Young people in traditional attire march up the gravel path with vigorous steps. These young people are on their way to a public talk event being held under the banyan tree.
More than 540 youths took part in the event commemorating “Shan Youth Day” at Main Khay village tract, Hsipaw township, Lashio District, Northern-Shan State.
Shan Youth Day was the fourth event organized, and the programs comprised sports competitions and public lectures.
“Our Shan Youth Day activities mostly consist of public literary lectures. In the afternoon, sports competitions are being held. There are also evening concerts “, according to the event’s organizer, Sai Tun Aung.
Among the speakers are a well-known Shan writer, Hurn Kayang; an environmental specialist, Sai Khur Seng; a women’s activist, Nang Kham Yong; and a lector Kaw Main.
Hurn Kayang, a Shan writer, remarked in his public speech that “youths are the adults’ hope and younger generation’s role models. If their way of thinking is not right, the older generation loses their hope; while they are also no longer inspirational and a respectable role model for their younger generation”.
Hurn Kayang emphasized the importance of youth setting goals and ambition, as well as the value of education, while Sai Khur Seng discussed nature/environment and art/music. Nang Kham Yone spoke about her life experiences and encouragement to young women, while the lector Kaw Main spoke about literature as well as the importance of unity.
The first of March is recognized as “Shan Youth Day” in honor of Dr. Ba Nyan, who composed the Shan national anthem. His birthday was March 1st. It was approved during the Tai Youth Conference in Taw Kywe Inn, Bago region, in 2017.
According to Sai Tun Aung, there are fewer young people now than before the coup; after the coup, some were arrested, while others were forced to escape to other locations.
“It is difficult for young people in positions of leadership to get together right now. It is the result of both the COVID-19 epidemic and the coup. While taking part in the demonstration, some young people were detained. Several people are forced to flee,” Sai Tun Aung stated the difficulty of organizing this year’s event.
Many young people are fleeing and missing the opportunity to complete their studies as a consequence of the current political situation.
So, Nang Kham Yone advised these young people not to give up and to keep striving because they would achieve success.
“Even though I had just finished ninth grade, I was able to contribute to the community and the society. Given that circumstance, and if I was able to transform my life, I am certain that young people, regardless of their educational level, can do the same. As a result, I’d want to encourage young people not to give up and get disheartened; you can still work and contribute to the well-being of your community,” Nang Kham Yone stated during the event, encouraging young people.
Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders, and they will serve our nation and country. As a result, our young people must be interested in national and political issues, as well as participate in the efforts, according to event organizer Ying Kawn Lyan.
“Today’s youth will be tomorrow’s leaders. Who will care about their nation’s problems if today’s young people do not? Therefore, I want to urge our youth to become involved in national concerns. Otherwise, we would be unable to recreate and write our own nation’s history,” Ying Kawn Lyan said.