Thursday, April 21, 2011

Burma Envoy Participates in Dhaka's Traditional Rakhine Water Festival

Dhaka: Newly appointed Burmese ambassador to Bangladesh, U Min Lwin, participated in the Rakhine ( Arakanese) water festival held in Dhaka along with his wife on 14 April, 2011, report community sources.

An Arakanese community leader said that Ambassador U Min Lwin, along with his wife and staff, joined the water festival that was held in a Chakmar monastery in the Mipur area of Dhaka.

"Burmese ambassador U Min Lwin was entertained by an Arakanese troupe with traditional dance in pandal. He seemed to be happy when he saw the performance and water play in pandal between boys and girls," he said.

The traditional Rakhine water festival has been celebrated by the Dhaka branch of the Rakhine Buddhist Welfare Association since 2009, and this year being the third festival held. This is the first festival a Burmese ambassador has participated in.

"It is the first time the Burmese ambassador participated in the Rakhine water festival. We all are happy about his participating in our traditional water festival for the new year of the Arakanese era," he said.

The Arakanese community in Dhaka is very small, but it celebrates the water festival in order to preserve and share their traditions.

Daw Hla Thein, who is president of the Dhaka branch of the Rakhine Buddhist Welfare Association said, "We celebrate the water festival especially for the young generation in Dhaka, including students, to honor, understand, and preserve Rakhine traditions. We have a duty to rely our precious traditions to our young generations."

The water festival in Dhaka started at 2:00 pm and finished at 6:00 pm. During the festival, a Rakhine traditional dance troupe and some Arakanese singers from Cox's Bazar performed for participants.

The Arakanese water festival is celebrated during the new year holiday, which usually falls in mid-April every year. The traditional Arakanese water festival is very lovely and different from other water festivals.

According to Arakanese tradition, Unmarried boys and girls have the chance to play water face to face during the occasion of water festival with each other at pavilions with a boat placed in water.
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