Ceremony to present Lifetime-Literary Award, National Literary Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards for 2021 held; Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing attends the ceremony and presents awards
NAY PYI TAW November 23
Ceremony to present Life-time-Literary Award, National Literary Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards for 2021 was held at Myanmar International Convention Centre 2 here this morning, attended by Chairman of State Admini-stration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.
SAC Vice Chairman Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior Ge-neral Soe Win, the SAC Joint Secretary, SAC members, Union ministers, Union level officials, the Nay Pyi Taw Council chairman, senior military officers, the Nay Pyi Taw Command commander, deputy ministers, members of the award selection committee, award winners, lite-rati, artists, literary enthusiasts and officials were also present.
First, the Senior General and attendees looked around the biographies, photos and the works of the winners on the gro-und floor of MICC 2. They then watched a video clip “Towards the goal with the might of pen.”
In his address, the Senior General said Sarsodaw Day has been held on 1st waxing day of Nattaw since 1944 in accord with the Myanmar culture and tradition in honour of the literati who serve the public interest with the might of pen. So, the country has observed the day for over 70 years in a row.
Myanmar literature came into existence in 12th century during the Bagan period, so, it is nearly 1,000 years old. As it has an exact date, the Rajakumara stone inscription is referred to as the earliest literary work in Myanmar literature. Thanks to the efforts and encouragement of state leaders and men of letters including those of the reli-gious order of the successive eras, Myanmar literature con-tinues to thrive for many many years. In recognition of their gratitude, Sarsodaw Day is observed on 1st waxing day of Nattaw every year.
The history of Sarsodaw Day started with the plan of Pyinnyatagon association to observe the U Pon Nya Day in memory of a great literari in Kungyangon during the period Myanmar was under Fascist rule. But Pyinnyatagon association in Yangon suggested observing the day comprehen-sively as day to honour all men and women of letters rather than honouring a single person. Hence, members of the association held a meeting with lite-rati and members of Myanmar Writers Association on 8 May 1944 and passed a resolution to observe Sarsodaw Day on 1st waxing day of Nattaw every year. The tradition of holding the Sarsodaw Day was maintained since the first one was observed 78 years ago on 15 November in 1944.
The wise named literature as the mirror of the age. From the court to the general public literature that serves the public can be found throughout the mirror of the times throughout the successive eras. The role of doyen literati is important in the efforts to promote Myanmar literature. Likewise, the govern-ment, private organizations and well-wishers that support men and women of letters also have a hand in it. The task of honouring the literati with vari-ous literary awards, launching literary movements after forming writers associations, organizing paper reading sessions and literary talks, is also supportive for literary develop-ment.
The government has been honouring the literati by selecti-ng their fine works for national level National Literary Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manus-cript Awards for over 70 years with the aim of developing the Myanmar literature the main stem from which different branches of Myanmar cultural arts spring out.
The national literary award at the highest level had been presented in various forms since 1948. They were Sarpay Beikman modern novel award, Sarpay Beikman award, fine art literature award and national literary award. The number of genres has also increased and reached 19 in 2021.
Moreover, the national life-time award has been presented since 2001 in recognition of literary achievements of doyen literati who have been serving Myanmar’s literary interests.
For good manuscripts that could not have been published for various reasons, the Sarpay Beikman manuscript award is presented in 14 genres.
At today’s ceremony, 28 manu-script awards will presented in nine of 19 genres for 466 books first published in 2021 and 14 genres for 262 contesting manu-scripts.
This year, the four doyen literati who have received the national lifetime literary award for their dedication to the country’s literary world throughout their lives have constantly produced knowledgeable and aesthetic works for the sake of the State and the people. Their literary works contribute towards Myanmar’s literary world and serve the interests of the State and the people like a motto: “High literature will promote the dignity of a people.” So it is an honour to award them for their achievements.
Studying the award-winning works for 2021, there have been a variety of pens from novice to maturity. The award selection team has reviewed that their works have been produced meeting literary standards.
The award winners include nationally famous writers, depart-mental personnel, doctors, military officers and retirees as well as those who have been striving to enter the literary world, and it is very heartening.
For the development of a coun-try, physicality and mentality are equally important. The literature and fine arts of a country are the national cultural heritage of that country, and they are usually judged for the cultural standard of that country and its people as the base. From the times of ancient monarchs to successive governments in Myanmar, honorary titles and medals have been presented to those from literary, movie, music and Theban worlds who served their duties as the loyalty towards the State.
