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The role and functions of Mon traditional Sabbath food offering
- There are over one hundred ethnic groups in Myanmar and Mon national is one of them. Most of the Mon nationals settled around Bago (Hanthawaddi) Township in Bago Region, Mottama in Mon State and Pathein Township in Ayeyarwaddy Region. Among them, Hinthargon ward located in Bago Township was the primary settlement of Mon nationals among other living places of them. In this area, they lived together with other nationals such as Kayin and Bamar. They have been practising Buddhism from the days of their ancestors and have celebrated the religious folk festivals every year. Almost all the Mon nationals celebrate the traditional Sabbath Food Offering during the lent period. Traditional Sabbath Food Offering means the food and meals donation to Sabbath keepers who stay overnight at the monastery on Sabbath days. Most of the Mon youths perform in their respective roles and cooperate with each other in team spirit. A role is a part of function taken or assumed by any person or structure in a society. Roles are rooted in an individual’s status, which often fixed and assigned. Because of the Mon parents, leaders and the presiding monks’ training, the youths have come to experience that collaborating with one another leads to the unity of the Mon nationals and strengthen their social structure as ethnic identity. The objectives of the study are to elicit the Mon nationals’ performance in their respective role; to find out the relationship between Mon traditional subbath-food offering and ethnic identity. Ethnographic method or qualitative method was used to collect data. Informal Group Interview (IGI), Key Informant Interview (KII) and In-depth Interview were also conducted in this study. The study period was from 2010 to 2012. Recordings were done and photographs were taken to make the survey complete.
Zin Mar Latt
- Mandalay University Research Journal