A two-year long celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was launched by the Embassy of India in Yangon with an event on 2nd October held at the Sule Shangrila Hotel.
The event began with the lighting of the lamp by Sitagu Sayadaw Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, H.E. U Tin Maung Tun, Speaker of Yangon Region Hluttaw, H.E Mr. Vikram Misri, Ambassador of India to Myanmar, Dr. Thant Myint U, renowned writer, historian & Chairman, Yangon Heritage Trust and U Myint Thu, Managing Editor, Myanmar Heritage.
The welcome remarks at the event were delivered by Ambassador Vikram Misri, followed by words by Venerable Sitagu Sayadaw Dr. Ashin Nyanissara, who spoke about the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi.
Dr. Thant Myint U, a recipient of the Padma Shri Award, one of the most important civilian awards of India, delivered the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Lecture.
As a part of the celebrations, Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite Gujarati bhajan (a devotional song), “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je”, was sung by Ms May Thu Khine, along with the the popular Ugly Music Band from Myanmar. This bhajan was originally composed by Saint Narsinh Mehta in the 15th century. Mahatma Gandhi listened to this bhajan since his childhood and was deeply inspired by it.
Commemorative stamps to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations were also released at the event. The Myanmar translation of his autobiography, “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”, translated by U Hane Latt and published by U Myint Thu of Myanmar Heritage, was unveiled at the event.
The event was attended by over 300 people from the diplomatic corps, academics, friends of India, media and the Indian diaspora, according to a press release.