Keeping Karen traditions alive overseas, a Bangkok-based organization held a wrist-tying ceremony on August 27 that was attended by nearly 3,000 people.
The Overseas Karen Refugees Social Organization’s 25th annual ceremony included paying respect to the Karen national flag, tying white threads around each other’s wrists, performing traditional dances and holding a football match.
The ceremony was attended by Yangon Region’s Minister of Karen Affairs Naw Pan Thinzar Myo, Major Soe Soe from the Karen National Union (KNU), allied Karen organizations, Karen artists and Karen people living in Thailand.
An official from the social organization said crowds at the annual ceremony grow each year.
“Around 2,000 people came last year and we received 700 more people this year. The venue for holding the wrist-tying ceremony was packed with people,” Saw Eh Tho, secretary of the organising committee, told KIC News.
He added that the event aims to reunite Karen people working in Thailand and living away from their families and relatives, and to keep them from forgetting their culture.
Saw Hti Wah from the Karen National Culture Organization said he came from Sangkhla Buri District near the Three Pagoda Pass to attend.
“The traditional ceremonies teach the new generation what to do, how to preserve [our traditions], and why they should be preserved,” he said.
The OKRSO was established in Bangkok in 1992. It has held a traditional wrist-tying ceremony every year since it was founded.