Chin New Year Festival Celebrated in USA
06 September 2011: The celebration of Chin New Year Festival, organised by Chin Community, USA (CCUSA) ended last Sunday with about 600 participants in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The event held from 2-4 September is historically a festivity in Chin culture when the farmers and their families returned home at the end of their harvest season after staying on the farms for months.
The three-day celebration began with the arrivals of Chin participants from cities across the US on Friday, followed by an evening worship service with a sermon from Rev. Ngaih Sa Vung.
Among a series of competitions and sports activities were Men Soccer, Men and Women Volleyball, short-distance sprints, tug of war, music concert, beauty contest and fashion shows in traditional dresses.
Chin human rights activist, Mai Cheery Zahau won the prize for ‘Chin Person of the Year 2011’ during the festival in honour of her enormous work and selfless contribution for Chin people and others in Burma as well as abroad.
Miss Indiana, Mai Ngun Sui, 20, was voted as Miss Chin Community USA 2011 against other five contestants.
Last Saturday, another gathering was held by Mizo community in London, marking the 5th celebration of ‘Kut’ in the United Kingdom, with more than 50 people.
This traditional festival has been called by different names in different Chin dialects. It is known as Khuado in Tedim, Fang-er in Falam, Tho in Hakha, and Chavang Kut or Kut in Thado, Mizo and Kuki dialects.
Described as a festival of joy, it is sometimes called Lai Kumthar, meaning New Year and also celebrated as Thlaithar, meaning thanksgiving or thereabouts.
Chin communities across the globe hold their New Year celebrations on different dates in their residing countries although most agree that it falls in October of the modern calendar.
Reporting by BA Thang & Thawng Zel Thang