Traditional Karen Wrist Tying Program in Lasalle Park

Wrist Tying is commonly celebrated yearly when all the Karen people in a village or nearby villages come together in unity and conduct the wrist tying ceremony.

This event falls in August (Lah Ku) and the exact date of this is depending on the lunar calendar when the August moon is full.

This ancient practice of wrist tying is to bring the spirits of all the Karen people together who have been physically scattered all over the globe for different reasons which include mostly civil wars in Burma, economical betterment for families and persecutions done by the Burmese Regime over the past 60 years.

Our ancestors conducted this ceremony for future generations to follow and to remind themselves of the oneness of the Karen spirit in spite of physical separations from each other due to various unavoidable situations.

During the ceremony all the Karens and participants wear the traditional costumes and elderlies pronounce blessings in Karen language. The objects used in the ceremony are simple yet convey meaningful messages.

•Cold glass of water:  Symbolizes the cleansing of one’s mind and spirit and indicates the necessity of water for life and also hospitality in some one’s home.

•Three white threads:  Represent protection from the evil spirits

•Seven rice balls: Symbolize unity and there is strength in unity.

•Seven triangular shaped lumps of sticky rice in banana-leaf packages: Represent solidarity and sharpness.

•Seven bananas:  They symbolize loyalty and discipline.  Banana fruit grows in bunches from bigger/older ones on top and younger ones follow to the bottom end.

•Seven branches of flowers (Paw Woung/wee): Represent the ability to settle and grow any place and in any season as long as the roots are intact to the ground and be able to thrive anywhere.

•Seven pieces of sugar-cane: They remind us of the sweetness of good morals and ethical values of every human being.

This year’s Wrist Tying ceremony will be celebrated in Lasalle Park, Buffalo on Sunday, August 30.  The main ceremony will begin at 10:30 am followed by lunch, traditional dance (Dohng Dance) and contemporary’s entertainment, and end with men’s soccer final.

Prior to the main ceremony, we the public will all gather in front of City Hall at 8:30 am and by 9:15 am we will march down north on Niagara Street towards Lasalle Park where the main event is held.

You are welcome to march with us to show our unity and strength.  We encourage all of you to come and celebrate with us no matter what your racial, educational backgrounds are and what nationality you belong to.  We welcome you to come and be a part of this event to bring unity and peace and make this city of Buffalo a better place to live.

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