Happy (Karen) New Year planned

PLAINSMAN FILE PHOTO BY CURT NETTINGA Dancers in colorful costumes weave back-and-forth as they first wrap, then unwrap colored rope at last year’s Karen New Year celebration at the Nordby Exhibit Hall. This year’s celebration will take place this Saturday, with a wide range of activities planned for the day.

HURON — A day full of festivities is set to take place in celebration of the Karen New Year this weekend in Huron. The event is hosted by the Karen Association of South Dakota and will feature entertainment such as dancing, food, music as well as Karen clothing for sale plus more.
The Karen New Year activities begin at 10 a.m., with a concert slated at 5 p.m., Saturday, all at the Earl Nordby 4-H Exhibit Hall located at the S.D. State Fairgrounds.
“Every Karen nation chooses its own day to celebrate every year,” explained Lah May Paw Soe, organizer and leader of the Karen Association of South Dakota.
While it may be 2020 on the calendar followed by much of the world, the Karen nation is welcoming the year 2759.
“This is the year 2759 in the Karen calendar,” said Lah May Paw Soe. “We have been doing this in Huron for ten years, and this is my third year organizing the event.”
Not only does this event honor the Karen population and cultural background of its nation, it may also be an opportunity for the community to participate in this annual experience and broaden its horizons.
“The highlight in the evening is a concert by Karen Youth of Huron, Aberdeen and Minnesota, we will also sell food to raise money for the Karen Association of South Dakota,” smiled Lah May Paw Soe.
“The reason I enjoy this so much is because I want to share our Karen culture, invite people to come learn and watch our cultural dances, share the free food and celebrate,”

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