A Mon State official has pledged K16 million (US$11,800) for a traditional Karen wrist trying ceremony, an event celebrating Karen culture and unity.
“We are emphasizing development, and trying our best to support tradition and culture,” said Saw Myint Khine, Mon State’s Karen Affairs Minister.
The annual wrist tying ceremony is celebrated on the full moon day of Wagaung (the Karen month of Lah Khu) to ward off evil spirits. This year, the full moon day of Wagaung falls on August 7.
The state funding will be dispersed among 18 venues in Mon State which plan to hold wrist tying ceremonies, Saw Myint Khine added.
This is the first time the Mon State government has allocated funding for the wrist tying event. In past years, the state government has sponsored Karen New Year ceremonies, and Karen literature courses.
“Last year’s ceremony cost around K2 million. The Karen Literature and Culture Committee paid for the costs,” said Saw Tar Paung, secretary of Mawlamyine township’s Karen Literature and Culture Committee.