Our much anticipated conference, the first Chin Student Conference of North America, a historic gathering of Chin Students studying at various Universities and Colleges across the United States of America and Canada was indeed successfully accomplished at Indianapolis, Indiana, USA for the first time in the history of Chin people living in North American Continent. From a two-day long conference on 19th and 20th of August 2006, we, all participants of the conference unanimously agreed to form the Chin Student Union of North America (CSUNA), a union charged with mission to carry out aims and objectives identified from the conference.
For the accomplishment of our first conference, there are organizations and individuals who contributed their times, ideas, hard labours, and Money. First of all, our heartfelt appreciation goes to those initiators, the central convening committee members, and the local Indiana working committee for toiling day and night in preparation for the successful implementation of our Conference. Without their hard works and contributions, the conference could not have been organized. Thank you all for dutifully playing each of your assigned works which made our conference a reality.
We also would like to thank our people living in Indianapolis for their warm receptions, cozy welcomes and accommodations. Most importantly, we want to express our earnest thanks to the Indiana Chin Baptist Church (ICBC), for their financial assistance and support. We thank them for generously allowing us used their church and instruments for our meetings and worship service. At the same time, our thanks also go to our two Chin music bands, Abandon from Maryland and Lai & Heart from Indianapolis for entertaining our audience with Chin, Burmese and English songs. Fully knowing the important roles played by students in the shaping of our nation buildings in future, we are thankful that our national figures like Pu Lian Uk, Dr. Lian Hmung Sakhong, Pu Kap Thio, and Pu Val Thang could also wholeheartedly join us and support us.
Reflecting on the conference, I am very impressed to see all participants sharing their views and ideas enthusiastically without any misunderstanding whatsoever on any issues we discussed. The conference atmosphere was so friendly, pleasant, shining, joyous, promising, and so relaxing. I saw the smiling faces, an __expression of satisfaction and delight from the inner feelings of each participant. In particular, I am so thrilled to say that the tribal mindset, divisive and unhealthy one for our people in the past, no longer has a place among the Chin University Students. What a wonderful news of encouragement for our Chin people a round the world yearning for our Chin national Unity, the word once seemed to be flying in the air! Way to go students!
For a person like myself, who always advocate for the elimination of tribally driven sentiment in our efforts to work for our national unity, nothing is greater than seeing the expressed willingness and commitment of our people, young and old, to work together for the common interest of our Chin people. Our recent conference already paved the way, a way in which all of us regardless of what tribes we belong but focus on our oneness as a distinct people with a shared destiny, to work hand in hand for the all-round development of our Chin people. I believe that our love for the Chin people’s togetherness and historical responsibility calling upon us to protect and preserve our motherland will always unite us as we move forward. To this end, we the CSU of North America fully commit ourselves in bridging the gab.
Following our announcement of the formation of the Chin Student Union of North America, it was so uplifting for us to have received the congratulatory notes and best wishes from our fellow brothers and sisters around the globe. On behalf of the CSUNA, I am extending our sincere appreciation to Salai Kipp Kho Lian and his colleagues in the Chin Forum, leaders of the Chin National Front, fellow students of the Chin Students’ Union of New Delhi, and all individuals for your warm greetings and words of congratulation. Keeping in mind your wishes and trusts in our Union and in accordance with our objectives, I want to say to you that my colleagues and I in the Chin Student Union of North America will do our best for the educational development of our Chin people. To make our vision reality, as you know that we, students are with limited resources, we need your supports in any way you can. Therefore, I am appealing to you, parents and youth, to do your part and support us so that we can do together something tangible, which will generate positive results for our people.
After the conference, with view of telling our people about the purpose of our Conference and the vision of our Student Union, we travelled to see our Chin communities in Battle Creek and Washington DC Area. We held public discussions where we exchanged our views for the betterment of our Union and development of our Chin people educationally. To cut the point short here, knowing that having a lot of educated peoples for a minority people like our Chin people is absolutely essential, we are motivated by the fact that our community leaders are so willing and ready to work with us in the days to come.
As a matter of fact, we are really encouraged by the warm receptions and full supports of our community leaders for our Student movement. Indeed, education that we talk about is not just for the students of the day, but also for our people as a whole. We want all our parents and community leaders to understand that what we are doing now is for generations to come so that our young men and women value the importance of education. Meeting with our community leaders were really fun and encouraging. The only thing that disappointed us this time was that we didn’t have enough time to meet with all our people that we really wanted to. But, I hope that they understand the limited time that we have. As we move forward and will be doing more of this kind of exposure trips to various states, I hope that we will have a better chance.
In our endeavour to work for the educational development of our Chin people, we sincerely request that you all openly and thoughtfully share with us your ideas, advices, and concerns on any issues concerning our Union. The Chin student Union of North America stands for our Motherland and our people! Thank you.
By Salai Za Ceu Lian (President of CSUNA)