IMPHAL, November 1: The post harvest festival of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities ‘Kut’ was celebrated today at several places of the state as well as outside.
The state level celebration was organized by the State Level Kut Committee, Manipur at the 1st Manipur Rifles’ Parade Ground.
The celebration was inaugurated in the morning by State Governor Gurbachan Jagat as the chief guest.
The inaugural morning session was also attended by MLA Bungjagin Baite, state Home Minister Gaikhangam, Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam as functional president and guests of honour, respectively.
Addressing the inaugural function, the state Governor said, “The Kuki-Mizo-Chin groups have their own unique and distinct cultural heritage and this is reflected in their various festivals”.
He continued, “Kut is one such festival held during the autumn and this festival provides an opportunity to not only make merry but to introspect on our past and plan for the future”.
“This festival which includes songs and dances is now participated in not only by the Kuki-Mizo-Chin groups but by other communities also thereby strengthening the bonds of friendship and is a harbinger of peace, harmony and progress.”
The state Governor also said, “From being a traditional festival giving thanks to the giver of abundant harvest, it has incorporated modern styles and ethos keeping in tune with the changing times and more”.
Concerning the popular Miss Kut Competition, the Governor expressed, “I am personally not comfortable with this concept as it is not really a part of our culture”, he was however quick to add, “However, we are getting old and perhaps seen as conservative and adverse to change, while change is the hallmark of the universe”.
He also expressed his belief that the celebration will not only help in promoting collective identity of the Kuki-Mizo-Chin communities but will spread the message of peace, love, communal harmony, friendship and brotherhood amongst the different communities in north east and especially in Manipur.
He continued, “Manipur as everyone knows is full of problems and rifts are being created between communities challenging the age old tradition of peaceful co existence”.
With increase in population, pressure on land is bound to increase thereby creating new conflicts, he observed.
The citizens of Manipur as responsible people should ensure that the differences are settle through talks and negotiations and not resort to violence like bandhs and blockades, he said.
The Governor also appealed to all to cast aside their self centered egos and policies of the various ethnic groups and work for the overall welfare of the state.
Meanwhile, the state Home Minister, Gaikhangam said Kut is a vibrant, meaningful and important festival of the state.
It is being celebrated by the Kuki-Chin-Mizo communities after a year’s hard-work since time immemorial.
He continued that even though a small state, Manipur is second to none in any field and the state’s uniqueness lies in the culture which are exhibited through our dances, arts and festivals.
The Home Minister also expressed his wish that the state will have resources in abundance in coming years and that the festival will bring unity amongst the people.
Meanwhile, the evening session of the celebration was attended by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, Education minister M Okendro, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Francis Ngajokpa and IFCD minister Ngamgthang Haokip.
Speaking at the function, the Chief Minister dwelt on the importance of the festival.
He also said that even though Manipur is a small state, it is considered a mini India by people as several communities have been co-inhabiting in the state since a long time.