CND to have impact on those who participate, attend


Chhan Mawi

SHS students practice fashion for Chin National Day after school.

Grace Iang, Reporter

Walking on stage and posing in her Chin traditional clothes is not the only relish feeling freshman Biak Rem receives on Chin National Day also known as CND. Behind the scenes of the CND fashion show, during practice, Rem gets an opportunity to make new friends. She also learned to not give up but to keep practicing.

I went home after practices and stood  in front of my mirror,” Rem said. “I tried to walk with heels on and watched myself doing it. I look terrible at first but the more I practiced, the more I felt like I’m  doing it better.”

SHS students and adults who have gone to CND say that attending it has had an impact on them. It is not just the participation that Rem enjoys, but attending and practicing for the event was also enjoyable for her.

This year will be the 66th annual Chin National Day. It will be held on Feb. 20 at the Life Center at Southport. Admission is open to the  public and free. There are different varieties of dances, songs, traditional clothings, and food. There have been many students from SHS that have participated in dancing, singing or doing the traditional clothing fashion show.

The first CND was held on Feb. 20, 1951 in Mindat town. Holding a “Chin National Day” banner in Myanmar is not allowed. Chin people all around the world today that do not reside in Myanmar are able to acknowledge and celebrate Chin National Day without concerns. According to BACI, as of July 1, 2015, the Chin Population in America was  50,147. There are 6,130 Chins in Indianapolis alone. Every year around mid-Feb there is an event  to preserve and maintain the culture, tradition, language and literature, according to chin state

Rem will be one of the participants of the cultural fashion show this year. It is her second year being part of the fashion show. She got goosebumps when thinking about the number of audience members watching her. Rem thought she wasn’t ready. She saw how much elders supported them even when they made many mistakes, and she felt shameful for almost giving up. Not giving up, but practicing more is what Rem learned through CND practice times. Practice makes perfect, Rem says.  

She sees the practices as a chance for her to get experience and learn more about what goes on behind making the CND what it is. Rem hopes she will be able to help in the future as she was helped. Rem appreciates CND because it reminds her of where she comes from and who her ancestors are. Rem enjoys practicing for the fashion show with her peers. Rem sees it as an opportunity to represent her traditional clothing. Rem also enjoys getting a chance to make new friends from different Chin churches.  

Since most Chin kids grew up in America, many are not aware of the cultural activities being done, Rem says. CND is the day that many kids learn more about the culture and traditions.

“ It’s important for us Chin people because on this day, we learn more about our culture,” Rem said. “It reminds us of the language, cultures, and clothes we have… This day will not be forgotten.”

Winchester Village Elementary teacher Dan Oblon also enjoys and appreciates the concept of CND. Oblon has been to five out of the seven years of CND held in Indianapolis. He gets a chance to see his former students and reunites with them. Oblon believes the purpose of CND is a great way to view a community come together and show their cultural activities and many traditions Chin people have brought to America.

“You are always reminded of the proud heritage of the Chin people,” Oblon said in an email to The Journal. “You also get to see such as strong tight community come together to celebrate their heritage. I think it is a great idea that they do this and they should continue to do this.”

In Oblon’s years of going to CND, he enjoyed watching informal traditional wrestling, listening to speakers and leaders, watching the Chin traditional clothing fashion show and experiencing the many  varieties of traditional food being served. He is hoping to see talent show performances and the balance beam pillow fight again. The balance beam is where two contestants are on a balance beam and they slugged each other with a pillow until one lost their balance and fell off.

Like Oblon, Rem is looking forward to watching the cultural dances and the fashion show. However, Oblon wishes to see a video that tributes to the land and families of Myanmar and the journey and life of an Indianapolis Chin currently, being played on CND. He believes it could be done in a way to educate, inspire, and reflect on the journey to where Chins are today. Oblon receives great satisfaction from going to CND.

“I always get such a boost of joy when attending CND,” Oblon said in an email to The Journal. “I am so proud to serve the Chin people as an educator. I am so inspired by their journey and by their values.”