Chin Language Radio Program to be Launched in Australia
22 June 2011 – Melbourne: Australia Chin Community (Eastern Melbourne) plans to launch a community-based radio program in cooperation with 3CR radio. The program scheduled to go on air tomorrow will be broadcast on 855AM every Thursday night from 7:30 – 8:00pm Melbourne local time.
3CR Chin Radio Program to be made available online will be the first radio program to be broadcast from Australia in Hakha dialect, one of the most spoken Chin language Chin State, Burma.
“Our aim is to promote and preserve our Chin language and help Chin youths to remember who they are and to be able to speak their own language even if they were born and grew up here,” said David Thang, who tirelessly works for the Chin Radio program.
He also stressed that the radio program will also help Chin elderly who do not speak English access to news and information about Australian mainstream society, as well as the latest news from local community and Burma as the program will feature current news from Burma and Australia.
The program will also keep the Chin community informed of events and activities including traditional and modern Chin music and culture, as well as interviews with prominent Chin activists, politicians, and musicians.
Three people, namely Grace Ngun Dim Par, Par Tha Hluan and Bawi Cung Nung, have so far received training on broadcasting, involving media laws, ethics, radio policy, and practiced broadcasting in the studio.
“We are very excited to go on air because it will be the first Chin radio program in Hakha dialect and as the program will be live. We have confidence that the program will go well,” said Dim Dim and Tha Tha, who will be performing live as the main radio announcers.
3CR radio is the oldest community radio station in Australia, which started broadcasting in July 1976. It broadcasts 24 hours a day across the Melbourne Metropolitan Area and the station has over 300 volunteer programmers representing twenty languages including English.
The radio station is primarily financed by listener subscriptions and donations. It also receives government funding through the Community Broadcasting Foundation and one-off grants for specific projects and programs by the Australian government.
According to its website, the radio station was established to provide a voice for those denied access to the mass media, particularly the working class, women, indigenous people and the many community groups on community issues discriminated against in and by the mass media.
There are high expectations among Chin communities in Melbourne that the radio program will function as an important tool to unite Chin people inside and outside of Burma and as a way to promote and preserve Chin language.
Lian Ding Hmung