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Lothas celebrate post-harvest Tokhu Emong festival across the state

By EM Bureau Updated: Nov 08, 2017 2:34 am
Lotha women performing a traditional rice pounding song during Tokhu Emong celebrations in Diphupar on Nov. 7

EM Bureau
Dimapur, Nov. 07 (EMN): Tokhu Emong, the post harvest festival of the Lotha Nagas which is also the premier festival of the tribe was celebrated across the state especially in Wokha, the district inhabited by the Lothas.
The festival is a two day event that started on Nov. 6 in many parts of the state with the main event being celebrated on Nov. 7. The celebrations across the state were marked by traditional dances, ethnic games and various other cultural programmes.
In Wokha town it was celebrated in the local ground where the MP(Lok Sabha) Neiphiu Rio graced the festival as the Chief Guest.

Lotha men and women performing a traditional dance during Tokhu Emong celebrations in Wokha town on Nov. 7

Addressing at the programme Rio said “it is a significant day because it is a day to celebrate the post harvest of our hard labour” and wished that through the festival, may peace, tranquillity and bountiful blessings be bestowed upon the Lotha community.
Rio also challenged the people to work tirelessly towards documenting their history and culture, ethnic cuisine, motifs, traditional apparel, songs, dances, artefacts etc so that our culture may be kept alive particularly in this age of modernisation and westernisation wherein the youngsters get confused between the two.

Lotha men engaged in a warrior’s dance during Tokhu Emong celebrations in Wozhuro town on Nov. 7

Earlier, the Chairman of Lotha Hoho, Mhao Humtsoe submitted a representation for declaration of Bokajan-Wokha-Golaghat road as a National Highway for which the MP assured to take up the matter with the State Government and the Government of India. He recalled that during his term as Chief Minister, the Government came out with the Nagaland State Road Map and also proposed the Foothill Road from Dimapur to Tizit crossing 5 districts. He stated that the area was a rich area, a rice bowl, economic belt having rich mineral resources and development of such areas would significantly boost the lives of the people through economic empowerment.

In addition to the road, a railway line was also pursued for which the Railway Ministry included the project in the Yellow Book but the project could not take off. He further highlighted the advantages of having settlements in plain areas and foothills which are more easily accessible with more facilities especially water compared to the hilly areas and encouraged the people to consider the suggestion.

He also expressed his delight on being called a “friend” by the Lotha Hoho and replied, “I treasure our friendship, our relationship and my coming here today is a blessing more for me because it has been a long time since I came here. I carry back home the respect and the love you have shown me. Together we will continue to work for the people and the State,” and extended
Hokiye Yeptho, President of Central Nagaland tribal Council who was the Guest of Honour said that while celebrating the premier festival of the Lothas, the Tokhu Emong, “let us renew and rededicate our commitment towards our land and our people once again”.
The Lotha Nagas has emerged as one of the most advanced tribe amongst the Nagas with many officers, intellectuals and upcoming leaders from various fields but reminded all to love back the land so as to serve the people truly.
He gave the call to rekindle the bond of brotherhood and oneness, that Nagas will be truly blessed in every sphere.
On behalf of the CNTC, he reminded that the council is with the Lothas always and together shall overcome anything that comes in the way.
In Wozhuro, the two day event was organised by the Wozhuro Range Public Organisation at the Wozhuro Stadium.
The Tuesdays programme was graced by the Tokhu Eramo (roughly translated as ‘festival elder’) Tsenthungo Khuvung by seeking blessings and offering thanksgiving.
He wished that the people would come together with the spirit of forgiveness and beseeched for good health and wealth of his people.
In the programme another elder, Liphamo Ovung explained the significance and rituals performed during the festival.
A book on career guidance was launched by A. Wopen Lotha Commissioner and Secretary to the Govt. of Nagaland. While speaking at the occasion, he encouraged the student community take the help of the book to be confident and strive forward in their careers.
As a first for the Wozhuro area to celebrate Tokhu Emong in such a scale, the day’s programme witnessed attendance in large numbers.
(Inputs from DIPR)

By EM Bureau Updated: Nov 08, 2017 2:34:31 am