Karen Community Celebrates New Year

By Jake Perrone - 21Alive
By Rachel Martin - 21Alive

January 12, 2014 Updated Jan 12, 2014 at 7:51 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) – The American calendar may mark twelve days into January, but one community in Fort Wayne is just now celebrating the beginning of the New Year.

Sunday marked the beginning of the Karen New Year, which is celebrated through the country of Burma and in refugee communities around the world.

It is the 11th year of the celebration for the Karen community in Fort Wayne, which is said to be home to one of the largest Burmese populations outside of the country.

Festivities were held at South Side High School Sunday afternoon. They included the singing of national anthems, dancing, and a meal. Organizers say it holds true to tradition.

“Karen People, they live in the mountain and they're doing farming and they're growing like a paddie and fruit so whenever they get the first fruit then they come together and they eat together and they celebrate the new year,” said Sar Doh, the Karen Community Organizer.

Doh says he hopes this celebration will help the youth in the community to remember their heritage and traditions.

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