Last Sunday at 10:00 am, the 7th annual Traditional Karen Wrist Tying program kicked off in front of City Hall where Mayor Brown gave an opening remark and welcomed all immigrants with different cultures and traditions to the city of Buffalo. Over 100 people from Karen community and also other community members were present at the ceremony, after which the march began and was escorted by two police vehicles. The dancers and the drummers led the march holding Karen and American flags followed by the public walking on Niagara Street towards LaSalle Park. While the march was going on, some community members were already in the park preparing the stage and making arrangements for the main ceremony. At about 11:30 am, after everyone including the dancers and other community members arrived in LaSalle Park, the program began with an opening speech from Daniel Leong followed by Anna Ireland talking about a brief history of the Karen people and Wrist Tying Ceremony practice.
The program then invited the dancers in their beautiful Karen costumes to perform a Dohn Dance. With long hours of practices and collaborative efforts, the dancers which mostly consisted of Karen youth exhibited a superb dance performance.
Then the Wrist Tying ceremonial part began when all the community elders pronounced the blessings in Karen on younger people who lined up and received object items which symbolized different meanings. While the wrist tying was going on, lunch which included pork, chicken curries and spicy sardined mixed sauce along with rice was being served.
Then the music group took the stage when they performed different contemporary songs in Karen. At about 4 pm as scheduled the men’s soccer final between Syracuse Karen youth and Rochester Karen youth kicked off the soccer match. All the event goers gathered around the soccer field cheering with drums and screaming for their favorite team. At the end of the match, Syracuse Karen youth won the match by 5-1 against Rochester Karen Youth. The Syracuse team received a trophy along with a monetary prize for being the winner of this year’s Karen Wrist Tying soccer tournament.
On behalf of Karen Society of Buffalo, we would like to thank everyone who worked hard doing their best to make this event a success. Without collaborate efforts from the community members, this type of event would not be possible. We had well over 1000 attendees at this event.