Luther College students from Myanmar share fears related to the military coup
DECORAH, Iowa - Four Luther College students who call Myanmar "home" are speaking out to help people understand what is happening in their country. This month, the military of Myanmar seized control of the country after a short and popular democratic experiment that began in 2011. The military has now regained full control and has shut off internet communications and flights, making it difficult for Nora Nyi Myint, Min San Thu (Eric San), Thawdar Zin and Myo Kaung to reach their family. Now, these four students are sharing their stories and the current fears they have for their country.
Sponsored by Luther’s Center for Ethics and Public Engagement, the "Tell Me about Myanmar" panel discussion will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10. A link will be available under the event listing at luther.edu/events. Dr. Orçun Selçuk from the Political Science Department will moderate the discussion.
"The coup is taking our hard-fought freedom away from us, the Myanmar people," said Min San Thu (Eric San). "In the panel, I will be elaborating about how the military tried to silence the people in these recent days, and how the people of Myanmar combated against this tyranny creatively and strategically."
Prior to 2011, Thawdar Zin and his family fled their village and sought refuge in a dense forest for nearly five years of military rule. He says after 2011, his country got the chance to reunite and rebuild.
"People were basically starting to come out of the dark and we started to see the consequences of years of the system imposed by the military and started to see the military's political manipulation that caused many socio-political issues," said Zin. "The military coup has taken away the little hope that we have for the peace of the county."
Nora Nyi Myint says it is the dire state of her country that has inspired her to double major in International Studies and Women and Gender Studies at Luther.
"I want to understand international law and human rights with the hope that I can become a diplomat one day who can represent Myanmar properly for its rich history and culture," said Nyi Myint. "I am disheartened but am still burning to help bring the positive changes as needed."
Luther College is home to more than 1,800 undergraduates who explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our 60+ academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.
Last Stop on Market Street BookWalk
The Decorah Public Library, the Decorah Community School District, and the Decorah Parks and
Recreation Department are hosting a BookWalk Friday, February 12 thru Sunday, February 21. A BookWalk is a fun way to read while enjoying the outdoors.
This month’s story is Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt De La Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. Pages of the book will be posted beginning at Bowstring Bridge off of Highway 9 and traveling northeast along the
Freeport Trail towards the Dog Park.
The BookWalk is free, open to the public, and does not require registration. The story is available in both English and Spanish.
Meet and Greet with Greg Swanson: City of Decorah's Building/Zoning official
The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce together with Spahn & Rose Lumber Co. invites you to a Meet & Greet Event with the City of Decorah's Building / Zoning Official Greg Swanson. Swanson started with Decorah on December 1st in the new city position. This event will be in-person at the Decorah Fairgrounds Danan Lansing Building on Thursday, February 25th at 4pm. Swanson will give a short presentation, followed by time for questions and discussion. The event is free. No registration is required.
Greg Swanson is originally from Faribault, Minnesota. He holds a degree in Architecture from Dakota County Technical College and has 24 years of experience in residential/commercial design and plan review. He was owner/operator for Greg C Swanson Construction for ten years and a building inspector for Rice County, Minnesota and Bridgewater Township for 4 years. As the Building / Zoning Official, Swanson is tasked with regulating and enforcing building codes and ordinances within Decorah city limits to ensure safe and effective construction in homes, offices, and public buildings.
Attendees are asked to wear masks and social distance.