SEAMEO CHAT organized a programme on Study of Mon Society and Culture. This program has a purpose to give an understanding of history and tradition of SEAMEO Member Countries from national perspectives and provide the basis for scholarly dialogue within the region.
It is a type of lectures with field trip programme: two-day lectures in SEAMEO CHAT Office, Yangon and five-day field trip to Mon State. There are six lectures given by learned scholars, namely,
- Origin and religion of Mon,
- Customs and Traditions of Mon,
- Other Old Cities of Mon,
- Art and Culture of Mon,
- Present Mon State and Orientation of Field Trip.
The Field trip cover the area where the Mon civilization occurred and prospered. During the field trip, the trainees have experiences of witnessing the remains of old Mon cities, local culture and tradition of the present day Mon state.
In the field trip area, there are significant old Mon settlements namely, Winka, Zok Thok, Thahton (presumably regarded as Thuwanabumi). The trainees also get the chance to study Bayinnyinaung Cave, Kaw Gun Cave and Yathae Pyan Cave where the Buddhist Art and Architecture can still be studied. Visit to Mawlamyaing, the present day capital of the Mon state gives chance to the participants firsthand experiences of the current socio-economic and cultural situations. Another significant chance for the participants in field trip is studying along the mountain ranges of Mottama Hill on which there are still remains of old wall and some part of old Mottama town, famous for the maritime trade of Southeast Asian in 16th and 17th century. After the programme, one participants expressed, “This programme is beyond our expectations”. Participants were delighted with the programme and field trip.