The home of the Karen in Yangon
Welcome to the Karen community
The quiet and leafy neighbourhood of Ahlone is home to a large Karen (Kayin) population. The Karens are the second largest ethnic minority in Myanmar after the Shan. The Karen Baptist Compound, close to the train station, is home to two of the many Karen groups the Skaw and the Pwo. “This is the home of the Karen community in Yangon, the churches, schools and chapels are a living testimony to the spirit of the Baptist missionaries” says pastor U Ye Lwin Htoo.
A modest tribe
The Karens are known across the country for their modesty, it is believed their name derives from the Burmese words for shyness and politeness. ‘Htaw Meh Pa’ is the mythical founder of the Karen. One day he went out and killed a big boar, out of the tusk he made a comb which possessed magical powers. Every time he combed his hair, he became a few years younger. Staying forever young he had hundreds of children who became the Karens.