Mopungchuket celebrates culture with a carnival
When ‘Nagamese’ usurps indigenous language wealth
Mopungchuket, Dec. 28: The loss and the decline of indigenous dialects, one of the most important means of
cultural reaffirmation, is being felt and seen with the growing dominance of foreign and crude dialects such as the ‘Nagamese.’
Citizens in a village in Mokokchung district were reminded during an event celebrating indigenous cultural wealth that the loss of language was a visible manifestation of the loss of the community’s indigenous culture.
People from different walks of life gathered at Mopungchuket village, under Mokokchung district, on Wednesday to witness a culture carnival which commenced as part of the quadrennial Süngkotenem Festival of Mopungchuket.
The festival was organised by the Mopungchuket Ait Laisher Telungjem (MALT). The event saw hundreds of people and cultural troupes dressed in full traditional attires taking part in a chain of cultural rituals from Pongen Lenden to a public reception at Yimkong Moapu.
Parliamentary Secretary for Geology and Mining Dr. Imtiwapang Aier was the chief guest of the festivities.
In his address during the formal segment of the event, Dr. Imtiwapang Aier asserted that one of the major threats to the society was the decline of language. The chief guest was referring to the Sangpur dialect, a dialect once spoken by the Ao tribes besides Chungli, Mongsen and Changki but now assimilated by other dialects. He implied that its identity was lost forever.
Further, Dr. Aier stated that today, the crude medium of communication, “Nagamese” was dominating the language of the younger generation. ‘Our language will slowly be assimilated by other foreign dialects / language if we are not careful. Once our dialect / language loses its place, remember we are losing everything including identity, culture etc,’ he warned the community.
Stressing on the importance of culture, tradition and custom s which he said were the root of a people’s life, the parliamentary secretary also said that migration and modernisation had ‘opened our eyes.’ It improved upon knowledge and made our world a global village, he said.
However, the legislator lamented that the influence of other cultures was dominating indigenous cultures, making it more vulnerable and, in the process, endangering local cultures. ‘Migration led to inter-mixing of our culture with others’ and leading to cultural dilution,’ he said.
In this connection, Dr. Imtiwapang Aier asserted, “Change is inevitable in all humans’ institution with the human advancement, but whatever it may be, the western and modern cultures should not be allowed to dilute or overshadow our rich culture.”
The parliamentary secretary also encourage the MALT to organise in the future more such innovative programmes as the carnival with an objective to training up the young generation ‘for a brighter future with special emphasis on preserving culture.’ Knowledge should be an asset and should be disseminated to bring transformation toward a ‘newer Nagaland,’ he said.
Besides the enchanting cultural presentations and various competitions among the MALT units specials cultural items were also presented by special guests from Longmisa Kaketshir Senden Reju, Chuchuyimpang Kaketshir Telongjem, Monngsenyimti Kaketshir Telongjem.