Sheffield’s Karen community celebrates the new year

Burma New Year celebrations at Forge Valley School
Burma New Year celebrations at Forge Valley School

SHEFFIELD’S Karen Community celebrated their New Year with a day of music and dance.

The colourful celebration, which attracted Karen people from all across the UK, was held at Forge Valley Community School Hall and included speeches by members of Sheffield’s Karen Community Association, a variety of groups performing Karen songs and a special Karen Don dance.

The Karen people live primarily in Burma and Thailand and their New Year has been an official holiday in Britain since 1938.

The New Year is just one of a number of events hosted by Sheffield’s Karen Community Association each year, to promote unity among the Karen people and ensure the preservation and promotion of their culture, literature and language in the UK.

The official Karen New Year begins on January 12, 2013.

* The majority of Karen people living in the UK are in Sheffield.

* The Steel City always hosts the Karen New Year and Karen people across the country travel to Sheffield to celebrate here.

* Sheffield’s Karen Community Association spends a great deal of time raising awareness about the situation in Burma and raising funds to help refugees.