Ukhrul: The Indigenous Hill Network organised an Inter-School Cultural Meet in commemoration of World Cultural Day on Friday at the UBC Jubilee Hall, Ukhrul.
The event, themed “Own your Identity,” brought together seven schools from Ukhrul headquarters.
The Cultural Meet showcased various competitions that celebrated the rich heritage of the region, and Tangkhul cultural practices in particular. Participants competed in Pheichak (folk dance), Hao laa (folk song), Hao Sari (indigenous fashion show), Ra Kharak (traditional cloth weaving), Sopkai Kharak (Bamboo basket weaving), and Khangatuk (Wrestling).
Ukhrul Central School won the Indigenous fashion show by presenting a stunning display of Tangkhul Indigenous wear and trending fashion. Model High School was adjudged the winner in the folk song competition, while Alice Christian Higher Secondary School claimed the top spot in Traditional cloth weaving.
Sacred Heart Higher Secondary School excelled in three disciplines, securing the first place in Folk dance, wrestling, and bamboo basket weaving.
Sorinthan Haorei, CEO of the Hills Indigenous Network, expressed that the event was a continuation of last year’s school-level literary meet held at the Ukhrul Town Hall. In his address, Haorei emphasized the theme “Own your identity,” urging all participants to embrace their roles as ambassadors of the Tangkhul tribe. He encouraged attendees to take pride in their Tangkhul identity, regardless of their exposure to other cultures and practices.
The competitions were evaluated by Guru Rawung Shimray, a recipient of the Kala Academi Award; Awo Chamthar; and Jonathan Awungshi from the Hao Cultural Academy. Easternlight Zimik, a renowned Tangkhul fashion designer and graphic artist, also served as one of the judges for the Hao sari competition.
The event was graced by Newman Hungshi, a recipient of the Kala Academi 2011 Award, who provided support and encouragement to the young participants.
The Inter-School Cultural Meet drew a vibrant audience of approximately 800 individuals, including students, cultural enthusiasts, and community elders.