Interview With President of Chin Community In Norway Rev. Pum Za Chin
[04 October 2009, CG Note: Sometimes only strength is not enough but experience and insight are essential to accomplishing an activity. President of Chin Community in Norway (CCN) and Zomi Christian Fellowship Norway (ZCF Norway), Rev. Pum Za Chin, together with the Chin people living in Norway, could clearly prove this when it came to organising ‘Chin Famine Live Aid Concert’.
Last July, two live concerts were held in Norway with the first one in Stavanger where more than 300 people turned up and the second in Oslo where about 500 participated in support of raising awareness and fund for Chin victims of bamboo-and-rat-related food crisis in Burma’s Chin State. Norway-based JK Kam also wowed the audience with his songs in Tedim dialect.
Rev. Pum Za Chin took great efforts in preparing the concert, travelling with the Chin singers a 10-hour train journey from Stavanger to Oslo. Based in Stavanger with his family, Rev. Pum Za Chin talked to Van Biak Thang of Chinland Guardian about the concert, Chin Community in Norway and more.]
Chinland Guardian: As Chairman of Chin Community in Norway, how did you find the concert?
Rev. Pum Za Chin: We, Chin Community in Norway, took the concert was successful not only because the singers entertained enthusiastically and happily but also because of the fact that the concert was held during the youth conference where more youths could participate and enjoyed very much.
Chinland Guardian: Tell us more about this conference and other activities that took place at the conference.
Rev. Pum Za Chin: In addition to this live concert, we had an annual meeting of Norway Chin Christian Fellowship (NCCF). Likewise, the youth group called Norway Chin Christian Youth Fellowship (NCCY) of NCCF also held its biennial meeting. With the aims of promoting fellowship and understanding among the Chin youths, we had new activities such as playing football and volleyball this year. We, the Chin in Norway, plan to continue organising such activities in order to strengthen our relationship and fellowship, and to safeguard and uplift our own cultures.
Chinland Guardian: Chin communities in other countries across the globe make great efforts and get active in protecting and promoting the Chin cultures and traditions. Are there any other activities that CCN is engaged in this regard?
Rev. Pum Za Chin: As written in its consitution, Chin Community in Norway has a duty to safeguard, protect, and promote Chin cultures, customs and traditions. Especially, we are actively engaged in maintaining our own history and on special occasions, we all come out, wearing our traditional dresses, and singing and preaching in our own dialects. When we have this concert where we sing our own songs in our own language, we, the Chin who live abroad, are clearly reminded of
1) our own native language and land, and
2) our own cultures, traditions, customs and dresses.
We have not had any kind of discussion in a broader range in regards to collaborating with other Chin communities in Europe. However, Chin Community in Norway has in its constitution that we, the Chin in Norway, will continue to maintain our own language, culture and identity from one generation to another.
Chinland Guardian: Any messages to Chin Communities in other countries
Rev. Pum Za Chin: If we make a comparison among European countries where the Chin people live, I believe Norway has got the biggest Chin population. Taking all the Chin people living in Europe, we are still a few in total. Even though we are miles away from our native land, I wish all the Chin people in Europe could work together hand in hand religiously, socially and nationally in the future and that is what I would like to see it happen.