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Chin Refugee Ministry Newsletter from Lewisville, Texas.
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Chin National Day Festivities

Newsletter: February 2013

Chin National DayThe Chin people who live in the Dallas Metroplex will gather together on February 16, 2013 to celebrate Chin National Day at Texas Chin Baptist Church.  Texas Chin Baptist Church is located at 1310 E. Grauwyler Road in Irving, TX in the Global Mission church building.  The celebration will begin at 12:00 noon. 

Chin National Day festivities consist of a worship service including speeches celebrating their freedom to meet together, choirs from the various churches, as well as individual performers.  After this “formal” part of the day is finished, the party begins!  There is a fashion show, beauty contest, and performances of the Chin native dances. 

One of these native dances is The Bamboo Dance (pictured above left). It is an extraordinarily beautiful dance and requires much skill and practice.  Young men sit a certain distance apart and operate two bamboo poles.  As they clap the poles together in rhythm, couples dance between the poles.  Each couple eventually exits, leaving one girl to complete the dance. Another exciting highlight is a wrestling tournament, as wrestling is the national sport of the Chin.

Harmon High School, here in Lewisville, has begun a tradition of celebrating Chin National Day, as well.  Their celebration will be on February 20 from 6:30 – 8:30 in the cafeteria.  This celebration is planned by the Chin students at Harmon and will feature Chin music, dancing, and food.  The public is invited.

Becky HeadshotA Note from Our Director

One of the values of Chin Refugee Ministry is Next-Generation Awareness.  We especially seek to build relationships with the next generation of Chin in order to reduce the risk of alienation. 

Thanks to the generosity of CRM supporters, we partnered with a Chin family to send their daughter, who wants to become a doctor to help her people, to the Leadership Forum in Medicine this summer.  This program for high school students features a hands-on, interactive curriculum that includes shadowing practicing physicians, clinical site visits at the nation’s top medical centers, and interacting with faculty from world-renowned medical institutions. It is a valuable opportunity!

Sports is another avenue we greatly encourage Chin students to participate in.  We have 3 young men at Harmon High School who would like to play soccer for a team, but their families cannot afford to help them purchase the necessary soccer equipment. 

Contact cervantesm@lisd.net, the Harmon Community in Schools campus manager, if you are willing to donate any of the following soccer equipment (in good condition, please):

Student #1
Soccer shoes size 8, Shin guards size junior/men medium, Soccer bag, Soccer hat/to keep warm, Soccer shirts and shorts size medium, Indoor soccer shoes size 8, Soccer knee pads. 
 
Student #2
Shin guards size junior/men medium, Soccer bag, Soccer ball size large, Soccer shoes size 6 1/2, Soccer knee pads.
 
Student #3        
Soccer pants medium, Soccer ball, Soccer bag, Soccer jersey medium, Soccer shoes 8 1/2.
 
B.
Becky Nelson
Director, Chin Refugee Ministry
(972)  221-3249


HandshakeCulture Corner:
       Chin National Day History


All over the world, wherever the Chin are, there will be celebrations of Chin National Day - except in their own country.  The Chin are not allowed to celebrate Chin National Day in Burma.  

In 1974, when their country was taken over by the Burmese Socialist Programme Party, the BSPP refused to recognize the Chin Nation as a nation - instead they made them a state.  Because of this, they are only allowed to celebrate Chin State Day, not Chin National Day, and the Chin refuse to do that.
 
The Chin had always lived independently, under Chin rulers.  They cooperated with General Aung Sang when he fought the British for independence, but did not consider themselves part of Burma.  On February 17-20, 1948, the first Chin National Convention was held.  Over 5000 Chin representatives from all the clans and villages of the Chin met.  They abolished their former government which was based on hereditary clanship and established themselves as a nation ruled by democracy. 

In October of 1950 the Chin Affairs Council established February 20 as Chin National Day.   Chin National Day continues to be one of the most important holidays that the Chin have, as significant to them as July 4th is to the United States.
Chin Day Wrestling

Above: Wrestling Tournament at Chin National Day Festivities

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Feb 14, 7:00 p.m.
Citizenship orientation for all Americans interested in helping the Chin with citizenship. 

Chin Refugee MInistry offices:
1020 Fox Avenue, Apt 504 (Basswood) in Lewisville. 

Led by Enrique Polavieja, immigration specialist for IRC.

Saturday, Feb 16, 10:00 a.m.
SMALL GROUP OPPORTUNITY
Help Mitch Gray's small group clean out the FBC FM portables, clean up our new space and help set up the clothing ministry. 

Contact Mitch at mitchg55@yahoo.com if you can help.

Saturday, Feb 16, 12:00 noon
DFW celebration of Chin National Day.

Texas Chin Baptist Church
1310 E. Grauwyler Road in Irving.

Monday, Feb 18, 6-8 p.m.
LHS High School.

Sign-up for Apple IPAD 1:X initiative which will put iPads in the hands of all LHS students at a minimal cost. 

Chin Refugee Ministry providing translators for Chin parents who want to participate in the program.

Tuesday, Feb 19, 6-8pm
Repeat of Feb 18 meeting.  

Wednesday, Feb 20, 10:30 a.m.
Chin Refugee Ministry offices. Repeat of citizenship orientation, both Chin and English.

Wednesday, Feb 20, 6:30 p.m.
National Chin Day celebration at Harmon High School in Lewisville.

Tuesday, Feb 26.
Citizenship classes begin at CRM offices.
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