Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shan State National Day

On February 7th, the ethnic Shan population of Myanmar celebrates the Shan National Day. We joined the celebrations in People's Park being invited by Shan friends. In 2013, the Government allowed for the first time to openly celebrate the Shan National Day. Last Saturday, the 78th anniversary of independence was being celebrated with traditional dishes, singing and dancing.
Myanmar has 7 states and 7 regions. The states are inhabited by different ethnic minorities while the regions are mainly populated by the predominant ethnic group of the country, the Bamar (the Burmese).
The Shan territory, situated in the Eastern part of the country, expanded during some periods in Laos, Thailand and the Yunnan region of China. It is the largest and wealthiest of the country's regions. The population of this state has several ethnic minorities one of which is the Shan which also gave the name of the state. The territory is hilly and includes the famous Inle Lake. It also abundes in natural riches like precious stones and gold. The Myanmar wine production is coming from the hilly slopes of Shan state from European vines and under the supervision of German experts. The region is also known for its green tea.  
During the celebrations we got the chance to admire the traditional costumes of different ethnic minorities, notice their dances and listen to their music. There were plenty of food stands from the region. We rushed to taste many dishes as the food is known to be the best in the country. The most known and appreciated dish is Shan sticky noodles.

The tiger is the symbol of the Shan State. To the left and right of the podium, on the posters, you will see the traditional Shan long drum.

The food was delicious:

Happy Shan National Day!

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