Khasi fest Seng Kut Snem celebrated in Meghalaya
Shillong, Nov. 23 (IANS): Thousands of indigenous Khasi and Pnar youths, elderly men and women attired in traditional dress took to the streets in this mountainous state capital of Meghalaya
proclaiming the dignity and solemnity of the indigenous Khasi faith and culture on occasion of the annual Seng Kut Snem on Friday. The procession projected the diverse and rich Khasi tradition through folk music and tableaux depicting various facets of the simple yet rich and colorful indigenous life-style. ‘
The procession which started from Madan Iewrynghep and culminated at the Weiking Ground, where traditional dances were held and special prayers were offered.
The annual Seng Kut Snem festival is celebrated to commemorate the Seng Khasi Movement to preserve, protect and uphold indigenous Khasi religion and culture.
This year the festivities marked the 119th anniversary of the Seng Khasi Movement.
It was on August 23, 1899 that 16 brave and nationalist Khasi youths formed the Seng Khasi to protect their indigenous religion, rich culture and unique language in the face of British onslaught. Since then, the movement has gained momentum imbibing a sense of pride in the Khasi youths in their rich heritage which is unique in the world. “On April 4,1829, U Tirot Sing Syiem, the king of Nongkhlaw took on the might of the aliens by leading an attack on the British Garrison at Nongkhlaw and inflicting major casualties’’, said Sumar Sing Sawain, an elderly member of theASengAKhasi. This marked the beginning of a bitter four-year long conflict between the uncompromising Khasi soldiers under the leadership of Tirot Sing and the British culminating in Tirot Sing’s martyrdom at Dacca.
“The second uprising in Ri Hynniewtrep (Khasi nation) began from December 28, 1861 under the leadership of the legendary U Kiang Nongbah of the Jaintia Hills who waged a war with the British after the aliens desecrated an indigenous Khasi religious ceremony at Ialong. The third historical movement of the people of Ri Hynniewtrep against suppression of their age-old faith and culture begun from April 23, 1899 through the organisation of the Seng Khasi which is the torch-bearer of the Khasi religion -’Niamtre’ and the traditional culture.