Chin Student Union of Texas Supports Chin College Students
Newsletter: March 2015
Chin students looking to attend college in Texas now have a support system in the Chin Student Union of Texas (CSUTX). Formed in 2013, it was created to promote interest in higher education and build strong relationships between Chin students all over Texas. Activities coordinated through CSUTX include college bound workshops to walk students through the college application process, graduate student panels, scholarships, book sharing with Chin Christian College in Hakha, and social activities and fellowship.
Cung Cin Thawng, president of CSUTX, said there are 90 Chin college students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and estimates there are 120 Chin college students in Texas. Three students graduated last year, including one from the Texas A&M University Law School.
This year, there are three seniors and one graduate student expected to graduate. Thawng cites a success story from one of their officers and recent graduate, Justin Puai, as a perfect example of what a first-generation refugee student can achieve.
“He is a Sunday school teacher, and praise and worship leader at his church,” Thawng said. “He went to Brazil last summer to preach the gospel. Recently, he received acceptance from the Joint Admission Medical Program, which helps underprivileged students get into medical school in Texas.”
Thawng sees the potential in all Chin to reach their goals through higher education.
“My wish is that every Chin student would continue their education in college and help each other,” Thawng said. “I also wish that Chin parents would put more effort in their children’s education.”
For more information on the organization, please visit www.csutexas.wix.com
or follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/csutx.
Highlights from Chin Day at LHS Harmon
Lewisville High School-Harmon hosted its annual Chin Cultural Festival Thursday, Feb. 19 that featured traditional song and dance, Chin cuisine, and speeches from school and community leaders. The event, attended by an estimated 350 people, was organized and hosted by the Harmon Chin Student Organization.
“The crowd was full of teachers, parents, and students that were not Chin,” Jack Martin, Harmon teacher and CSO sponsor, said. “All of them came to see the Chin kids because of how wonderful the Chin people are. They are kind, hardworking, and determined to be all they can be. That attitude makes people want to be around them and support them.”
Highlights of the event included song and dance performances by Lakeland Elementary and Bethel Baptist Church; solos by Len Cuai, Merry Sui, and David Peng; a fashion show that showcased traditional handmade Chin clothing; and speeches by Martin; LHS-Harmon student and CSO president, Lydia Bor; LHS-Harmon principal, Andy Plunkett; Director of Chin Refugee Ministry, Becky Nelson; and President of Chin Student Union of Texas, Cung Cin Thawng.
“The three best aspects of the night were seeing how many leaders there are in the Chin student body, seeing the effect of the Chin people on the neighborhood, and the strength of the bond between the Chin people.” Martin said.
Chin National Day History
February 20, 2015 marked the 67th Chin National Day, a day of remembrance and celebration for Chin people worldwide.
How did it come to be? After Burma won independence from Britain, Chin leaders set out to inaugurate a Chin National Day. February 20 was the clear choice as there was a series of historical events that coincided on that date.
In 1928, on February 20, Chin Hills Union Organization was established in Hlatui village in Kapetlet. Exactly 10 years later, the Chin Patriots submitted its nine proposals to the British colonial government. Then, 10 years to the day later, on February 20, 1948, the General Assembly of Chin Land was held in Falam, Chin State. At the general assembly, representatives of the Chin people voted to overturn their traditional feudal system and adopt a democratic method of electing local and state leaders.
The first Chin National Day was celebrated on February 20, 1951 in Mindat, Chin State, and since has become a way to commemorate the past, and stand in unity and pride as Chin people.