Southeast Missouri State University student publication

First ever New Year Water Festival hosted by Burmese Organization

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Southeast Missouri State University’s Burmese Organization of Southeast Students hosted its first New Year Water Festival Saturday, April 29 at the Recreation Center in the student aquatic center due to inconvenient weather. The event featured traditional water fighting, which is the main idea for the New Year in Burma, dancing, speeches and a traditional Burmese dinner.

The free event was open for everyone in the Southeast community to attend, a special invitation was sent to Southeast president, Dr. Carlos Vargas and his wife, Pam. Vargas thought his first international event involving water was a great way to break the ice.

“We love to play with the students and let them see that we are just like everybody else, that we like to have fun and enjoy ourselves,” Vargas said.

Members of BOSS ensured that guests enjoyed themselves by greeting them as they entered the building.

Since the festival was hosted inside the student aquatic center, some people decided to use the water from the swimming pool and hot tub. Tables with water guns and buckets filled with water balloons were provided for everyone. Volleyball, rope swinging and rock climbing were some of the other activities guests could participate in.

Guest took their seats during the festival to watch members of BOSS performed a traditional Burma dance and listened to a speech from Phyo Ten, the president of BOSS.

BOSS coordinator, Thet Khant was hands-on with event planning for the organization. Khant wanted people to have a better understanding of what the Burmese culture has to offer.

“We came from the opposite side of the world where things are different,” Khant said. “Experience the kind of food we eat, our culture and how things are celebrated in our country.”

An announcement was made for food served upstairs in the rec center which included coconut noodles, coconut jelly and sticky rice filled with jaggery. After leaving the aquatic center, guest gathered together and ate.

Southeast student Sultan Jamal heard about the festival through BOSS’s Facebook page and was invited to the event by a friend. Jamal, who is very involved around Southeast’s campus, said he thought the event was great and that he is aware of different events that happen on campus. He also said if the event were to be held next year that he would come again.

“I learned that different people can come in one spot to have a good time,” Jamal said.

As BOSS continues to grow as an organization, it hopes to hosts another festival next year. Members of BOSS are thrilled about the attention the organization has gained from hosting the festival.

For more information on Burmese Organization of Southeast Students