Burma image, WA0373. Christmas dinner at Sinlum. Self included.
One of the most famous of Christmas gatherings to be held at Sinlum Kaba in the Kachin Hills occurred to celebrate the armistice after World War One. Like the gathering shown in this photograph, these kind of government sponsored events provided an opportunity for local officials to meet with a wide variety of people who would travel in from the surrounding hills, to listen to views and also to promote government policy. The armistice Christmas gathering was described by Major Enriquez, who commanded Kachin troops in Mesopotamia during World War One in the following way: The armistice was celebrated on Christmas Day by a Padang Manau, or Victory Dance, to attend which at least fifteen hundred Kachins poured into Sinlum. All through Christmas Eve columns of villagers, dressed in their most splendid attire, filed along the hill roads leading from various districts into Sinlum. Volleys of gunfire announced their approach, and all Sinlum turned out with guns, gongs and flags to receive them and if you will light it all up with pale winter sunshine and paint above a faultless sky, you will understand how ideal was the setting for this great Kachin manau [A Burmese Arcady, C. M. Enriquez, London, 1923, pp.120-121]