AKRON, Ohio - Asian Services in Action (ASIA) wishes the Ka’Ren community of Akron a happy Ka’Ren New Year. The Ka’Ren Community of Akron will host a holiday celebration on Saturday, January 6th to commemorate the 2,763rd anniversary of the Ka’Ren people’s historic migration from Mongolia to Myanmar. The event will take place at the Akron Summit County Public Library to immerse attendees in Ka’Ren culture and history. 

The Ka’Ren are an ethnic group from Burma whose origins are in Mongolia and Tibet. After British colonization and the Second World War, the Burmese government increasingly denied the Ka’Ren people rights as ethnic divides deepened, including forbidding them from learning, reading, and writing their native language and confiscating their land. The government later subjected the Ka’Ren people to violent ethnic cleansing, which caused the Ka’Ren to flee to refugee camps, mainly in Thailand.  

Ka’Ren refugees began settling in the United States in the nineties and early 2000s, including in Akron, Ohio. According to Ka’Ren Community of Akron chairman Ajino Wah, there are approximately 1,500 Ka’Ren residents living in the city, particularly in the North Hill neighborhood. They are among the many refugee groups who have settled in Akron, of which there are at least ten including Bhutanese-Nepali, Afghan, Congolese, and Hmong. They annually host cultural celebrations for Ka’Ren New Year, Ka’Ren Martyrs’ Day, and the Wrist Tying Ceremony. 

“Ka’Ren New Year celebration is an auspicious day for many Ka'Ren people in Akron and as well as many other Ka'Ren people from all over the world,” said Hsa Win, the Culture Coordinator of the Ka’ren Community of Akron. “This celebration is very special to me and my community. During this celebration, I get the opportunity to share with others about the Ka'Ren history, culture, and values. For those attending this celebration, especially the younger Ka'Ren generation. I want them [to] take this opportunity to learn more [about] their history and the struggles of the Ka'Ren people. And most importantly, not to forget to speak their language and embrace their cultural identity.” 

The Ka’Ren Community of Akron’s new year celebration will take place from 1-3PM on Saturday, January 6th at the Akron Summit County Public Library, located in 60 S High Street, Akron, OH 44326. Attendees will learn about Ka’Ren history, watch cultural art performances, and sample traditional food. The event is free to attend. Learn more about the event on their Facebook page 


ASIA is the largest health and human services agency that serves, supports, and advocates for the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) community of Northeast Ohio. ASIA focuses on providing linguistically and culturally centered services for immigrants and refugees.   



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