Chin Refugee Girl Awarded for Dancing Talent in Malaysia
18 November 2012: Chin refugee teen, Ni Tha Sung, yesterday won the third prize for her dancing skills in a talent show at the World Children’s Day celebration, organized by the UNHCR, in Malaysia.
The 14-year-old student from the Chin Student Organization (CSO) received 200 Malaysian ringgits for her outstanding performance as one of the finalists after going through a series of competition with refugee children from other countries.
“I won the prize today not only because of my own efforts but also because of immense contribution and assistance from my teachers (CSO),” said Ni Tha Sung, originally from Farrawn village of Thantlang Township, Chin State.
Ni Tha Sung said she didn’t take any courses or trainings on dancing but her skills developed as she kept practicing on her own by watching on Youtube.
One of her Chin teachers said: “We are very proud of Ni Tha Sung’s performance. This is a competition among all refugee children from various schools supported by the UNHCR and it is not easy but she managed to get through to the final stage.”
Talented children from different refugee schools participated in the first two competitions weeks in advance ahead of the World Children’s Day on which only the finalists appeared on stage performing their own talents.
Ni Tha Sung is currently studying in the Secondary 1 Grade of CSO, a community-based informal school run by Chin volunteer teachers with supports from the UNHCR in Malaysia.
“I am very much indebted to my teachers at CSO for their help and patience. They turned up every evening to practice dancing with me,” said Ni Tha Sung.
Started in 2005, CSO has now got school branches at five places with about 430 students and 28 volunteer teachers across Kuala Lumpur such as Loke Yew, Sentul, Puchong, Cheras and Imbi.
As of last month, there are some 99,970 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR, of which 33,270 are Chins from Burma, according to the UNHCR website.
It is estimated that about 10,000 are unregistered refugees and asylum seekers stranded in Malaysia.
Reporting by Thawng Zel Thang