Press Release

Shan Cultural Association in the UK hosts 2103rd Shan New Year Celebrations

As in the previous two years, the Shan Cultural Association in the UK (SCA-UK) is welcoming the Shan New Year, Pi Mai Tai, at the University of London with a lecture on Shan arts and colourful Shan cultural presentations.

It is believed that Tai people, to which the Shan belong, began using their own calendar some 2100 years ago.  Some historical studies on Nan Chao Tai Kingdom, dated back to early Common Era, clearly indicate the existence of a Tai civilization with its own administrative, agricultural, literary and belief system as well as the use of its own calendar.

The main features include a lecture on lacquer ware in the Shan States by Ralph Isaacs (OBE), Shan pop music, a show on Shan costumes and a tribute to the Shan pop legend, Sai Htee Seng, who died early this year.

All are welcome. No entry fees.

Date:        Sunday, 30th November 2008.

Time:       16:00 – 17:30 (Presentation on Shan Arts)
17:30 – 19:00 (Shan Cultural Performances)

Venue:     Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Editor’s Notes.

”    Shan mainly live in the Shan State, Kayah State and Kachin State in the Union of Burma, but they are also scattered in India, China and Thailand. They call themselves Tai. They used to have an administrative system called Chaofa/ Saofa. One of their last chaofas, Sao Shwe Thaik, was the first president of the Union of Burma.

”    On 30th Nov. 2008, the Shan will welcome their 2103rd Lunar New Year.

”    SCA-UK was formed as a non-profit organisation in 2005 at Oxford to promote Shan culture and history by Shan students studying at British universities.

”    The Shan New Year celebrations were held at UCL, London University in 2006 when Dr. Susan Conway (SOAS & author of The Shans spoke on the Shan textiles. Last year, they were held both at SOAS and UCL. An international conference on Shan Buddhism and Culture and a musical performance took place at SOAS while a concert featuring some best known Shan legend and Thai artists was conducted at UCL.

”    Ralph Isaacs is a graduate in languages and linguistics from Cambridge, Sussex and London University and has published an acclaimed book on Burmese lacquer ware. With his wife Ruth, he donated all his collections of arts to the British Museum.

For more information, contact SCA-UK on [email protected]

1.    Dr Sirilaksana Kunjara ( Betty) (in Thai)
2.    Dr. Nang Seng Hom Saihkay (in English)
3.    Sao Mo Horm (in English, Shan & Burmese)
4.    Nang Nidarphorn (in English, Shan, Thai & Burmese)