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Ningol Chakkouba : festival of Manipur celebrated across the state

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 21, 2017 10:42 pm

Our Correspondent
Imphal, Oct. 21 (EMN): Amidst the seasonal drizzling, Ningol Chakkouba—a festival of Manipur during which married sisters and daughters are invited to grand feasts was celebrated across the state with gaiety here today.
Ningol means both married and unmarried daughters and Chakkouba means an invitation for a traditional lunch at the parents or brothers’ house. Thus the festival is a special day for married women from the Manipuri society.
From early morning, married sisters and daughters have been visiting their mothers’ places wearing their finest and bringing the best fruits and sweets of the season for their families.
In return, they were also presented gifts by their parents and brothers while the married sisters blessed their brothers for a long prosperous life. It was followed grand feasts that had various courses reflective of the local cuisine in the forms of fish curry.
As most of the families celebrated the festival, important roads leading to the state’s capital wore a deserted look during the festival on Saturday.
The festival is celebrated every year on the second day of the lunar month of Hiyanggei (October-November). In short, this festival is celebrated to renew and strengthen family bonds.
History says the festival is said to have its origin in around 4th century when Queen Laisana began the trend of inviting her brother Poireiton to home for a feast. Initially, the festival was called as Piba (meaning son) Chakkouba, but later it eventually became Ningol Chakkouba.
Over the years, local civil society organisations had also initiated Ningol Chakkouba of all communities wherein daughters of families belonging to different communities but married to Meitei community were invited for grant feasts besides giving presentations.
Meanwhile state Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced a new scheme ‘CMgi Laiyeng Shen’ (Chief Minister’s medical assistance) under the Minorities, other backward classes(MOBC) department as a gift of the festival to the widows belonging to the under privileged sections.
Under this new scheme each widow belonging to the MOBC and Schedule Castes (SC) will receive an amount up to Rs 15,000 as reimbursement towards medical expenses every year.
“This (new scheme) is a small gift from the new government to the beloved sisters and mothers on the occasion of first Ningol Chakouba after the formation of new government,” Biren said the eve of the festival. “The government has also initiated the process for a health insurance scheme for all the widows belonging to MOBC and SCs.”

By Our Correspondent Updated: Oct 21, 2017 10:42:27 pm