Kabui community exhorted to preserve culture, traditions

IMPHAL, 19th Jan: Kicking off the five-day long celebration of Gaan-Ngai, the grandest festival of the Kabui community; forest and environment minister Th Shyamkumar said that like every festival of the ethnic people the essence of celebrating Gaan-Ngai is to uphold the age-old culture and traditions preserved by the forefathers.
Speaking as the chief guest of the state level Gaan-Ngai festival held at Chingmeirong Kabui Khul on Saturday, Shyamkumar stressed that the current generation should shoulder the responsibility to further enrich the rich cultural heritage and unique traditions of various indigenous communities settling in Manipur.
Regardless of the impact of globalisation threatening to dilute culture and religious practices of the indigenes, it is heartening to note that the Kabui community has been successful in following in the forefathers’ footsteps, he said.
As Manipur is a home to various ethnic groups and communities, it is the responsibility of all the communities to follow and promote the rich cultural tradition and legacy of the forefathers, Shyamkumar said, adding that all the communities can live in harmony and safeguard the unity of the state when each community preserves own cultural tradition.
As preserving art, culture and traditions of any community is vital to protect one’s identity it is equally important to strictly adhere to cultural and religious practices, Shyamkumar maintained and expressed that the bond of brotherhood amongst the various ethnic communities would be strengthened when one understands the cultural roots.
Moreover, cultural activities play an important role in unifying the people living in a composite society like Manipur as they help to better understand similarities among the ethnic people, he said. Calling upon the Kabui leaders to lead the youngsters on the path of righteousness along with encouraging them to take part in cultural activities, minister Shyamkumar wished that the festival will usher in peace and prosperity in Manipur, the Kabui community in particular.
He also announced donation of Rs 1 lakh to the Gaan-Ngai Celebration Committee.
Earlier, the post-harvest festival celebration of the Kabui community began with offering of holy wine (Joupaan Keimei) to Tingkao Ragwang (deity) and the traditional extraction of fire amid presentation of cultural performances by different troupes.
Gaan-Ngai is celebrated when the granaries are full and the whole village is free from all agricultural works. People turn to celebration, festivity and worship of God and honour the death in the form of ritualistic farewell. The festival consists of a series of rites and rituals and worshipping of Tingkao Rawang (Supreme God) is the most significant part of the festival.
The first day of the festival was also attended by State Disaster Management Authority vice-chairman Adim Pamei, and Arun Enterprises proprietor and NEROCA FC president Thangjam Arun Kumar as chief functional president and guest of honour respectively.
At Sawombung Kabui Khunou, the Gaan-Ngai celebration was held with Khurai MLA L Susindro as the chief guest. Susindro also inaugurated the main gate of the village which was constructed from his MLA Local Area Development Fund.
Gaan-Ngai celebration also got underway at Zeliangrong Union head office located at Kakhulong on Saturday.
Organised by Zeliangrong Union (AMN), former union MoS (Home Affairs) Meijinlung Kamson, ZU (AMN) president Amu Kamei, AMUCO president Ph Deban, UCM president Sunil Karam, ZU (AMN) vice president R Chandra Haomei, ZU (AMN) ex-presidents D Athuibou and Jangamlung Panmei, ZU (AMN) ex-acting president G Namdon, retired IAS officers LP Golmei and Norbert Disinang and KAMA president Atonpi Kamei attended the inaugural function as presidium members
As part of the programme, Ponglingjang United Organisation performed lighting of holy fire and Ho Hoing. Traditional songs were presented and traditional instrument Raa-Jaimei was played by R Khonunglung and Chingjokpu Phaomei respectively.
Rosemary Tribal Foundation also presented gifts to the VIPs present.

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