Ahom Community In Diphu Celebrates 'Me-dam-me-phi' - Eastern Mirror
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Ahom community in Diphu celebrates ‘Me-dam-me-phi’

By Vivian Longki Rongpi Updated: Jan 31, 2024 9:40 pm

DIPHU — The 37th ‘Me-dam-me-phi’ festival, performed in memory of the departed, was celebrated by the Ahom or Tai-Ahom community residing in Diphu town at Syu-Ka-Pha Bhawan of Tai Ahom Cultural Society (TACS), Dharamnala, Karbi Anglong on Wednesday.

It is a communal festival for ancestor worship in memory of the departed, which the Assam government has declared a holiday.

On the eve of ‘Me-dam-me-phi’ day, on January 30, Nan Chao Prabhat Hatibaruah and three other priests conducted the Fura-lung puja, an invocation to the gods. On Wednesday, the priests performed ‘Banphi puja,’ which involves chanting mantras in Ahom language and offering fruits and homemade edible items.

These offerings were placed on banana leaves on a raised platform dedicated to the gods or ancestors. The offerings were dedicated to nine gods or ancestors, namely Khao-kham, Aai-leng-din, Jaan Sai Hing, Leng Don, Sit-Lam-Sam, Moot-Kum-Tai-Kum, Jasing-Pha, Dam Raa Khin, and Baa-Khin.

Various edible items, such as eggs, rice, raw bananas, and pitha made from rice flour, were offered during the puja while men, women, youths, and children, dressed in their Ahom traditional attires, sought blessings from their ancestors.

Putul Chetia, president of TACS, Karbi Anglong, explained that the word ‘me’ means offerings, ‘dam’ means ancestors, and ‘phi’ means gods, and that the festival involves making offerings to the ancestor spirits.

The Ahom belief holds that the departed soul lingers as an ancestor (dam) for a few days after death and then transcends the earthly plane to become a god (phi). Once united with the supreme being, it becomes immortal and a spiritual being that consistently bestows blessings upon its earthly family, Chutia explained.

By Vivian Longki Rongpi Updated: Jan 31, 2024 9:40:18 pm
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