Pr Kungsong Wanbe
The year 2017 has gone and now we are in the New Year, 2018. The year 2017 was a significant year of integrity of all Manipuri/Kangleicha, all the people of the hill and the valley. The festivals of Mera Hou Chongba, NIngol Chakkouba and Sangai festival play big roles in bringing integrity of different communities like Meitei, Meitei Pangal, Naga and Kuki communities. In many places, both in the hill and the valley districts, the people from all communities gather together eating and drinking together. Actually, the year 2017 was the one of the most memorable years, forget about all the communities mentioned above, even the Security battalions such as Assam Rifles, BSF, CRPF and so and so organised the Ningol Chakkouba. The Manipur Baptist Convention also celebrated the Ningol Chakkouba festival at Manipur Baptist Centre Church, Chingmeirong, Imphal. In the year 2017, the Sangai Festival also played a significant role in promoting integrity of Manipuris. Many people from tribal communities represented in the festival and performed traditional and cultural dances. In the year 2017 Christmas was also celebrated by all communities of hill and valley of Manipur/Kangleipak.
The Koireng tribe also celebrated Leng Yu Choi which is very similar with Ningol Chakkouba. The meaning of the Leng Yu Choi is “visiting by taking liquor”. Leng means visiting, Yu means liquor and Choi means to take to a place. This festival is performed in the first week of December. The Leng Yu Choi festival is an entertainment of the sister’s son. The boy will be invited to the house of his maternal uncle (mother’s brother) for a feast. The boy will take and present a bottle of liquor to his maternal uncle. It is an introduction of the prospective son-in-law to the daughter of the maternal uncle. This Leng Yu Choi is not direct engagement or negotiation of marriage but, as mentioned above, it is recognition of bond between a brother and a sister. The Leng Yu Choi festival is a real celebration for a brother and sister.
As soon as the maternal uncle receives the bottle of liquor, he invites all the family members of his sister and throws a big party of food and drinks. This is how the Ningol Chakkouba and Leng Yu Choi festivals are celebrations of the love and bond of brother and sister. Let us once again remember the past year 2017 and let us try our best to work for the integrity of Manipur. May God bless all the Manipuri/Kangleicha.
Pr Kungsong Wanbe