Book On Naga Cultural Heritage Released In Kohima - Eastern Mirror
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Book on Naga cultural heritage released in Kohima

By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 06, 2023 10:39 pm
Book on Naga cultural heritage released in Kohima Ivo
Invitees along with contributors, editors, and the publisher during the launch of the book at Rivenburgs Memorial Hall, Baptist College, Kohima, on Wednesday (EM images)

KOHIMA — Rev. Dr. Rachülie Vihienuo, executive director of the Angami Baptist Church, Kohima, released a book titled ‘Discourses on Cultural Heritage in Contemporary Nagaland,’ edited by Dr. Sentinaro, Seyiesilie Vüprü, Süvilü Venuh, and Asola C Jamir, at Rivenburgs Memorial Hall, Baptist College, Kohima, on Wednesday.

Explaining how the book came to be, one of the book’s editors, Sentinaro, stated that one of the core objectives of Baptist College is to preserve, promote, learn about, and respect the rich cultural heritage of people far and near, as stated in the college’s constitution.

With this in mind, the Culture Study Centre was founded in 2003 with the view of studying culture and exploring the processes of cultural change, both in Nagaland and globally. According to her, the centre’s aim is to impart value education to youth, collect data and document traditional culture, and organise seminars, workshops, and other cultural activities.

In this regard, the Baptist College, in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Guwahati, organised a national seminar on the theme ‘Kelhou Zho-Cultural heritage among Naga tribes: Balancing tradition and modernity’ from September 24–25, 2019.

She revealed that the book is an outcome of the seminar, published with the purpose of providing a platform for fruitful exchange and better understanding of cultural diversities and exploring ways of preventing conflict issues.

“It is expected that best practices can be shared and disseminated to enable the preservation and promotion of Naga cultural heritage,” she said, mentioning that there were 36 original contributors, but only 19 were chosen, and their works were published in the book.

Publisher of the PenThrill Publication House, Vishü Rita Krocha, expressed happiness to have collaborated with Baptist College in the house’s collective endeavour towards preserving the stories of the rich culture, history, and tradition of the Nagas.

She noted that the book is the 77th publication of PenThrill and expressed hope that the book will be the first of many such publications, which will be truly instrumental in helping Naga society realise and understand its own traditions better.

In his address, Vihienuo stated that traditions, values, culture, social institutions, customary laws and practices, art, folklore, folksongs, festivals, traditional marriage practices, oral tradition, and so on are elements that make up any community’s cultural behaviour, identity, and outlook, and Nagas are who they are because of these elements. 

For previous generations, these elements were inherently part of their lives, so their manifestations in sociopolitical and religious life were more natural and pronounced. However, with the advent of modernisation, these elements have become less pronounced in Naga life, which he regarded as a grave concern.

He believes that the book is attempting to address such challenges by attempting to help its readers put things into perspective and maintain a balance between tradition and modernity, particularly in the Naga context.

He expressed confidence that the book will help to open the eyes and minds of the young and enable them to grow in their appreciation of their own cultural heritage (from the past), learn to sieve through the ‘good, the bad, and the ugly’ of what they have inherited (for the present), re-assert their cultural identity, and incorporate ‘the best of both worlds’ in the present, so that they become a more original people in a world where ‘counterfeit’ is flourishing.

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By Reyivolü Rhakho Updated: Sep 06, 2023 10:39:58 pm
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