It is vitally important to maintain Mon cultural heritage, affirmed Nai Hong Sa, vice-chairman of New Mon State Party (NMSP), in his speech during the closing ceremony of the Mon cultural instrument training workshops, at the Mon National Cultural Center, in Wengka, a Mon village, close to Sangkhlaburi Town, in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.
“The four core backbones of nationality are language, literature, culture and history, and like [the four of] them, our Mon cultural heritage such as music and dance are important, especially for the youth to learn. Culture is what reveals a nationality’s standard,” said Nai Hong Sar.
Nai Hong Sar also said that Mon nationality would endure if young Mons [and Mon people] continue to use Mon literature and speak Mon language. Furthermore, he provided some examples of using one's nationality literature and language to perpetuate the culture.
“Although the literature, language and culture won’t disappear immediately, if we use or mix other languages, literature or culture, we will then be swallowed by that nationality and then our nationality will be gone,” said Nai Hong Sar.
Group Photo of Students and Teachers (Photo: IMNA)
At the cultural musical instrument training session, thirteen students learnt to play musical instruments such as crocodiles, crescent shaped graduated gongs, xylophones and drums, while eight students learnt Mon cultural dance and two students learnt singing classical songs.
“For the children to learn it and be able to play within such a short time, we first teach them the music notation. Now, the children can just play it as they see the notes. If they continue to learn, they will be able to play much better,” said trainer Nai Htaw Paing.
The courses, which were initially started in 2011 by Director Nai Kasauh Mon, last three months and are taught by Nai Htaw Paing, Nai Htun Sein and Min Ton Non. So far, two musical instrument trainings courses and three cultural dance training course have have taught more than sixty trainees.
About a hundred people, including committee members of the Mon Literature and Culture Association in Three Pagodas Pass and locals, were present at the closing ceremony.