Barak, the gift of God has been a source of great blessing to the people of Tahamzam(Senapati) district since time immemorial. Besides irrigating crops and increasing productivity and prosperity, it has provided cleansing drainage over the ages and touched the lands along its majestic flow with charm and scenic beauty and transformed it into an eco-tourism paradise. Under the banner of this benevolent river, the different tribes of the district found a vital platform to promote fraternity, mutual respect and cooperation towards building up a common future.
The Barak Festival has come to be celebrated during 11-13 December every year as a district event under the aegis of the Naga Peoples’ Organisation(NPO), the apex civil society organization of the district. In 2016, due to unfavourable situation obtaining at that time, it was decided to organize a flagged car rally from Senapati District HQ to Liyai, the Barak source village on 11th December, 2016 to uphold the sanctity of the Festival Calendar and to follow up with the other festival activities in the coming spring of 2017. Thus after a series of consultations, it has been decided that the remaining festival activities of 2016 would be organised on 22 & 23 May, 2017 with the nomenclature “Barak (Spring) Festival” to differentiate it from the annual festival calendar.
The Spring festival will showcase the rich traditions and culture of the various tribes who have been nurtured by the Barak. The festival will rejuvenate and revive the cultural heritage and values of the people and also instill the spirit of cultural tolerance and respect for each other’s culture, particularly in the minds and hearts of the youth. It will also celebrate the manifold blessings of the benevolent river and in gratefulness move spiritedly for conservation and protection of environment of the river valley and the district as a whole under the theme “Reclaiming Responsibilities”.
Highlights of the festivals:
• Trekking on the theme “ Reclaiming Responsibilities” from Biisho to Senapati Mini Stadium by tribe youths and Trekking enthusiastes
• Barak Nite 1 – Entertainments, contests & deliveries
• Barak Nite Finale – Entertainment, finals of contest & prize distribution.
• Barak Voice Hunt & Barak Talent hunt
• “Barak Run” on the theme “ Reclaiming Responsibilities” from Karong ground to Senapati Mini stadium with prizes for 4 categories of runners – 16 years and below for boys and girls, 17 years and above for boys and girls with handsome cash prizes.
• Folk dance ensemble, folk song special, folk musical instruments, display and competition of indigenous skills and arts.
• Festival Tiffin
• Tribe Morungs renovation competition
• Exhibition and Sales of indigenous local produce and products, eateries, Government Department Stalls.
• Ho-hoing and yelling performance by tribes.
• Barak (Spring) Festival Declaration
The article was sent by M. S. Jerome, who is the Convenor of the Organising Committee of Barak(Spring) Festival, and can be contact at barakspringfest(at)gmail(dot)com.