Value your cultural identity, Prahlad Singh Patel tells Naga youths
Kohima, Dec. 4 (EMN): Union minister of state for Tourism and Art and Culture (Independent Charge) Prahlad Singh Patel on Wednesday assured to put all “possible” effort to uplift the tradition and culture of the Nagas.
Attending the fourth day of the ongoing Hornbill Festival at the Naga Heritage Village, in Kisama, on December 4, the minister assured that the Indian government would do ‘whatever possible for the betterment’ of the Naga cultural identity.
Patel, who assumed office in May earlier this year, asked the people to uphold and take care of their cultural identity and traditions. Stating that hornbill is a beautiful bird in whose honour the people of Nagaland celebrate the festival, he believed Nagas were as “beautiful and intelligent like the hornbill”.
According to the minister, festivals are a part of cultural identity, which gives happiness. He, however, lamented that with the changing times, people cannot differentiate between happiness and celebration. He requested the young generation to value the importance of one’s cultural identity and traditions.
The special guest of the day also shared that he was born to a farmer’s family and had grown up in a village. Stating he understood the importance of cultural identity and traditional heritage because of his background, he asked the Naga youth to do the same.
Chairman of GEM hospital, C Palanivelu, who graced the occasion as an honoured guest, said that he had enjoyed the respect showered to him by the Nagas, and in turn, paid sincere respect to the people. He said that he had travelled all over Asia, yet for the first time, he witnessed the unity of the Nagas irrespective of religious differences.
On the fourth day, a traditional dance of victory, lullaby songs and enactment of babysitting, traditional games etc. by different cultural troupes took centre stage, at the main arena in Kisama.
The cultural show opened with Phetho Lizo (fold dance) by the Chakhesang cultural troupe. Performed during festive occasions, it is also a war dance signifying victory. Chang cultural troupe presented Langa-Pu or calling for rain, an act performed in times of drought.
An indigenous game called Gogpripa or Chagripa was presented by the Garo cultural troupe. It is a form of traditional wrestling between two men. Ao cultural troupe performed Aar Tsüngsang or war dance that is an enactment of the actual battle that took place between head hunters in the olden days.
The Khiamniungan cultural troupe performed Thamthao (pounding of rice). This is done using a wooden pole, which is pounded on a hole made on a big log. Angami cultural tribe presented Nuopie Pfhe, a melodious song sung by humming to charm a baby to sleep. Women of the Konyak cultural troupe performed another lullaby folk-drama.
Folk dance and song called Monyu Asho, was presented by the Phom cultural troupe. Monyu is the premier festival of Phoms celebrated to express gratitude to the Almighty for the successful sowing and invocation of a bountiful harvest. The Lotha cultural troupe also performed a folk dance and song with reference to Indo-Japan war (during the Second World War).
In the afternoon session, Yimchungrü cultural troupe opened the session with a folk dance of Langa Ching while the Rengma cultural troupe performed Tefü kesü or cotton spinning, wherein cotton is collected and dried in the sun whilst the seeds are carefully separate from the fibre.
Kachari cultural troupe performed Chotrolee, a folk dance performed during Bathou puja or Kherai puja by the Mech Kacharis.
The method of processing salt was demonstrated by Sangtam cultural troupe while Sumi cultural troupe performed a war dance called Aphilo Kuwo. The Kuki cultural troupe performed a folk dance called Lom-Lam. The Zeliang cultural troupe presented Tingkong Rezai and the Pochury cultural troupe performed a folk dance called La La Küjo.
According to an update from the Tourism department, the number of visitors on day four was 14, 281 — 10, 295 local, 3494 domestic and 492 foreigners.