I first arrived to Chin State on one cold November evening in 2004. I was taking a jeep, sitting in the back seat, depressed. The road to Mindat from Pakokku was the worst road I have ever traveled in my life. A worn out paved road with so many holes and bumps, and a lot of dirsts. And it took half a day to traveled that 96 miles from Pakokku to Mindat. It is like a nightmare come true to me. [.....]
Here is another song about Chin Land by the same Chin song writer, Salai Thaw Na. This is about the famous flower Rhodendron (Taung-za-lat) which is also the national flower of Chin State. This song is also in Burmese.
The most famous song about Chin Hills and Chin Land, by the same song writer Salai Thaw Na. This song was sung very frequently in Chin Land as well as aired on Myanmar TV quite frequently. This song is also in Burmese. Enjoy.
The above is a music video by Kyo Kyar and Cindy, two Chin singers about Chin Land. The title is “The Home Land of Chin People” and composed by a Chin song writer Salai Thaw Na. The lyric is in Burmese, not in Chin. Please enjoy.
Have you ever heard about head basket? Well, we have in Chin Hills. Lets call it Chin head basket. It is a kind of basket that you carry by hanging around your head with a string. You don’t carry it by hand. The basket is quite a large one, big enough to carry a 5 gallon water container. And people, even young women and children, carry them by a string hung over their head. It is a tiring thing to do so. I once tried to carry one with some weight in it but couldn’t carry more than a few minutes. For the Chin people, they have been carrying a big load since they were young so seem no problem carrying a heavy head basket over their head. [.....]
If you are interested in going to Mindat, here is a guide. You cannot go there direct from Yangon. First, go to Pakokku, a big city on the west bank of Irrawaddy (Ayarwaddy). To go to Pakokku, you have two options. One is the direct bus trip to Pakokku from Yangon. The buses are quite old and slow, and carry a lot of goods and cargo. I recommend the second option which is to take a bus to Pagan (Bagan) and from there, cross the Irrawaddy. The bus to Bagan leaves around 3 PM from Yangon, and arrives there around 5 AM the next morning. You can take a ship from Bagan to Pakokku. This ship travels between Bagan and Mandalay, but you can drop in Pakokku. The trip will take around one and half hour. Alternatively, if you are more adventurous, you can take a ferry boat to Pakokku. From the boat pier, you can take a tricycle or a horse cart to Mindat bus station. The station is called “Mindat Gyar Sakhan”, meaning “In between camp”. From there, you take a bus to Mindat. It is actually a Jeep that carries people and goods from Pakokku to Mindat. The road is not bad for Burmese standards, but quite rough compared to other roads in neighboring Asian countries. The trip from Pakokku to Mindat usually takes around 6 to 8 hours although it is only 96 miles. If you use your own car, it will take around 4 to 5 hours, depending on the condition of the car as well as the weather. On the way, you will have to pass Pauk Town and Kyauktu Town. Only around 10 miles near Mindat is mountain road. The road trip is generally safe so you don’t need to be worry to much. [.....]
If you ever want to visit Chin Hills, Mindat is the most convenient and easiest to reach town in Chin Hills. Situated in Southern part of Chin Hills, Mindat is a small but peaceful, beautiful and tranquil town. With a total population of nearly 10,000 people, it is considered a sizable town in Chin Hills. The town is built along the top of a mountain range that runs east and west. So practically, Mindat is a long line of houses built along the main road with some small side roads fanning out here and there. [.....]
If you travel in Chin Hills, you will see many stone slabs erected on the side of the road. They are all written in Chin language so you won’t know what the meaning is. They are actually the memorial stones erected in the memory of the deceased. Usually, they give a brief description of the person who passed away, with achievements while they were alive. They include the awards, possessions, wives and children, animals killed, enemies killed in battles, positions held in the government service, etc. Usually, these memorials are erected by the children of the deceased. There usually is a grand feast to those who come the the stone erection ceremony. It is indeed an expensive ceremony with many cows and pigs killed to serve the guests. Although the expense is quite huge, this is considered a great honor to the deceased and the family so the family will try their best to continue this honorable tradition. [.....]