Many of my friends talked so much about the Thingyan festival which is also known as water festival of Myanmar, luckily, I happened to participate it this year. Before coming for the festival I saw some of the pictures of Thingyan festival which looked joyful and made me dream to dance under the artificial rainwater. Thingyan festival is celebrated every year for five days just before the new year of Myanmar people. This year, the festival started from April 13 and their New Year falls on April 17.
This festival is celebrated across Myanmar and people like us are fortunate enough to participate it at Tamu region of Myanmar through Indo Myanmar friendship tie. Lucky or not, since we are borne in the border state, we got the advantage to participate other’s festival.
Not knowing much about the festival or the place I along with my friends decided to not go our own to Moreh which is the border town of Manipur. Through social networking site ‘Facebook’ we learnt that a travel agency based at Imphal was offering to take people to Myanmar water festival for two days and one night. So we decided to experience both the new agency and the festival. There were around fifty people who had joined us for the festival and very few women. We left Imphal at 6.30 am and all thanks to the snake like road of National Highway-2 and the army check posts which took us four hours to reach Moreh. The border town welcomed us with hot weather and power cut at night. As soon as we reached our destination we left for Myanmar. We were very much thrilled and excited to see the artificial rain dance with the friendly Burmese people. While the vehicles were driving on the right side which is opposite to the Indian traffic rule, the Thingyan festival just began by splashing water inside our vehicle. People were splashing water to each and everyone passing the road; inside the vehicle or out on the road. In a way the festival is so much similar to Holi festival of Indian culture. We halted at a hotel called Water World to have lunch. When we entered the hotel, it was totally jammed with people who were drinking beer and surprisingly half of them are from Manipur. That shocked me and made me hinder to enjoy the festival. After lunch, the artificial rain water dance began and many people started dancing with the Burmese music. I saw some guys from Manipur who were totally drunk and dancing like a drunkard idiot. Looking at them I felt ashamed to even think that I came from the same place where he came from. What I liked the most about the festival is that the Burmese people pour water on each other wishing happy New Year and no one complains. But one think I can’t digest is why do we interfere and spill in someone’s culture.