10 January 2019
In the auspicious morning of January 10, 2019, the atmosphere of Myitkyina, located at the northern most part of Myanmar, which is the capital city of Kachin Sate, is reflected with different kinds of Kachin ‘s tribe people’s costumes; Jinghpaw, Rawan, Lisu, Lachiek, Hkahku, Azi and more. Moreover, the other ethnic group, Shan also attended. Seeing this colorful unity of people, it reminds me of my visit to this place when I was a kid with the age late 10’s. Back then, all the family members came here to join the Kachin Sate Day, which falls on January 10. That was the time when the Tatmadaw and the Kachin armed group had an agreement signed for peace.
The Kachin State Day has been 71st years now, since 1948. Kachin State Day is also well known as Manau festival, which is taking place every January 10. It had been several years now that Kachin people did not celebrate the Kachin Sate Day or Manau Festival due to internal conflict currently going on in Kachin.
Upon the opening ceremony of Kachin State Day, government officials and our honorable guests showed up to open the ceremony, including the State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Khet Aung, chief Minister of Kachin Sate, together with other high ranked officials.
On the arrival of the State Counsellor, she was warmly welcomed with long queue of people wearing different types of Kachin traditional costumes. She was wearing the dress called the Hkaku tribe of Kachin with rosy rose flower on head. Plus, she had a big smile on whilst waving and greeting everybody who showed up to see her. I even heard one lady with late 30’s, “ Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is quite beautiful, long live.”
Dr. Khet Aung, Chief Minister of Kachin State delivered the remark sent by the President U Win Myint. In the remark, it mainly talked about the internal conflict between Tatmadaw and Kachin armed group. As a result of the conflict, development of the country is still slow. The president office highly encouraged the internal conflict to stop.
Next, the State Counsellor, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave the opening remark that the development of Kachin will be accelerated just in one year, once all the conflicts are solved. She even made a joke about her father, General Aung San visit to Kachin, he was quite pleased because of accompany surrounded by gorgeous Kachin ladies.
Since Kachin people’s main religion is Christian, the opening ceremony of 71st anniversary of Kachin State Day was closed with the prayer, saying “Amen” from the crowds. At first, I was a bit worried if I would not be allowed to cover stories there since I did not contact the organizer early to receive identification for media. Everything went well, even though I received only the general entry card.
The Manau festival with the remark of Kachin State Day will be taking place over the next three days starting from January 10. The festival will feature different kinds of entertainment programs, sports competition, performances, beauty competition, and more.