Interest In Learning Mon Grows

Mon cultural organizations say the number of students this year are likely to exceed those that enrolled in classes last year.
By Network Media Group
March 29, 2019

Ethnic Mon language classes will be available in two states and four regions of Burma in April. Some classes have already started in eighteen townships in Taninthari, Bago, Yangon and Mandalay Regions in the first week of March.

“Language courses already began in some townships but others will open after Thingyan (water festival). Classes starting after Thingyan will run for one month,” said Dr Min Kyi Win, committee chairman for Mon Literature and Culture.

Interest in learning Mon keeps growing as more classes open.

“The number of students is gradually increasing every year,” said Nai Mon Razar, secretary of All Mon Region Mon Literature and Buddhist Culture organization. Nai Mon Razar expects this year’s numbers to exceed those of last year.

Learning Mon preserves Mon culture and literature, ensuring important traditions are not lost, according to the Mon Literature and Culture.

With the increasing numbers of students eager to learn Mon there may be a shortage of teachers for this year, Nai Mon Razar said. Buddhist monks usually teach the Summer courses, he said.

After Burma gained independence from Britain the U Nu government introduced Mon into public schools. When U Ne Win staged a coup d’état in 1962 he outlawed teaching ethnic literatures in public schools, with the exception of Burmese.

Starting in 1988, it was illegal to teach Mon anywhere. But after the U Thein Sein government came to power in 2011 it was reintroduced in public schools as extra curricular teaching.