IMPHAL, November 30: Amidst calls from stall owners of the Sangai festival for extension of the festival and bandhs and general strike and a bomb blast, the curtain came down on the Sangai Festival, 2011 today.
The closing ceremony which was held at Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre and was attended by state Governor Gurbachan Jagat, opposition leader Radhabinod Koijam, speaker I Hemochandra, MPCC president Gaikhangam, tourism minister TN Haokip among others.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Governor Gurbachan Jagat stated that the state has witnessed a plethora of cultural extravaganza during the ten days long Sangai festival.
In condemnation of the bomb blast this morning at the main venue of the festival, the Governor informed that such terror act of exploding a bomb at the venue of such a festival is an attack on the culture, peace, history of the state and a cowardly act of terrorizing the people.
“Nothing can stop the people of Manipur from going forward, God above is there to protect us all” the Governor announced.
The Governor further announced that everyone is sons and daughters of Manipur, and further appealed to all to live together as sons and daughters of Manipur.
The Government of Manipur, spearheaded by the Tourism Department has been organizing the Manipur Sangai Festival as a fixed calendar event since last year from 21st to 30th November with the main objective of showcasing the rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty of our State thereby promoting the tourism potential of Manipur.
The 2011 edition of the festival strives towards showcasing and promoting the best of what the State has to offer to the world in terms of arts and culture, handloom and handicrafts, fine arts, flora and fauna, indigenous games and sports, indigenous cuisines, music, adventure sports and eco-tourism. I happily note that the festival has assumed greater importance in the recent days as it celebrates national integration as well as unity among different ethnic groups living in the State, the Governor added.
Further speaking at the function, the Governor informed that no doubt, Manipur has high tourism potential, which will generate much needed revenue thereby employing our youths in the future. Hence, Tourism is the future of Manipur. Another aspect of Tourism is the promotion of national integration. Domestic tourists from other parts of the country will certainly discover delightful places, rare flora and fauna in the Loktak Lake and other areas of Manipur and those tourists visiting Manipur will be able to judge for themselves the colourful dances and other cultural traditions of Manipur.
“I am sure that the festival has incorporated various facets of Manipuri life including the arts and culture, indigenous games and sports, handloom and handicrafts, indigenous cuisines, adventure sports and eco-tourism”.
It is a matter of satisfaction that the Tourism Department has coined a catchy slogan “A little Paradise” for promoting tourism in Manipur which was aptly described by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as “The Jewel of India”. Indigenous festivals like “Mera Houchongba”, “Kut” and “Lui-Ngaini” are regularly promoted in the State. However, Orange, Lemon festivals, etc.- organized by other departments need to forge a close association with the Tourism *-* Department to ensure more participation and generate more revenue. Besides these indigenous festivals, the department also organizes toforld Tourism Day, etc. The State`s huge tourism potential is showcased properly to the world through regular participation in the World Travel Mart, London; SATTE, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi; NE Expo, Guwahati; IITF, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, etc. As a part of this publicity campaign the department has been publishing table calendars, brochures, folders, picture postcards, wall posters, CDs, etc. over the years depicting the rich and di
verse cultural heritage and the scenic natural flora and fauna of the State. The State Government, through the Tourism Department, has been able to develop various tourist circuits and destinations over the years. The Imphal – Moreh circuit touching the auspicious site of the Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Imphal – Churachandpur circuit touching the historic INA Memorial Complex at Moirang are some of the important circuits and destination projects undertaken in the recent years.
Cultural shows including of Manipuri traditional dances, Thai cultural shows and a fashion show at BOAT were the main attractions of the closing function.