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'Let's build the Bridge of Peace.'
an article by Mong Marma

Waggay, a Marma word, means freedom. It is a traditional custom of Buddhist Bhanty (the chief of the Buddhist prayer hall) to stay at least three months in one place. Towards the end, a two-day traditional cultural programmed ended at Masterpara in the Khagrachhari district of Bangladesh on October 6, 2006.

Some thousand members of the Marma community including men, women, and children attended the colourful event. To celebrate the day, the keying (Buddhists' prayer hall) was intricately decorated with flower, leaves and coloured paper. During the two nights, Marma women made a variety of Pitha while the traditionally attired young sang, danced and participated in different games.

On the concluding day, different competitions on poetry recitation, art, and general knowledge were organized for children. In the afternoon, a prize distribution function was also held.

Venerable Pannya Sami, Banty chaired the event, while Khagrachhari Press Club president Chowdhury Ataur Rahman Rana was present as chief guest. Journalist Abu Taher Muhammad, Neyong Marma, Mraggah Marma, Uttam Marma were present as guests.

Pannya Sami Bhanty said, "It is the first time in my life this wonderful program is initiates from this Master Para intended to give awareness about Education and Peace especial to the Marma community.

"You know, without education one cannot stand in any human society and become peace in the world. Because education is like a sword by which you can cut the problems what you face and then implement peace in the world.

"Thus by education I mean moral education, which give us happiness and peace. How can you take the solution of problems if you don't have moral education? Any problems you can solve if you have heart and tolerance and love living beings. If you want peace and happiness then teach your child and yourself to have heart, tolerance and non-violence to others because of peace is within. So I have launched this program given a name of 'Let's build the Bridge of Peace.'"

They prayed and hoped for all of the community prosperity, happiness and peace.

Part of this report was published by The Daily Star Newspaper. You may find more information at


Question(s) related to this article:

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?,

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This report was posted on April 25, 2005.