50th Karbi Youth Festival begins in Diphu
DIPHU — The Karbi Youth Festival (KYF), organised by the Karbi Cultural Society, began its golden jubilee celebrations on Saturday at the Karbi People’s Hall (KPH), Taralangso, in Karbi Anglong. It is the oldest and largest ethnic festival in Northeast India, celebrated by the youth of the Karbi tribe.
The festival will last eight days, from January 12 to January 19, with the organiser extending the celebration from five to eight days for this edition. The visit of the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, on January 17 will be one of the festival’s main attractions this year.
The annual festival brings together thousands of Karbi youths and enthusiasts from all over the country to celebrate the tribe’s rich culture and tradition. The first KYF was celebrated in 1974 at Karbi Club, Rongnihang, Diphu, by the initiative of people like Roy Inghi, Janasing Terang, Lunse Timung, Lawrence Teron, and others.
The inaugural programme began with a cultural procession from Karbi Club, where the first KYF was held, to Taralangso, which is approximately seven kilometres away. Cultural groups from various KCS units were seen dancing and singing to the beats of the drums during the procession.
More than 3000 troupes from 35 KCS zones, both within and outside the district, marched in the procession. Former members of the Karbi Club and Rongnihang villagers led the procession.
Other participants included KCS president Chandrasing Kro and secretary Bidyasing Rongpi, as well as former members Tuliram Ronghang, Chief Executive Member of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC), Longsing Ronghang, Karbi traditional king, and Horensing Bey, MP of the 3 Autonomous District Parliamentary Constituency.
The cultural procession reached Taralangso, where the formal inauguration took place and the KCS flag was unfurled by Kro, with 3000 cultural troupes on the front holding the Jambili Athon -Karbi totem pole, beating Karbi traditional drums, playing flute, and youths dancing to the rhythm of the drums.
On the occasion, Kro stated that people should recognise the contributions of Roy Inghi and Lunse Timung, who later became the founding general secretary and president of KCS; Janasing Terang, the founding president of Karbi Club; and its member Lawrence Teron in revitalising Karbi culture, language, dress, and traditions by organising KYF to bring together Karbi youths.
“Because of them, the KYF has now reached its 50th year,” he said, adding that KCS will continue to work for the development and promotion of Karbi culture, language and tradition. He urged the Karbi tribe to come together, burying political differences, in the interest of the community.
In his speech, CEM Ronghang stated that if people work together, they can achieve their goal of establishing an autonomous state under Article 244(A) of the Indian Constitution. He also released a 50th KYF souvenir called ‘Jutang Amanim’.
KCS presented the Cultures of Resistance Award, in collaboration with the USA-based NGO ‘Cultures of Resistance,’ to KCS founding president Lunse Timung, founding general secretary Roy Inghi, and renowned Karbi female singer Pokhila Lekthepi on the occasion. Inghi and Timung each received a memento and a cheque for INR 20,000, while Lekthepi received a memento and a cheque for INR 25,000.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Deputy Ambassador of Myanmar, Tin Tin Htwe Win and husband Soe Moe Naing; Deputy Ambassador of Lao PDR, Keo Sengdavong and wife Khampheng Luanglath; First Secretary, High Commission of Malawi, Joseph Austen Kawinga; First Secretary, High Commission of Ghana, Konrad Nana Kojo Asiedu; and Executive Secretary to the High Commissioner of Ghana, Jaee Bhatnagar.
Dr. Numal Momin, Deputy Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, as well as Dimoria Karbi traditional king Holising Ronghang, and Ronghang Rongbong Karbi traditional king Longsing Ronghang, attended the inaugural ceremony.