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In Pictures: Myanmar's independence day
As the peace-process progresses, rival factions join hands in celebrating Myanmar's independence day.
Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 13:55
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Karen State, Myanmar - On January 4, Myanmar celebrates its independence day. The first 65 years of independence from the British Empire have witnessed a series of protracted wars with several ethnic groups fighting for sovereignty and autonomy. 

Now that the country is undergoing a democratic transition initiated two years ago by the quasi-civilian government of President Thein Sein, several ethnic armed groups have signed ceasefire agreements with the military. For the first time in several years, there is some semblance of peace in the previously war-torn area of Karen state.

This year, thousands of Karen people welcomed the year 2753 of their calendar with a community party at the Border Guard Force (GBF) headquarters in Shwe Kokko Myaing village, near the Thailand border. The Karen calendar began in 739 BCE, when the Karen people believe their ancestors arrived to Myanmar. Wearing traditional clothing, they performed music with unique instruments and danced ancient rituals.

During this occasion, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) marched on the same field for the first time after several years of enmity. As a symbol of their commitment to the on-going peace process with the Myanmar government, they did not carry weapons during the parade.


/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Border Guard Force (GBF) soldier sits in front of the camp ground entrance where the Karen New Year festival celebration took place in Kokko Myaing village.



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

The leader of the GBF, Colonel Chit Thu, sings a traditional Karen song during the festivities.



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera
BGF soldiers march in front of the crowd during the festivities for the Karen New Year. The soldiers marched without weapons as a symbol of their commitment to the on-going peace process with the Burma government.


/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) salute their chief during the parade.



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera
Karen animists perform a traditional New Year crop ceremony.


/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera
Kayan Lahwi women, also known as Padaung, wear gold rings around their neck at the Karen New Year festival.


/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Karen traditional dance troupe performs during the festival.



/vincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Ancient animist rites, traditional dances, modern music and high tech devices were all mixed together.



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A championship tournament of Lethwei, Burmese boxing performed without gloves, took place at the Karen New Year celebrations.



/vincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Pop singers where invited to perform at the festivities. 



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera
Monks, soldiers and Karen people arrived form all over Karen State in Burma to attend the concerts.


/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Inside the park area of the Karen New Year festivities merchants provide all kinds of goods.



/Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Karen child views the fireworks from a night shelter.




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images:
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captions:

A Border Guard Force (GBF) soldier sits in front of the camp ground entrance where the Karen New Year festival celebration took place in Kokko Myaing village.

;*;

The leader of the GBF, Colonel Chit Thu, sings a traditional Karen song during the festivities.

;*;BGF soldiers march in front of the crowd during the festivities for the Karen New Year. The soldiers marched without weapons as a symbol of their commitment to the on-going peace process with the Burma government.;*;

Soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) salute their chief during the parade.

;*;Karen animists perform a traditional New Year crop ceremony.;*;Kayan Lahwi women, also known as Padaung, wear gold rings around their neck at the Karen New Year festival.;*;

A Karen traditional dance troupe performs during the festival.

;*;

Ancient animist rites, traditional dances, modern music and high tech devices were all mixed together.

;*;

A championship tournament of Lethwei, Burmese boxing performed without gloves, took place at the Karen New Year celebrations.

;*;

Pop singers where invited to perform at the festivities. 

;*;Monks, soldiers and Karen people arrived form all over Karen State in Burma to attend the concerts.;*;

Inside the park area of the Karen New Year festivities merchants provide all kinds of goods.

;*;

A Karen child views the fireworks from a night shelter.

Daylife ID:
84bdddd4b6d37c54b12daef7097c97a9
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;vincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;vincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera;*;Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Myanmar independencehttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independenceen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Sat, 04 Jan 2014 10:58:58 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/bca08748edac5933e30ed664b6125628

A Border Guard Force (GBF) soldier sits in front of the campground entrance where the Karen New Year festival celebration took place at the GBF headquarters at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/bca08748edac5933e30ed664b6125628Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Border Guard Force (GBF) soldier sits in front of the campground entrance where the Karen New Year festival celebration took place at the GBF headquarters at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a6d4ea8deb464c4e6d7c994385b45462

