IMPHAL, October 12: As celebrated in the state since time immemorial, Mera Hou Chongba was held today in various parts of the state.
The festival celebrates the brotherhood of the various ethnic groups who have made the state their homes.
The main celebration was organized by Mera Hou Chongba Thousil Lup comprising of Sana Konung and HERICOUN at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compund, Imphal.
The celebration began with a cultural procession from Sana Konung (Royal Palace) to Kangla Fort in the morning which was attended by the titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba and hundreds of people belonging to different communities of the state.
Various traditional rituals such as Mera Men Tongba, Yenkhong Tamba, Yoopan Thaba etc. were also performed at Kangla. The procession later returned back from the Kangla Fort to Sana Konung.
In the afternoon, gifts were exchanged amongst different communities in a function held at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen with Leishemba Sanajaoba as the chief guest.
Speaking at the function, Sanajaoba stated that Mera Hou Chongba celebration has reaffirmed the sense of brotherhood amongst different communities of the state. The people of Manipur from both hills and valley jointly take part in this unique festival.
Mera Hou Chongba is a traditional festival of the state and it is not related to any political activity. The festival has been celebrated in the state since time immemorial, he noted.
Sanajaoba further asserted that the ongoing blockade and counter-blockade along the national highways have affected the people of the state. The present imbroglio is due to misunderstanding amongst different communities.
At one time the inter-community marriage was very much prevalent in the state, however, the situation has now changed with the sense of hatred and enmity for one another, he averred.
Community leaders and village chiefs from different parts of the state attended the celebration of Mera Hou Chongba at Palace Compund.
Various traditional and cultural items were also performed during the celebration.