CND changes gives opportunity


Nicholas Meacham

(kehlei in orhlei) Perry Meridian tanghleikhat Mary Sung, SHS sianginn a dih cia Bawi Tial, tangkua Esther Par, Perry Meridian tanghra Bethlehem Par le tang kua Biak Rem cu Lai thuam hmuhnak ah an i tel, Feb. 20 ah. (L to R) Perry Meridian senior Mary Sung, SHS graduate Bawi Tial, freshman Esther Par, Perry Meridian sophomore Bethlehem Par and freshman Biak Rem involved in Chin culture costume show on Feb.20.

Grace Iang, Reporter

During Chin National Day, there are varieties of cultural dances, food, songs and traditional costum shows. Many of the events are performed by high school students from the district of Perry Township.  In the past for the Chin Traditional Costume Shows during Chin National Day, there was always a male and a female partnered on stage with their assigned outfit. However, this year it was just the females. The head of the idea of this event was in-charge and the traditional costume show coach Justin Thang. When he was in high school, from 2007-2010, he always participated in the Chin Traditional Costume Show.

After volunteering for more than seven years in Chin National Day, he felt there was something that needed to be done, especially for the ones who volunteer and participate in the traditional costume show. The traditional  costume  show volunteers always practice at least two to three months every year. So starting from this year, the scholarship program was started with Chin Town Auto Sales sponsoring. Thang wants the participants to know that they care about them and are thankful for the participants .

“We want to tell the students that we care about their education,” Thang said. “And also we want to let them know that we, Chins, can help each other for a better future.”

The program was made into like a contest where there will be four winners. First place winner receives $500. Second place winner receives $300. Third place winner receives $200. Fourth place winner receives $100. The requirements for the contest were any female that is interested in volunteering and is in middle school, high school or college. There were a total of 40 contestants that signed up. However, 20 were eliminated, with two withdraws, leaving a total of 18 girls on stage on the day of the performance.

The winners will be determined on their attendance, behavior, participation and performance. The winners will be selected in March. They have done a volunteer service in Fort Wayne where the contestants learned about leadership skills and Chin history with worship service.

One of the contestants, senior Htayni Sui, felt honored to have been one of the contestants in an event where she got to represent her cultural clothes. The reasons why she chose to participate were because of wanting to show everyone that she is proud to be representing Chin through fashion and because of the scholarship offer.

She would like to give thanks to God, her family, Thang and senior Chhan Mawi, who was the assistant to Thang. Sui is not sure whether she will win or not, however she felt confident from stepping on the stage, doing her walk all the way until getting off of the stage. She says that everyone worked really hard and deserves to win.

Sui’s former teacher Sara Kohne, like Sui, believes the changes with the cultural custom show was a good idea. Kohne liked the idea of giving opportunities for students to receive a scholarship. She also enjoyed seeing her former students, Sui and senior Biak Sang being involved in the contest.

“Providing opportunities for students to receive scholarship money for college” Kohne said. “I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for our students.”

Kohne says that the males have more chances in Chin events. There are activities such as wrestling and the balance pillow fight for them. Because of the scholarship program, more students were interested in participating in the costume show, Thang says. They are more serious about the National day and they give more attention to the Chin Traditional Costume Show. Kohne, Sui and Thang hope the scholarship program continues in the future.

“If God allows us, we are planning to do more in the future,” Thang said. “I hope we can find more funds for students in the future.”