The 22nd State level Gaan-Ngai celebration began today at Ragailong in Imphal East under the aegis of Zeliangrong Union. The celebration will continue for 5 days.
Attending as the chief guest of the inaugural function, the Chief Secretary said the Zeliangrong is among the major communities of the State. The Zeliangrong people dwell in both the hill areas and in the valley. In the valley, they have been living together peacefully with the Meiteis, he said while thanking the organising committee for giving him an opportunity to experience the biggest festival of the Zeliangrong tribe.
“I am afraid the ongoing economic blockade will mar the celebration. I am hopeful, however, that the celebration will uphold the customs and traditions of the Zeliangrong tribe”, the Chief Secretary stated.
Manipur is a land inhabited by different communities. The unity and love among the different communities of the State have been threatened time and again, by different agents. “It is a rare sight nowadays, to see representatives of different CSOs and associations together on one platform. Such a festival (Gaan-Ngai) that is participated by representatives of various communities will boost unity”, the Chief Secretary said.
He further wished for peace and unity among the different communities of the State on the occasion.
The various issues plaguing the State can be sorted out through dialogue. Differences in opinion among the people should be sorted out through the same means, he said.
Zeliangrong Union (Assam, Manipur, Nagaland) president Amu Kamei who graced the inaugural function as the functional president said Gaan-Ngai is the biggest and most important festival of the Zeliangrong people. The festival showcases the customs and traditions of the Zeliangrong tribe.
Zeliangrong Union began celebrating Gaan-Ngai at State level in 1995 to ensure participation of all the communities, he said while thanking the Department of Art and Culture, for their contributions in organising State level Gaan-Ngai celebration.
Manipur State ST Commission Chairman RH Gonmei; Deputy Commandant AR Transit Camp, Minuthong OC-in-charge SD Verama; chief of Ragailong; leaders of various CSOs and representatives of Ima Keithel attended the inaugural function.
Prayer, cultural events and sports were the main highlights on the first day of the Gaan-Ngai celebration.
Source: The Sangai Express