For those who are brilliant in the literary and art fields, the State Administration Council of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar awarded 25 in March and eight in April in 2022. On National Day that fell on 17 November this year, seven persons were presented Alinka Kyawswa titles that are awarded to those brilliant in literary and fine art fields. Since the parliamentary period after independence, there have been 64 recipients of that title. Among those are 19 national lifetime literary award winners. More will be awarded to those who deserve.
Throughout successive eras, the State has been striving its best for the development of Myanmar’s literature and social life of literati and writers. In the time of the present government also, plans are underway to establish Art Centres and Sarso Beikmans in Yangon and Man-dalay so that art works can meet international standard and those from literary world can be brought together with the aim of ensuring sustainable Myanmar literature.
Nowadays, the country is marching with added momen-tum towards a Union based on democracy and federalism ex-ercising a genuine, disciplined multi-party democratic system aspired by the people. To reach the goal, it is necessary to pro-mote media cooperation in order for the citizens, especially the youths who will be future lead-ers, to improve thier knowledge and way of thinking and for the country to stand tall in the international community.
The achievements of those from the literary, movie, music and Thabin worlds will contribute much towards the success-ful realization of the three social objectives: to ensure a strong and dynamic Union spirit, the genuine spirit of patriotism; to respect and promote the customs and traditions of all National peoples and preserve and safeguard their cultural heritage and national characteri-stics; and to enhance the health, fitness and education quality of the entire nation.
In this age of education, it is seen that human being’s know-ledge improvement and good attitude has become important at a time materials are developed in all sectors from time to time. Knowledge is the most valuable thing for people. As ancient men of wisdom in successive eras said that knowledge could be gained from experience and literature, everybody should read. Prominent people in the world have mentioned the same word that they read. Everyone could not know all of anything and any work with their personal experience. Adequate knowledge and smartness will be gained only through reading books in which knowing and thinking of many people is integrated.
As a wording that nation’s strength lies within, the people’s stands such as solidarity, think-ing and opinion of national races and all citizens are important. It is definitely sure that our nation will be peaceful and developed through literary experts’ contribution to improve-ment of people’s knowledge and uplift of spirit.
Literary and journalism experts are advised that it is necessary to give priority to the interest of the State and all the entire national people without benefiting a group of people or an organization in carrying out their tasks of writing about literature, journalism and media.
Today’s occasion is to recog-nize and honour efforts of the people who are dutiful in literary duties for the State with a good attitude and intention based on their hobby. We all are pleased along with the writers and wish them more contribution to the interest of the State and the people with their skill of writing.
Throughout Myanmar’s his-tory, Myanmar literati day or Sarsodaw Day has been held to honour Myanmar laureates including monks and civilians who made contributions to the interest of the State. The tradi-tion of holding Myanmar literati day and presenting literary awards are to be preserved by veteran literary experts con-tinuously. The veteran literary experts are urged to nurture a new generation of writers who maintain writers’ maxim, reflect and compose the age and promote the nation’s image.
I am especially grateful to officials, literary award winners and veteran literary experts, especially the chairman of the literary awards selection com-mittee and all the members who gave time and made efforts to successfully present such liter-ary awards. All are requested to work together in promoting the Myanmar literary world and building the nation.
Afterwards, the Senior General presented prizes to winn-ers of National Lifetime Award for Literary Achievement, U Kyaw Zin Nyunt (Tekkatho Myat Thu), U Ohn Maung (Myinmu Maung Naing Moe), Dr Myo Thant Tin and the daughter of Dr. Daw Tin Win (Dr. Ma Tin Win- University of Education) on her mother behalf.
Next, the Vice-Senior General presented prizes to Min Khaik Soe San, winner of national literary award for short stories, Soe Tint (Ayeyawady), essay award winner, Shweku Nang Nwe Nwe, winner of literary award for Myanmar culture and fine arts, Akyeekoko (Katha), winner of youth literary award,
and Thet Swe , winner of literary award for translation (know-ledge).
Then, Joint Secretary of the Council Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, members General Mya Tun Oo, Admiral Tin Aung San, Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun, Mahn Nyein Maung, Daw Aye Nu Sein and Union Minister for Information U Maung Maung Ohn present-ed prizes to winners of National Literary Awards and Sarpay Beikman Manuscript Awards.
U Kyaw Zin Nyunt (Tekkatho Myat Thu), winner of National Lifetime Award for Literary Achievement, expressed words of thanks for the prizes.
MRTV presented a perfor-mance by singing a song in honor of literature and then the Senior General had a record photo taken together with the literary award winners for 2021.
After the ceremony, the Senior General and party had lunch along with the literary award winners, artists and literary experts.
After the lunch, the Senior General presented souvenir photos to four winners of the National Lifetime Award for Literary Achievement and cordially greeted them.