Arakanese Traditional “Kyon” Proposed for SEA Games

By Maung Ramar
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Yangon: One Arakanese traditional sport known as “Kyon”, or wrestling, is being proposed for inclusion in the coming Southeast Asian Games, said U Zaw Aye Maung, the Rakhine Affairs Minister of Rangoon Division.

“We can propose to include Kyon in the coming 2013 SEA Games as a local traditional sport, but the proposed sport must have interest to be played by at least four nations in the group. That is why we are now taking preparation to send the discipline and methods of playing our traditional Kyon with video illustrations to the member nations. If the member nations are interested, then it will be included in the coming SEA Games,” said U Zaw Aye Maung.

He said a competition of Kyon will be held from 27 to 29 January at the Boxing Club on Theinphyu Street in Rangoon in preparation to propose the traditional sport to the regional games.

“Traditional sports such as Wushu, Judo, and Cane Ball, like our Kyon, are now being played in the SEA Games. Kyon is also an interesting sport being traditionally played by a group of people living in Southeast Asia and we hope the other people in our region will also be interested in the sport, and we are now trying our best so that our sport is included in the games,” he said.

He added that the traditional sport will be revived to draw wider interest as well as to uplift the mentality of the younger Arakanese generation.

“When we were young, we used to play our traditional Kyon in the evening time for our physical fitness and to keep away from drink and smoke. In the present age, we have found that most of our youth are turning to the corners of beer, liquor, and smoke in the coming of evening without doing any sports. So, we are concerned for our youth and believe that we can reduce the bad habits of our youth by reviving our popular traditional sport,” he said.

According to the source, in the Kyon competition to be held from 27 to 29 January in Rangoon, the first prize will be a gold medal and 15 lakh Kyat in cash, and the second prize will be a silver medal and 10 lakh Kyat in cash, with the aim of raising awareness and reviving the traditional sport.

Burmese boxer champions Lone Chaw and Saw Ngaman, along with famous Arakanese Kyon champions from all over Arakan State are reportedly invited to observe the competition.

Kyon, traditional Arakanese wrestling, was the most popular sport held by ancient kings in Arakan. The term “Kyon” derives from the combination of two Arakanese words, “Kyar” and “Yon”, which mean “Tiger” and “Quick” in English. So, Kyon means “Quick Tiger”, and wrestlers play to catch and bring each other to the ground to win like a quick tiger.