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Traditions Of Water: Beliefs, Practices And Transformation In Asia

11 December 2018

The International Conference on Traditions of Water in Asia: Beliefs, Practices and Transformation kicked off on Tuesday.

The Conference is being held at the Office of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Regional Centre for History and Tradition (SEAMEO CHAT) in Yangon.

It aims to share different traditions of water, its beliefs and practices and transformation among the people in Asia. The conference also aims to make people aware of the traditions of water in digital age, to appreciate the cultural values of Asia and to highlight the significance and importance of water in the daily life of people in Asia.

Deputy Director, SEAMEO CHAT, Dr. Khin Lay Soe said “The purpose of this conference is to maintain the traditions related to water in the Asian region, and study how much this tradition change along with time, are those traditions still alive. We aim this conference to highlight in maintaining this cultural value.”

There are all together 26 paper readers from Japan, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand including 14 paper readers from Myanmar.

Curator, National Museum Bangkok, Suppawan Nongnut said “My paper is about the Water of Allegiance… actually it’s related to the royal ceremony in Thailand... we believe that this ceremony stabilizes our country, it conveys centralization to obey your loyalty to the king… From my study, I found that it has the same ceremony in Khmer Empire, in Cambodia, or even in Myanmar as well. We use the same ceremony but name it in the different title or different name.”

Head, Department of History, YUFL, Dr. Khin Thidar said “My paper is about the belief in Shin Upagutta-An Arahatta, living in Southern Ocean. There is the same belief on water in the Asian countries, for example, we’ve seen there are people from Thai, Cambodia, and Vietnam who believe in this Shin Upagutta. And China’s belief on 9 deities is also similar to Shin Upagutta.” 

The attendees expects that this 2-day conference will create an excellent opportunity for exchanging ideas and sharing knowledge of each other’s customs and traditions, among the countries. The conference is also coincided with the 18th Anniversary of founding SEAMEO CHAT.