Caught up in the WC fever Ahead of Christmas

Like the rest of the world, Manipur too is caught up in the FIFA World Cup fever and it is in line with this that Chief Minister N Biren himself has announced a number of venues for each of the 16 districts where people can watch the December 18 final live on TV. In between the State Government has also gone the extra mile to give that much needed boost to the State Level Orange Festival scheduled to be held from December 17 to December 19 at Tameng-long district headquarters. The Orange Festival comes after the just concluded Barak Festival and the earlier Sangai Festival. Music. Food. Adventure, is the line that has been put up by the organiser of the Orange Festival to catch the attention of the people and why not, coming as it has after a lull of two years, 2020 and 2021, due to the Covid pandemic. The season of festival is clearly on the people and perhaps this is the best time to let one’s hair down, as the well known line goes and this should be done so in the spirit of the festival season.  It will not end here for after the Orange Festival and the FIFA World Cup final on December 18, there is Christmas coming up on December 25. Small hamlets in the hill districts must have started gearing up to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus Christ in a fitting way and works to decorate the Churches must be on in full swing. Here in Imphal too, one can expect Church volunteers and workers to start cleaning and decorating their respective Churches in anticipation of the coming special day. To others celebrating Christmas will extend beyond the periphery of the Churches and this will obviously include visiting friends, inviting relatives over for dinner-in short catching up with friends and relatives over  dinner, the preparations of which will involve putting in one’s whole undivided attention, love and dedication to the task at hand. To many others it would mean receiving their children and family members at the airport or the bus stand who may have returned for the Christmas holiday to spend time with the family. All done so in the name of celebrating the birth of Christ who came to earth to save mankind.
Christmas trees, decorating one’s house to herald the coming of the Lord and for many others more it could mean coming down to Imphal for the annual shopping for the young and elderly members of the family. This was the norm decades back and this still stands as Imphal is the commercial capital of Manipur and is the place to shop and catch up with old friends and family members, with whom contacts may have decreased over the years thanks to the reality that everyone concerned is busy with their own lives. Imphal the destination and perhaps this is where it becomes crucial for all, especially the trading community to ensure that prices of goods are not hiked arbitrarily. Many of those coming for Christmas shopping from the hill districts should not be made to pay for the greed of anyone and perhaps this is where the Government may take the responsibility of ensuring the goods are sold at the prices it has fixed. If voluntary organisations go the extra distance to check arbitrary hike of prices before festival such as Ningol Chakkouba, Yaoshang and others, the same may be done for Christmas too. Such a step will go a long way in ensuring that the interests of all communities are always kept in mind. The Zeliangrong Union, Imphal Zone has announced that it will deploy its volunteers to assist those coming from the hill districts to shop during festivals including Christmas, New Year, Gaan-Ngai and there is a leaf to be taken out from the initiative it has taken, which is laudatory.