Myanmar Chin Catholic Community in the Philippines celebrated the 75th Chin National Day at the Radio Veritas Asia compound, Quezon City, Philippines, on Sunday, February 20.
Father Joseph Phe Ling Lay presided over the thanksgiving Mass with seven priests and one deacon.
The priest encouraged the participants to live the Word of God rather than just knowing the Bible.
Over 50 people took part in this event.
During the Mass, they prayed for Myanmar, especially for the conflict areas of Myanmar.
A Chin Deacon, Joseph Thang Ha, SJ, expressed joy and thanks for celebrating the 75th Chin National Day and praying for Myanmar.
“Regardless of our differences, we gathered together as the people of God and one nation by which we could express our solidarity with our suffering people in Myanmar through prayer. We witness unity in our diversity with simple communal activities such as praying together, sharing our stories and having lunch together,” the deacon remarked.
A Falam Chin, Sister Margarita Sai Tin Thiam, SJA, told RVA, “We gathered in the name of ‘Chin National Day’ but there are not only Chin people. I am happy about that. It means we are all united, caring and supportive as we come from the same country.”
Chin people live in many places, especially Chin State, Rakhine State, Sagaing Division, Bago and Magwe Division. Some are also living in Mizoram State in India.
Myanmar has 135 ethnicities, including eight major races: Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Burma, Mon, Rakhine, and Shan.
According to mlocalpassion.com, among Chin major tribe, one of the eight major races, there are 53 Chin ethnic groups.
According to tourism.gov.mm, the Chin people observe February 20 as Chin National Day. Over 500 Chin delegates from throughout Chin State met on February 20, 1948, at the Chin National Conference, when they decided to replace the old feudal system with a contemporary democratic one. February 20, the conference date, eventually became recognized as Chin National Day. The Chin State Government and local community leaders often work together to organize the event, although it is not recognized as a national holiday in Myanmar on this day.
The Chin National Day is one of the most significant days for the 53 ethnic groups of Chin people, and it is observed in many nations by Chin people where they have settled.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.