Par Tha Hniang, Texas, United States of America
Par Tha Hniang is a youth member of the Bethel Baptist Church of Texas in Lewisville. She is from the Chin community, a persecuted ethnic group from western Myanmar, and lived there until she was seven. Many of her family members are back home. Lewisville is home to around 4,000 Chin refugees, making it one of the largest ethnic groups in town. Par Hniang is part of the Chin Youth Organization of Dallas (CYO Dallas) and the Chin Youth Organization of North America (CYONA).
This is her story:
“As I watch my brothers and sisters in Myanmar crying out helplessly, I can’t help but feel heartbroken. I am constantly brought to tears as I hear and see what is happening in Myanmar. Anger at the evil intentions of the military is also inevitable. God tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but it is certainly hard to contain one's emotions especially when blood is constantly being spilled.
As part of the youth at Bethel Baptist Church of Texas we have sold our Chin traditional food, sabuti, as a fundraiser. There were so many supportive people and each time it was sold out within an hour or two. Although we made more each time, it continued to be sold out and many of our parents donated extra as well.
As Chin Youth Organization Dallas we have held a concert to fundraise and have participated in protests organised in various places by the ethic groups of Myanmar. As a youth of Chin Baptist Churches of America (CBCUSA), we each have donated $100 or more to the Civil Disobedience Movement.
I like to believe that I am active in my community and always looking to improve my home country. The events in Myanmar are slightly different as we know what our brothers and sisters are going through from our own experience. The fact that our friends and family members are suffering fuels us with anger. We want nothing to do with the Burmese Military anymore, it is the feeling of now or never. We are tired of experiencing the same bondage over and over again. It is time for new leaders to arise and build a military that protects its citizens rather than one that is a parasite.
I have noticed that hashtags regarding Myanmar barely exist compared to other causes. We must tell our friends in our schools, contact our local news, authorities, our representatives and show them there are voters that care about this cause.
There should be no country supporting this coup. Even if all you can do is post a picture on social media, that is 100 times better than doing nothing. It is up to you and I to be the pillar for those struggling in Myanmar right now.”
Captions: Par Tha Hniang; Par Tha Hniang protesting for Myanmar in Dallas, Texas. (Copyright: Par Tha Hniang.)