The contest was organized by a local Arakanese NGO, Wanlat, in its office located at Min Ba Gyi road in Sittwe on 16 February 2013. In the contest over 60 high school, university and college level students participated.
“The contest is to highlight how much the mother language is important for a nationality. If we lost our language, our national identity will disappear from the world. We wanted to highlight this to our young generation. So we held the contest with this objective and intention in our town,” said Ko Kaung San who is a spokesperson in the organization.
In the past, such competitions were unable to be celebrated in Arakan state due to authority prohibition.
“We had not chance to celebrate this event in the past. But now we can do it freely after a quasi – civilian government was established in 2011. So we held the contest to mark the international Mother language day this year,” Ko Kaung add.
The vocabularies between Arakanese and Burmese are not very different but accent. Some Arakanese vocabularies have been missing day after day in the influence of Burmese language.
“Keeping to our vocabulary is important for the future of our community. Young Aakanese people also understand this position. So they participated in the contest willingly. The contest was successful,” said a teacher who monitored in the contest room.
The winners of the vocabulary contest will receive their prizes on the occasion of International Mother Language Day which will be held in Sittwe with a colorful ceremony on the day of 21 February 2013.