IMPHAL, Nov 1: The post-harvest festival of Chin-Kuki-Mizo ‘Chavang Kut’ was celebrated today in different parts of the state with gay abundance and fanfare.
The state level celebration of the Kut festival was held at 1st Bn. Manipur Rifles Ground, Imphal.
The main attractions of the festival were the performances of rich cultural items of different communities belonging to Chin-Kuki-Mizo and the beauty pageant for crowning the ‘Miss Kut 2010’.
The morning session of the festival was graced by the Governor of Manipur, Gurbachan Jagat, PHED and IPR minister TN Haokip, MP Rishang Keishing and TD minister DD Thaisii as the chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively. The visiting officials of Planning Commission of India led by BK Chatturvedi were also present at the festival as the special invitees.
Speaking at the occasion, the Governor Gurbachan Jagat stated that the Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups have a distinct, rich and colourful tradition of their own and the same is reflected in their various festivals. ‘Kut’ is such a festival which is celebrated by the Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups almost simultaneously during autumn with the prayer to the God of crops to shower their blessings for a bountiful harvest so that the well-being of the people should be ensured. The festival provides a unique opportunity to everybody to make a sincere introspection of their own thoughts and values. It occupies a unique position not only in the lives of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo groups of the state but also in the lives of all the people of the country as it carries a message of peace, harmony and progress.
He said that the celebration of ‘Kut’ will certainly help in preserving and promoting the collective identity of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo brethren and at the same time, it will gear up the process of spreading the message of peace, communal harmony, friendship and brotherhood amongst various communities, living in the northeast in general and in Manipur in particular, doing away with the variance of caste, creed, community and religion. Culture is related to the style of life, language, the thoughts and bonds of the people. It is the style and pattern of life which brings different religious groups of people to have a common bond and unity. The future generation and their growth are at our hands. It is the bounden duty to ensure mutual understanding and trust amongst ourselves and also ensure that our children progress along the track of development. This, apart from living to an even brighter and prosperous future, will infuse in them a faith and hope in the destiny of the composite culture of a nation that is strong and united. National and emotional integration cannot be achieved in a single day. This is an arduous uphill task. But in order to achieve it, the basic fact to be understood is that it will be possible only through mutual trust and open mindedness, Gurbachan asserted.
In today’s trouble-torn society, peace is being disturbed. In Manipur the age-old glorious tradition of peaceful co-existence among various communities seems to be disturbed due to ethnic conflict and self-centred policies of different communities. It is quite unfortunate. The people have to reject all these differences and work together to make a peaceful and prosperous Manipur. While celebrating ‘Kut’, which exemplifies gratefulness, compassion and gaiety, all should join hands and work together, setting aside their differences for the welfare of Manipur and its people. Let the traditional festival spread the message of work-culture, peaceful co-existence, brotherhood, compassion and forgiveness to all the people of Manipur and herald a new era of a peaceful and prosperous Manipur, the Governor enjoined.
Gurbachan Jagat also appealed to the people to work for peace and harmony and also for making efforts jointly to make Manipur a peaceful and prosperous state.
The Chief Minister O. Ibobi, who graced the evening session of the Kut celebration as the chief guest, maintained that Manipur is a small state of India but it comprises of different communities living together as brothers and sisters since time immemorial. The ‘unity in diversity’ is a distinct characteristic of Manipur, he noted.
Ibobi also appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony amongst different communities of the state so as to bring progress and development in the state.
The Chief Minister also donated rupees three lakhs to the organizers of the Kut Festival.
The evening session was also attended by power minister Phungzathang Tonsing, agriculture minister N. Loken and president of MPCC, Gaikhangam.
Similarly , the Kut festival was held with full pomp and gaiety at Kangpokpi Thomas ground. Organised by the Sadar Hills District level Kut Celebration , the inaugural function was attended by sports minister N.Biren and MLA Haokholet Kipgen along with other top ranking officers and leaders of various civil organizations.
Speaking as the chief guest, minister Biren enthusiastically expressed that after a long time, the Kut festival is again being held at the Sadar Hills. ‘We have to forget and forgive what happened in the past even if mistakes were made, the festival is now attended by Nagas, Meeiteis, Nepalis alike and it is a good beginning’, the minister said. The minister donated Rs 50,000 to the organizing committee.
Among the cultural shows of the festival, it may be mentioned that aside from the Kuki dance troupes, Liangmei,Thangal, Maram and Poumai belonging to the Naga community performed their cultural dances.
Among the entertainers, Kuki idol Lenchung, Merinda, Zoe Girls, Jemneihoi Gangte enthralled the crowd. The traditional Miss Kut contest was also held.
The 16 Maratha Light Infantry under the Red Shield Division sponsored an inter tribal cultural programme at Khoirantak, under Henglep sub division today as part of the Kut celebration.