By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 19: Gaan-Ngai, the post-harvest and biggest festival of Zeliang-rong community was cele- brated at the State level at Chingmeirong Kabui Vill-age, Imphal East today.
The function organized by the State Level Gaan-Ngai Celebration Commi- ttee, Manipur was graced by Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar, Disaster Management Authority, Vice Chairperson Adim Pamei and Arun Enterprises proprietor Thang- jam Arun as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Speaking at the function, Shyamkumar called for preservation and promotion of the rich cultural heritage of the State, saying that protection and preservation of the identities of the indigenous people of the State would not be possible if the indigenous communities ignore their own cultures and traditions.
Further stating that many among the various indigenous tribes and communities of the State have embraced different religions of their choice, the Minister opined that religion and culture are two different things and one should not ignore his/her indigenous cultures and traditions even if he/she had adopted different religions.
People who undermine the values of their own cultures and traditions will not be able to respect others’ religions and cultures too which is vital for peaceful coexistence among different religions, he added.
Shyamkumar also lauded that the Zeliangrong community in the State has been organizing Gaan-Ngai festival since ages to preserve their own cultures and traditions.
A member of the organizing committee conveyed that Gaan-Ngai festival consists of series of rites and rituals while the most significant part of the festival is the worshipping of “Tingkao Ragwang”, which is the Supreme God.
He said that the cultural part of the Gaan-Ngai Festival such as singing and dancing are extensions of the religious belief of the followers of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak (religion of Tingkao Ragwang).
Apart from conducting “Mai Lapmei” (extraction of sacred fire), “ho-hoing” (invocation to God) and Joupaan Keimei (offering holy wines to God and deities), a cultural extravaganza, comprising of cultural dances and folk songs were the main events of today’s function.
Meanwhile, the State level Gaan-Ngai Celebration Committee has thanked all the VIP, Pei/village authority leaders, Church leaders, intellectuals and well wishers for their presence at the celebration of Gaan-Ngai festival 2019 at Zeliangrong Union (Assam, Manipur & Nagaland) head office at Kakhulong. A press release issued by the general secretary of ZU (AMN) today explained that the State level Gaan-Ngai, which has been celebrated under the aegis of ZU (AMN) with great pomp and show since 1995, was held at ZU head office at Kakhulong this year due to some unavoidable circumstances but the union still thanked the participants for their presence in the observation and for making the festival a grand success.
It informed that the event was attended by Meijinlung Kamson, former Union Minister of State (Home Affairs) as chief guest, Amu Kamei, president of ZU (AMN) as functional president and Ph Deban, AMUCO president, Sunil Karam, UCM president, R Chandra Haomei, vice president of ZU (AMN), D Athuibou, ex-president of ZU (AMN), Jangamlung Panmei, ex-president of ZU (AMN), G Namdon, ex-acting president of ZU (AMN), LP Golmei, retd IAS, Norbert Disinang, retd IAS and Atonpi Kamei, president of KAMA as guests of honour respectively.
The ZU (AMN) further thanked Ponglingjang United Organisation for lighting of holy fire and beautiful Ho-Hoing, R Khonunglung for a meaningful traditional sing, Chingjokpu Phaomei for a wonderful Raa-Jaimei (traditional instrument) and CAACOI (Rosemary Tribal Foundation of indentity) for their gifts to the VIPs.
By Our Staff Reporter