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Chin National Day - 70 years

posted 21 Feb 2018, 21:41 by June Miller, MCA Communications

Chin National Day 70 years
by Peter Zar Zo Sang
Photos by Brenda Tiessen-Wiens & 
Peter Zar Zo Sang

We, the Calgary Chin Community, strongly believe that maintaining our culture and traditions is not only a duty to our children and ourselves, but also honors the heritage of our grandparents who loved our homeland. 
The 70th Chin National Day celebration was successfully organized on February 17, 2018 in the Marlborough Community Hall. In the celebration, we have several cultural dances, speeches, short sermon, solo, group songs, talent shows, and musical concert. In 2016 the Chin National Day celebration, the Calgary Mayor, Nenshi joined us the celebration
celebration on last year. This year, we invited the Calgary Police Chief Roger as a Guest of Honor, but unfortunately, he couldn’t attend the celebrati
 and also Jason Kenney, Canadian Politician joined us the 
on. We are most welcome anyone from MCA to join us the celebration and we’ll be sending the invitation in the next 
year. 

Facts about Chin People and Chin National Day
Chin people come from the Chin state, one of 14 states in the country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Due to God’s guidance and blessings, many Chin people have now settled in Calgary over the last 15 years. Some of our children have been born here and are now Canadians. 

1895 - The greater part of the (then) independent Chinland was annexed by Britain following offensive military attacks, however, the entire land fell under the total control of the British only in the early 20th century. 

1933 - The Chin National Union (CNU) was formed and demanded an independent
Chinland from the British-Burma government. 

1947 - The historic Panglong Agreement was signed, forming a federal union with equal rights, privileges and status for various ethnic regions. 

1948 - The Union of Burma gained independence from Britain on January 4, 1948. 

1948 - Over five thousand Chin held an unprecedented gathering and proclaimed their unity and determination to be free from the traditional feudal administrative system, and adopted a democratic system of governance on February 20, 1948; this date was later adopted as Chin National Day. Thus, we Chin people celebrate the day, 20th February, to mark the
transition from traditional to democratic rule i
n Chinland, to appreciate the scarifies made by our forefathers, and to show younger generations that we exist as a proud nation in this world. 

The Chin people live primarily in Chin State, but also inhabit areas of the Chittagong Hills in Bangladesh, and in several states of India. This is the result of the British colonial power’s divide and rule policy. Over 90 per cent of Chin people are Christians and thus the Chin are a minority ethnically and religiously in the predominantly Buddhist country of Burma, where religious minorities are discriminated politically, socially and economically. From 1988, when the military took power, to the present day, the Chin have been heavily abused by the Burmese Army. These abuses include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, forced labor, religious repression, restrictions on movement, forced military training and conscription, and sexual harassment and violence. As a result, tens of thousands of Chin have left their homeland and taken refuge in neighboring countries. It is estimated that at least 60,000 Chin refugees are living in India while more than 20,000 are living in Malaysia. Several thousands more are scattered in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Chin refugees started arriving in Canada in the late 1990s. It is estimated that there are now about 2000 Chin living in Canada. The majority are refugees sponsored through the Canadian government’s Refugee Sponsorship Program. There are about 300 Chin people living in Calgary. The majority moved here from other Canadian provinces to pursue a better future. The first Chin refugee family arrived in Calgary in the summer of 2002 from India. The most recent family arrived in December 2014. Chin are peaceful, law-abiding and hardworking people in nature. As new immigrants, we are still learning the language and the system and are adjusting to fitting into the mainstream culture though it might take some time because we came from a “totally different world.”
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