‘Sowing good will, reaping understanding’
Nagas in Manipur celebrate seed sowing festival Lui-Ngai-Ni
SENAPATI, February 15
Celebrating the unique cultural façade by the Nagas of Manipur, Lui-Ngai-Ni carnival was organized at Senapati Public Ground on Sunday hosted by Naga People Organization (NPO), Senapati. The event was organised by the United Naga Council (UNC). Traditionally, it is to invoke the blessing of God on the seed crops by showing devotion through folk dances, songs and rituals and to reawaken their past glorious and values for their years to come. Since the ‘seed sowing festival’ is collective to all the Naga tribes and celebrated simultaneously during the onset of spring, the Naga tribes christened “Lui-Ngai-Ni” in 1987.
For Lui-Ngai-Ni 2015, NPF legislator L Dikho was the chief host. With chief guest Kiyanilie Peseyie, Minister of Social Security and Welfare, Government of Nagaland, guest of honour ST. Nunghlung Victor (NPF legislator), special invitees L.B. Sona, Chairman, Zomi Council, Dr. John Pulamte, president, Hmar Inpui, P. Chuba Ozukum, president Naga Hoho, Tongpang Ozukum, president NSF, speaker of UNC, ATSUM officials, women organisations, village headmen and other dignitaries solemnized the auspicious event. The carnival was adorned with folk songs, cultural dances from various Naga tribes.
In his presidential address, Gaidon Kamei, president of UNC, asserted that “the socio-cultural and ethno-political unity and solidarity inspires us common future. So, in spite of the absence of completely same culture, dialect, belief system exist among the Naga tribes, we have immense commonality in those aspects.” He urged “the Naga community to work for unbending unity in true spirit of our cherished and common political aspiration and hope, which will keep stirring our aspiration”. He cautioned the Naga people to be aware of “our adversaries who spew out venom of separatism, groupism, self-interest against the oneness of the Naga family”. The UNC chief then appealed, “Let us stand firm lest our adversaries get their upper hand over us”. “Perhaps as we are in midnight’s watch at this juncture, waiting for the dawn for which we have been looking forward to,” Gaidon added. He also shared with the people the hope for ‘early solution to the Naga political problem in time bound manner with political will under the new political dispensation in Delhi under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’.
Thanking for inviting the carnival, Kiyanilie Peseyie said that the leaders sow the best seed and reap the harvest in abundance with the blessing of Almighty from the people of peace and unity. He urged “the Nagas to join their hands and look forward for future by building peace, unity and prosperity in the motherland and by forgetting the bad stories of the past”. He reminded the leaders of Nagas of Manipur that the outside people cannot bring change but only by themselves can bring the change through hard work, which always have a reward in manifold.
Delivering a solidarity message LB. Sona, president, Zomi Council, conveyed regards from all the Zomi tribes who are scattered all over the North Eastern states and he petitioned that ‘the seed of unity, prosperity and brotherhood’ must be sowed among the Naga tribes. He manifested his appreciation to UNC for maintaining the society in harmony and unity and added that the UNC continues to work for the society.
In the words of the Speaker of Naga Hoho “silver or gold I have none, but what I have is many brothers and sisters living together in this beautiful land. We are one, I’m proud of you. Our traditions, culture, rich attires, food habits, dances, folktales, music are all same and interwoven.” He claimed that the festival theme “Sowing good will, reaping understanding” is the most relevant theme in the present context.