Aadi Natay Samagam (National Tribal Festival) organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama, in collaboration with Natural and Cultural Heritage Conservation Initiative (NCHCI), Ukhrul, began Thursday at the TNL Ground, Ukhrul.
SDO Ukhrul, Charchit Gaur attended the opening ceremony as chief guest. Additional deputy commissioner of Ukhrul, D Gangmei and SDO of Jessami, KF Gangmei were the guests of honour at the function.
The opening ceremony began with a traditional “Hokharai” from Hunphun Khanuithot Cultural Research Forum.
Charchit Gaur in his speech stated “This kind of festivals provide a platform to interact and know the culture of other tribal communities who are residing in other parts of India. This event will inspire the young generation to see, to look and to know their own past and their own culture.”
President of Tangkhul Naga Long, Hopingson A Shimray in his welcome address extended warm greetings to the various tribal troupes coming from different parts of India. He said “The land of Tangkhul is known for their festivals with the number of festivals that is celebrated every year. We have this Luira Phanit, the seed sowing festival, the first festival of the year. Thereafter, we have Yarra Phanit, followed by many more such festivals. He urged the attendees from other tribal communities to visit and explore the beautiful places of Tangkhul and wished them a happy stay”.
Consultant (Drama) of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Delhi, Vijay Singh informed this correspondent that the event is being organised in a “dry tribal area” like Ukhrul where there is very little cultural exposition. He stated that Ukhrul is a safe place and the apprehension that there is a “security threat” is totally wrong and misinformation. “I came here for the first time, and I felt no fear while going for walk at night,” he added.
President of NCHCI, Tuisem Ngakang informed that the celebration of this festival is the first and it is a premier tribal festival in Ukhrul.
The vision of this festival is to safeguard, nurture and promote tribal culture, he said, adding through this festival, we want and wish to call for reaffirming the tribal identity and tribal solidarity.
The opening ceremony witnessed Odisha Troupe performing “Ghudka”, a noteworthy tribal dance of Western Odisha. The dance depicts about the daily life of the tribal community called Sabar Janjati, who have no expectation about earning much but believe in simple living.
Zou Cultural Troupe from Churachandpur also performed folk songs about unity in diversity. The folk song conveyed that “though we are scattered and categorised in the name of different communities, we all are children of the same parents. We all came from a place called Khul”.
Seminar on “Tribal Performing Arts: Perspective and Possibilities” was held at UDCRMS Conference Hall, Viewland, Ukhrul. Dr. Annapurna Garimella, Bangalore and Guru Reuben Mashangva, Manipur were the speakers of the seminar and AC Kharingpam, chaired the session. Shanthing Shaiza and Ngakuimi Kamkara were the host of the day.