The leader of the GBF Colonel Chit Thu sings a traditional Karen song during the festivities for the Karen New Year.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a6d4ea8deb464c4e6d7c994385b45462Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

The leader of the GBF Colonel Chit Thu sings a traditional Karen song during the festivities for the Karen New Year.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a11d13be28ffc221d082ead059441a89

BGF soldiers march in front of the crowd during the festivities for the Karen New Year. The soldiers marched without weapons as a symbol of their commitment to the on-going peace process with the Burma government.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a11d13be28ffc221d082ead059441a89Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

BGF soldiers march in front of the crowd during the festivities for the Karen New Year. The soldiers marched without weapons as a symbol of their commitment to the on-going peace process with the Burma government.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/adfe2ded39bf9ee29f34e98753c29b28

Soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) salute their chief during the parade held at the Karen New year festival at Shwe Kokko Myaing village. For the first time soldiers of the GBF marched toghedher with KNLA soldiers with no weapons.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/adfe2ded39bf9ee29f34e98753c29b28Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Soldiers of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) salute their chief during the parade held at the Karen New year festival at Shwe Kokko Myaing village. For the first time soldiers of the GBF marched toghedher with KNLA soldiers with no weapons.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/5879f20ad8d4b89af1ad0a10778f3f59

Karen animists perform a traditional New Year crop ceremony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/5879f20ad8d4b89af1ad0a10778f3f59Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Karen animists perform a traditional New Year crop ceremony.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/08b62fd5c5160c8f496751960afd5e50

Kayan Lahwi women, also known as Padaung, wear gold rings around their neck at the Karen New Year festival.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/08b62fd5c5160c8f496751960afd5e50Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Kayan Lahwi women, also known as Padaung, wear gold rings around their neck at the Karen New Year festival.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/5c90032f38349cf49ddb8c3afca42e0a

A Karen traditional dance troupe performs during the Karen New year festival at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/5c90032f38349cf49ddb8c3afca42e0aVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Karen traditional dance troupe performs during the Karen New year festival at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/bfdbe6a73138b2678a79180ed3c1a242

Ancient animist rites, traditional dances, modern music and high tech devices where all mixed together.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/bfdbe6a73138b2678a79180ed3c1a242vincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Ancient animist rites, traditional dances, modern music and high tech devices where all mixed together.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/6d5fee2fdf32ff592be29f7dc86d5e65

A championship tournament of Lethwei, the Burmese boxing match performed without gloves, took place at the Karen New Year celebrations at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/6d5fee2fdf32ff592be29f7dc86d5e65Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A championship tournament of Lethwei, the Burmese boxing match performed without gloves, took place at the Karen New Year celebrations at Shwe Kokko Myaing village in Myawaddy Township Karen State Myanmar.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/ce875102c8e9a1ffbc0c318dd2ecdb4f

Pop singers where invited to perform at the Karen new year celebration at Shwe Kokko Myaing village.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/ce875102c8e9a1ffbc0c318dd2ecdb4fvincenzo floramoVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Pop singers where invited to perform at the Karen new year celebration at Shwe Kokko Myaing village.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a6938fce1da8ccc8878807390fe115ad

Monks, soldiers and Karen people arrived form all over Karen State in Burma to attend the concerts.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a6938fce1da8ccc8878807390fe115adVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Monks, soldiers and Karen people arrived form all over Karen State in Burma to attend the concerts.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/efa67796b0a00422971f472095f1ae0e

Inside the park area of the Karen New Year festivities merchants provide all kind of goods.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/efa67796b0a00422971f472095f1ae0eVincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

Inside the park area of the Karen New Year festivities merchants provide all kind of goods.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a583abb85fe3ac7979b7c6f95bd5e695

People play at a local lottery stall during the Karen New Year celebration.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/a583abb85fe3ac7979b7c6f95bd5e695Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

People play at a local lottery stall during the Karen New Year celebration.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/d6593b3b07570a20aeacbb9dc53c02d9

A Karen child views the fireworks from a night shelter at the Karen New Year celebrations.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Myanmar_independence/slideshow/no-caption/d6593b3b07570a20aeacbb9dc53c02d9Vincenzo Floramo/Al Jazeera

A Karen child views the fireworks from a night shelter at the Karen New Year celebrations.



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