Karen New Year in Mae La Oon refugee camp

Karen new Year in Mae La Oon Camp

Yaung Nii Oo school dance group

Shorthly before Christmas, Karen new year festival took place. As we mentioned 
in a previous post, there are many new years, as many as there are ethnic peoples. 
The dates vary and they are usually based on the lunar calendar. Here in Thailand 
were 3 weeks away from Songkran, the theravada boudhist new year, celebrated 
in Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. But i'm getting carried away...!

To celebrate Karen New year, dance groups rehearse and perform the 
Dawn Dance. The "Dawn Dance" (nothing to do with dawn, it means New Year) 
are performed by boys and grils, men and women. Actually the dancers sing and 
dance at the same time, while drummers play. One must be pretty fit to finish a 
complete song because the dances are fairly energetic. The songs are happy and 
very catching, the dancers dress up in traditional clothing, proud to continue their 
cultural heritage.


Practicing the Karen Dawn dance for Karen New year

Click here to watch the video


The new year festival

Sunrirse students dance in front of the whole of Mae La Oon refugee camp


On the day, people gathered from all around the camp. Some people have to walk for an
hours to reach the festival grounds. The drum and the buffalo horns you can see on the gate 
are the emblems of Karen people, the sunrising is part of the Karen flag.
After much waiting, we're ready to dance!

It means a lot for Sunrise school students to perform for the New Year festival because they can be shuned by other schools for learning in a schools that uses Burmese as the teaching language. By performing the Dawn dance, they show their love of Karen culture and assert thier identity as Karen youth.

 Yaung Nii Oo student did a wonderful performance that night, demonstrating that the new generations will continue to care fro Karen traditions and arts.

1 comment:

  1. သုိ/ မိတ္ေဆြတုိ႔အားလုံး..........ညီအစ္ကုိ ေမာင္နွမမ်ားအားလုံး...
    က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ေက်ာင္းသား/သူေတြအားလုံးက သူေနရာနဲ့သူကြဲသြားၾကေပမဲ့ က်ေနာ္တုိ႔ ဒီလုိျပန္ျမင္ေတြ႔ေနရတဲ့အခါ မိသားစုစိတ္ဓါနဲ့ အတူတူေနခဲ့တဲ့ေက်ာင္းေႏြးေႏြးေထြးရွၿမဲပါ။ ေနာက္ေတာ့ ဒီလုိ ျမင္ႏုိင္၊ရႈႏုိင့္ဖုိ႔လုပ္ေပး က်ေနာ့္ရဲ့အစ္ကုိႀကီးလုိ႔ေျပာရတာေပါ့ သူ့ေက်ာင္းရဲ့ မိသားစုစိတ္ဓါကို ေဖၚျပလုိက္တာဘဲလုိ႔ က်ေနာ္ခံစားမိတယ္။