‘Only a small number of Karen people living in the Karen State and along the Thai-Myanmar border play the traditional instruments and they have nearly disappeared in other areas inhabited by the Karen people.’
Saw Shar, in an article for the Karenews.org, laments the decline in popularity of traditional Karen instruments, such as the harp, (Nar Dain), the pipe (Pi Par) and the drum.
The above video was taken at the Live literature night that followed the Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds short story workshops in Hpa-an at the end of 2013. The event wasn’t just to showcase the writers and readings from their works, but to demonstrate how music, dance and literature can be celebrated together, rather than seen as elements of culture and identity that stand apart from each other. Each of the workshops ended with such an event.