SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

Tai/Shan New Year: Academic and Cultural Presentations

IMG - Shan New Year Celebrations

Date: 23 November 2014Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 23 November 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunie Gallery Lecture Theatre and Suite

Type of Event: Celebration

The significance of Shan New Year celebrations is mentioned in the opening speech for the Shan New Year event at SOAS last year by Ven. Dr Khammai Dhammasami, Chair of the Shan Cultural Association in UK: “Pi Mai has been the biggest event to many Shan people in and outside the country of their birth. This is true to those who live in the Shan State, Kachin State, Kayah State, Sagaing Division, Yangon Division and Mandalay Division of the Union of Myanmar; in Yunnan Province, China; northern and central Thailand; Arunachal Pradesh in India; in Europe, America and Australia. It is the occasion of joy and renewal. Joy because the entire community comes together with good wishes, dancing and sharing traditional foods. Renewal because it is the time of harvesting, which is why some call the occasion as one to make a new offering to the Buddha and community elders (khao mai nam mai: new rice and new water).” (SCA-UK Newsletter, vol. 9, p. 3). 

This year the celebrations of Pi Mai or Shan New Year will be held on Sunday the 23rd of November 2014 again at SOAS, University of London. The event is co-hosted by the SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies and the Shan Cultural Association in the United Kingdom.

Tai-Shan New Year: Academic and Cultural Presentations

The programmes of the event will be arranged in two parts: academic presentations and cultural performances. Speakers and participants at the workshop include Professor Elizabeth Moore (SOAS), Dr Susan Conway (SOAS), Dr Alexandra Green (British Museum), Dr Angela Chiu (SOAS), Ms Jana Igunma (British Library), Ms Maria Kekki (Shan Manuscript Cataloguing Project), Mrs Nel Adams alias Sao Noan Oo (Private researcher), Dr Sao Khun Hti Laikha (Sweden), Ven. Aggasena Lengtai (MA Student, SOAS), and Dr Jotika Khur-Yearn (SOAS). The cultural presentations will take place in the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre and will be led by members of the SCA-UK.

Paper presentations for the academic programme will cover the subject area such as art, manuscript, textile, and history. And, there will be an exhibition on Shan manuscripts in the Wolfson Gallery of SOAS Library running for 2 months in November and December 2014 as part of the Shan New Year Celebrations.

There will also be some outdoor activities for traditional Shan foods, souvenirs and socialising.

The event is free and open to the public. 



Organiser: Centre of South East Asian Studies

Contact Tel: + 44 (0)20 7898 4173 / 4893

Sponsor: Shan Cultural Association UK and the Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme