IMPHAL, July 30: The celebration of the Mao community’s biggest festival Saleni began at Pudunamei on July 28 organized by the Pfosemei Student’s Union and Youth Organisation.
The inauguration of the festival was attended by Nagaland Legislative Assembly MLA, KV Pusa, King of Mao, Pf. Kaikho and Pfosena Union president L.P. Pani as chief guest and special guests respectively.
Giving the keynote address, Adani, secretary organizing committee said that Pfosemei Saleni festival is celebrated for five days and the significance of the festival is the sanctifying of the entire male population of the community.
He further stated that during the entire festival, the man of the community are restricted from sleeping with their wives and from eating dog meat as dogs are regarded unclean during the time.
Elaborating on the proceedings of the five day long festival, he stated that the first day of the festival will have a purification ceremony called the ‘Machakozii’ when all the male of the community will be purified.
The second day of the festival will have “Nijiini” when several traditional food items will be offered to God thanking him and to a mother who has born a son on this particular year.
Another main highlight of the second day is the Rhizome war game (fighting with spear), he stated.
He further stated that the third day ‘Nolokope’ the entire women of the community who are married to other village tribe etc are shown respect by their families and give them special gifts with raw meat and paddy of rice. It is comparable to the Ningol Chakouba festival of the meiteis. The day also ensures for the husband to respect his wife as a must.
And on 4th and 5th day entire male will celebrate the “Alekocho” he added.
Giving the speech of the chief guest, Nagaland Legislative Assembly, MLA, K.V. Pusa, said that our Naga society underwent two major culture shifts in the coming of western political governance and the Christian religion. The process of politics has compartmentalized our people within different political boundaries, and the new religion that our people have embraced has brought in an alien culture. But on the positive side a Naga consciousness emerged.
He further said that this new development in which
Nagas began to identify themselves as people led to the Naga national movement. The achievement of our political goals as envision by the early Naga nationalists appears to be going farther from reality. The protagonist of our political struggle seemed to have strayed away from the path taken by its proponents. Even then the idea of been a Naga has become irreversible and it will continue to evoke social order until it finds a niche in the prevailing political system. This is why a political solution for the Nagas in which the Nagas as people can have peaceful co-existance with other people groups with jeopardizing their unique socio-political identity is imperative.
In view of the pressing issues face today, KV. Pusa further said that there is need for us to start dealing with short term goals. There are areas of concern which we can deal with within our own Naga family without involving third parties. We must now take a decision whether we want to remain occupied with parochial interests such as ideological difference, tribalism and leadership issues or works as a whole.
The inaugural function of Pfosemei Saleni festival was also attended by delegate from Nagaland. Veswema villages Kezoma and Kedima village.