The 5th of February 2015 marked the 68th Mon National Day which was celebrated by the Mon peoples of Burma.
The first time I attended a Mon National Day was in Australia’s capital of Canberra (ACT) in 2011. Learning about another part of the Burmese culture, the traditional dances and traditional cuisine were definitely the highlights.
What is Mon National Day?
Mon National Day was first celebrated in 1947. It commemorates the ancient founding of the last Mon Kingdom of Hanthawaddy.
News website DVB.no has provided a very compacted version of the Mon history:
The Mon peoples are thought to be amongst the earliest of Indochinese groups, founding areas of civilisation as early as 550 AD.
For the next few centuries, the Mons fought to retain independence under Pagan [Bagan] and then Bamar [Burman] rulers. The Mon people subsequently suffered persecution at the hands of the Burman rulers, and managed to survive the presence of British colonialists despite being heavily controlled by the administration.
Following independence from the British, the Mon launched a fight for autonomy but were brutally crushed by the ruler U Nu. A Mon state, known as Monland, was created in 1974, however conflicts between the Burmese regime and Mon armed groups continued until a ceasefire was announced in 1996, though sporadic violence still affects the region.
For more information and images of this year’s celebration, head over to:
The Irrawaddy – www.Irrawaddy.org
Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) – www.monnews.org
Kao Wao News Group – www.kaowao.org