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Our readers write from Omaha South Magnet High School
(Editor's note: ESL teacher Mary Sasek sent in this story.)

The Karen people
by Thar

First of all, who are the Karen People? Well, Karen people are an ethnic group in Burma. They have lived in Burma for centuries. In this article I will talk about the Karen people's language, holidays, and their flag.

The Karen people have two major languages. They are called the SGAW Karen language and the Poe Karen language. Most of the Karen fonts are like the circles. It is similar to the Burmese fonts. Some of the Karen fonts are hard to say if you aren't born into a Karen family. In speaking, the Karen people use full tones. Some of the words can be hard and some can be so soft. You will probably hear how they speak if you go to their big holiday events.

The Karen people have big holidays. The three biggest holidays are the threat tying, memorial day and the Karen New Year. If you go to the Karen New Year you will probably see the Karen Don dance, and the Karen Bamboo dance. These dances have been passed down to many generations for many years. They also have competitions for the dances.

On every Karen holidays you will see the Karen flag. On the flag there is a drum and the nine rays of light. The colors are red, white and blue. The drum means we have to remember our ancestors. The sun means we have to work hard, get a better life and never be behind. The nine rays of light streaming from the rising sun indicate the nine regions from which the Karen people trace their origins. The color red on Karen flag means to speak of heroism and perseverance. The white color means purity and clarity and the blue mean honesty and peace.

The Karen people might be unknown today but they're a pretty big nation. The Karen people live in Burma and around the world.