Home away from home, Tangkhul Nagas in Delhi celebrate seed sowing festival
By Vangamla Salle K S
New Delhi [India], 28 Feb (ANI): Cutting across barriers of cast, creed or religion, festivals of northeast India promote peaceful co-existence, besides reliving the rich old heritage of their forefathers.
At the same time, in pursuance of better education and opportunities in various work sectors, a lot of people from the northeast region shifted their base to the metro cities.
However, people from northeastern region living in metropolitan cities put great efforts to preserve their culture and traditions despite the distance.
Making a novelty example, recently, a festival of seed sowing, titled 'Luira Phanit,' was celebrated by the Tangkhul Nagas living in Delhi that brought people from all walks of life under one platform.
Celebrated under the theme 'Thotna Ngacheilala Ngashan Manothahaipai mana' meaning 'Generation may change but culture is to be maintained', the festival marks the sowing of paddy crops.
Organized by Tangkhul Naga Society Delhi (TNSD), in collaboration with Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi (TKLD) and Tangkhul Shanao Long Delhi (TSLD), the festival aimed to bring awareness to the youngsters of their roots and to promote and preserve the rich old heritage enshrined by their forefathers.
"Lots of us are living in Delhi and a lot of them have got children who are born and brought up here. And they know nothing about our roots that we have down there in our villages. So, we want to showcase what we have and make them learn from our cultural heritage. Also, for the community, the festival is to get-together and for enhancing cooperation and solidarity among us," said MC Worthing, Convener, Organizing Committee.
He added, "Youngsters when they come to metro cities like Delhi, lots of cultures are infused upon them, so they tend to forget the roots especially the culture heritage which is very rich. If we just analyses the cultural heritage that our forefathers left for us, they are enormous and huge. Like in the sense, we have solidarity, love and cooperation among us which is quite oblivion which people are ignorant of. So we just want to bring the youngsters together and show them the rich culture".
This traditional festival has many cultural implications and is popularly celebrated at every village of the Nagas of Manipur, in order to preserve their culture.
"Today, the Tangkhul Nagas living in Delhi are celebrating the seed sowing festival and it is a right thing to do; to remind ourselves of the roots. This festival is being celebrated since time memorial. Seed sowing festival signifies asking God for a good plantation and blessings for a good harvest," said Phami Raleng, the senior most of the community.
Groomed with exotic headgears, traditional costumes and ethnic ornaments, the festival showcased the vibrant and unique culture of Tangkhul Nagas, who were once head hunters in their ancestral times.
A traditional folk dance called seed sowing dance portrays how the men stood guard against calamities while the women sowed seeds.
Mo Naga added, "This 'Luira Phanit' is an amazing festival, especially for the youth. And to be organized in New Delhi is even more special because we are away from home; it gives us a great platform and opportunity to mingle and remember and relive our traditions and culture. It is good and wonderful".
The festival also highlighted folk songs and music blended with a contemporary touch.
Showcasing an array of traditional costumes, the festival highlighted the rich traditional costumes of the Tangkhul Naga community.
Besides the traditional performances, a beauty pageant was also organized as part of celebration.
"I just won the Miss Luira pageant and I am so glad and thankful to God. And this is what I wore for today. And I have just graduated in Hindi Honors from Miranda House College. I am privileged and honored for everything that has been done today and I hope more beautiful ladies would come out and present themselves and glorify the name and our tribe, Tangkhul," said the beaming Aminao Keishing, Miss Luira Phanit, 2017.
The festival Luira Phanit had been one of the most important festivals of the Tangkhul communities.
Young people from the villages are educating their age-old culture of the villages through this festival. The festival was also celebrated with an objective to preserve their identity. (ANI)