Four months after the Thai government granted official recognition for the Taiyai Education and Culture Association (TECA) in Thailand, the association opened its office with ceremony in Wat Kutao monastery, Chiangmai, Northern Thailand, on 19 August.
Taiyai is the Thai ward for Shans.
The ceremony started from 9:00am morning with the monks performing multi-phonic chanting and praying. Afterward the abbot pulled the rope raising the curtain of the office sign.
Next, there was food donation to the monks and serving lunch to about 50 attended guests in the afternoon.
In the evening, a dinner party was held to the gathering, which included association officials and members from Bangkok, Lampang, Pai, Fang, Mae Hong Son and Mae Sai as well as representatives from various Shan groups in Chiangmai, about 400 of them in total.
“Our objectives are to conserve Shan literature, traditions and cultural legacy from being absorbed or inhibition, and extinction. And, we aim to work with the authorities and organizations for our upcoming new generations to be able to study our own literature and culture,” said the chairman of the TECA, Saengmuang Mangkorn.
The registration for the association was applied in July 16, 2009 and was granted on March 30, 2012. The association constitutes 9 founding members from Chiangmai, Fang, and Mae Hong Son.
“We have been endeavoring to establish the association officially for more than 10 years. Before, several organizations from Mae Ai, Fang and, Mae Hong Son as well as Shan people from respective regions have attempted the matter but they were unsuccessful. We heartily appreciate the association for its success.” said Peunkham from Mae Sai Metta Dhamma Society.
The entertainment on 19 August ceremony included various Shan traditional dances such as the Yak (called Toe in Shan) dance, Kinnara and Kinnari dance, Shan Kung Fu skills performance, group dances, and singing ancient songs.