Chin Cultural Night in Melbourne, Australia
Chin Cultural Night organized by the Hornbill Chin Association of Australia was successfully held on September 21, 2007 at Maroondah City Council Hall in Melbourne, Australia.
The show was attended by about 100 Australians and nearly 200 Chin people. “Attendance by many Australians makes the show more magnificent because we mainly intend it for Australian people,” said one organizer. The participants included Andrew W. Young from Victorian Multicultural Department, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Anna Smith from Maroondah City Council and Roslyn Leary of manager of Foundation House for Survival of Torture and others from various settlement and refugee organizations in Melbourne, the second largest city in Australia.
Special presentations on ‘A Way to Australia” and ‘Chin Refugee Situations in Malaysia and India’ were given by Roy Peng Nawl, Van Dawt Thawng and Sun Cuai.
Chin traditional songs, Vawhla and Thingparsang composed and sung by Chin elders, and Chin traditional dances, Conglaizawnh and Ruakhuatlak performed by Chin youths, were presented at the show. The participants, especially Australians, enjoyed Chin traditional songs and dances and devoured Chin traditional rice wine (zupu) and food.
“The main reason of organizing Chin Cultural Show is to give awareness of the Chin in Burma and Chin refugee situations in Malaysia and India. I think we can shoot our target tonight. As a result of tonight show, I’m sure that the Australian government and various settlement and refugee organizations will have more awareness and knowledge of the Chin in Burma and how we’ve been facing lots of difficulties to be a refugee in Malaysia, India and even in Australia,” said David Thang, chairman of the Hornbill Chin Association of Australia, which was founded in June, 2007.
Approximately 800 Chin people now live in Melbourne, Australia. It is believed that Melbourne may be one of the most Chin populated cities in Western countries. Besides, many Chin people now live in many other Australian cities such as Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart. Most of them came as refugees from Malaysia and India.
Lian Ding Hmung
24 September, 2007