First Poumai Folklore Story Award

Senapati: The first Poumai Folklore Story Award was held at Tsiibe Hall, District Headquarters, Senapati. The Award is an initiative of Winter School of Poumai Naga Culture (WSPNC) and organized by Tsiibe Foundation in collaboration with the Indigenous School of Philosophy. Representatives from Poumai Frontal Organizations, the Poumai Literature Society and Poumai Naga Scholars Association came together to witness and discourse at the event. Amongst the entries, Kei, Rahkhoubou and Rone Kah were the Poumai Naga Folklore stories selected by the jury as winners.

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In his keynote address, Dr. Sahiinii L Veikho, Postdoctoral Researcher, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris highlighted about The Winter School of Poumai Naga Culture (WSPNC) as a community program where participants get an opportunity to learn and gain knowledge from the elders–the knowledge that has been ignored in school textbooks. He states that it is opportune, particularly the younger generations, to interact and learn from learned elders–who acquired knowledge through lifelong experience living in their native villages.

He elaborated that the vision of WSPNC is to develop a scholarship in Poumai Naga culture: documentation and publication of Poula literature, such as oral narrations, cultural practices, short stories, poems etc; promotion of Poumai Naga music and art; documentation and promotion of indigenous practices; and preservation and documentation of cultural tools, sites and attires.

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Ng. Ngaorai, Founding Director, Tsiibe Foundation shared, “The Poumai Folklore Story Competition was envisioned  as a creative pursuit at the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic to opportune inquisitive minds a platform to recapitulate their genealogy, research the rich cultural heritage and preserve their discovery through creative writing “.

Kr. Kuchaorou, Vice-President, Poumai Naotumai Me ( PNM) echoed, “21st Century: A century of globalization where westernization  is sweeping away the traditions and culture of our  society is a big threat  as the young generations are swept away with foreign cultures”. She urged the young minds to feel the urgency and walk the talk in preserving and conserving the vibrant and unique culture.

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Asahrii K Clement, President, of Poumai Naga Tsiidoumai Me (PNTM) in his exhortation lauded the initiative as an eye-opening initiative for many intellectuals to rethink a new horizon about Poumai culture. He also shared that Poumais are in a transitional period where many fail  to understand the importance of intellectual discussion and encouraged the many educated to embrace the glorious God-Gifted culture through Folklore and Storytelling.

Khuveio Khole, a research scholar  termed the occasion as an underrated valuable event with much significance for the Poumai community in particular and Nagas in general.

The winning stories along  with other folklore stories contributed by different researchers will be published in bilingual (Poula and English) by CORSAL, University of North Texas, USA.

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