh competitions were held to find the best essay writing, feature articles, short story writing, traditional Dont dance and other cultural events.
The head monk, U Sander Waya, from Thu May Da Yama monastery in Hpa-an, urged the trainees spend time on their studies.
“Learn your own literature and culture. You only need to climb the provided ladder. You have to study to understand your culture and don’t forget to keep extending yourself. Then you can hand what you have learned to the new generation.”
The closing ceremony was attended by a long list of KNU and government representaives that included the KNU chairman of the Hpa-an District,Padoh, Saw Aung Maw Aye, Brigadier General Saw Jonny commander of the Karen National Union Brigade 7, Lt.Colonel Paw Doh battalion commander of 101 were attended as KNU representatives. Representing the government were Hluttaw [state parliament] Chairman U Aung Kyaw Min as well as Karen MPs, No 77 division commander Brigadier General So Naing Oo, and Myawaddy District chief U Myint Tin.