Post harvest fest of the Zeliangrongs celebrated throughout state with gaiety

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IMPHAL, Jan 18: The post harvest festival of the Zeliangrong community was today celebrated at various places around the state. The state level celebration of the five day long and biggest  festival of the Zeliangrong community was kicked off at the Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre organized by the State level Gaan Ngai Celebration Committee Manipur today.
The state level Gaan Ngai celebration started today with the oblation of Holy Wine to Tingkao Ragwang by Kathuna Daimei, vice president, TRC Assam, Manipur & Nagaland. The offering of wine was followed by the shouting of Hoi (an invocation of God).
The extraction of the sacred fire for the celebration of the festival was performed by elders of Hiyangthang Kabui village, Imphal West. A welcome folk dance was performed by the Yurembam Kaipi dance troops which was followed the formal opening of the Gaan Ngai celebration.
Other main highlights of the celebration were devotional songs from TRC Namguilong, Imphal, folk songs from Jenthuilu Kamei and others of the Maipham South Zone, Brass Plate dance from Pinky Palmei of Ragailong, dance programme from TRC Pongringlong of Senapati district and Maipham South Zone, Manipur.
Gaan-Ngai which is the biggest festival of the Zeliangrong people residing in the three North-Eastern states of Manipur, Assam & Nagaland was also celebrated with cultural gusto and religious fervour at various other places of the state including at the Zeliangrong Building, Kakhulong, Paona Bazar with the theme ‘preservation of Indigenous tradition festival of Zeliangrong’ organized by the Zeliangrong Union and Zeliangrong Youth Front (Imphal Zone).
The celebration was attended by Prof. Meijinglung Kamson, former president of the Zeliangrong Union and ex- Member of Parliament. Amu Kamei, President, ZU (AMN), K. Ajaina, Khullakpa, Ragailong, Poujairung Thaimei, vice president, ZCC. K. Lanbolung, Khullakpa Mahabali, K. Bokul, Chairman, ZU, Imphal Zone. Pourillung Kamei, Pei-member Kakhulong.
Speaking at the celebration Amu Kamei, president, ZU (AMN) quipped that the three tribes of the Zeliangrong community must be the only remaining tribes from the state who have been maintaining their age old traditions and cultures in its original form. He maintained that most tribes have totally ignored their old traditions and culture and are fully absorbed in Christianity as most existing tribes of the state have converted themselves to Christianity. He further maintained that the tribes who were pioneers in the spreading of Christianity have not left their traditions and cultures, however smaller tribes and newly converted groups have been asked to totally depart from their traditions and cultures. He further maintained that he is not against Christianity and anyone is welcome to convert according to their own wishes however, one should not forget his or her own roots and try to maintain and preserve them for the future generation.
The president further wished the people of the state in general and the Zeliangrong community in particular to spread peace and welfare amongst the people of the state on the festive occasion of the Chakaan Gaan Ngai.
Celebrated for about five days in the winter season, Gaan Ngai is the post harvest festival of the Zeliangrong community and is celebrated when the granries are full and the whole village is free from all agricultural works in the field. The people turn to celebration, festivity and worship of God and honouring the dead.
Extracting of sacred fire, ho-hoing (invocation of god) and offring of holy wine to God and deities besides cultural extravaganza are the integral parts of the Gaan Ngai celebration.

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