The much revered and anticipated Chumpha Phanit was celebrated with much fervour at Nungbi khullen in north of Ukhrul district on Sunday.
Adorned in colourful traditional attire, the locals welcomed the titular king of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba, his team including MK. Preshaw Shimray, former deputy speaker of Manipur legislative assembly, former minister Khashim Ruivah, BJP leaders, and well wishers to the joyous occasion.
Awungva demonstrated the detailed traditional rituals associated with the chump.
Chumpha phanit is a post-harvest festival. It one of the most important agriculture festival of Tangkhul community.
In the Tangkhul customary practice, Tarung Kashun – totem pole installation/ erection is considered sacred.
Speaking at the occasion, Leishemba Sanajaoba, Rajya Sabha MP made a clarion call to the youth brigade to preserve the rich culture and traditions passed down by the forefathers. “Whatever religion we follow, we must treasure and preserve our culture and traditions.
As part of the event, traditional items like folksong and folk dance were displayed by the local elders, youths and womenfolk in colourful traditional attire.
Leishemba said Tarung Kashun (Totem pole erection) of Tangkhul and Uk-hong Ungba of Meitei had elements of similarities. “Our grandfathers narrated that Tangkhul and Meitei are brothers.”
Elaborating the practice observed in the Meitei social set-up, he said like Tangkhul’s toil for a year’s sustenance, Meitei’s too prepared in order that enough stock is harvested and gathered for the family sustenance. A person who harvested the maximum food grains and vegetables etc, is honoured and rewarded accordingly by way of “erection of huge monolith” as he deservedly earned the honour by dint of his hard work.
In return, he shared the surplus to the poor, sicked, and the landless people.
He also cited Lai Haorouba festival to drive home the elements of sameness.
Earlier, the titular king also inaugurated the historic Tarung memory stone.
MK. Preshow Shimray who attended as the guest of honour said the forefathers of Nungbi Khullen were known for their surplus food stock and hospitality to the guests. “They had so much that they stored food grains that could lasts three to four years.”
He stated that Tarung Kashun as practice by the forefathers is considered sacred and was an exclusive beat of the eldest and the affluent involving massive rituals of animal sacrifices where the poor were fed and cared for.
“Tarung Kashun instilled in the minds of the people or locals a strong sense of security, trust and believed that it will be their sole shield, protector and giver,” he emphasised adding that the village authority and villagers had made a historic step as it reminded them the bountiful and lavish life the ancestors had lived and thrived in their days through their hard work while being a liberal giver and good hosts to the guests.
With the erection of Tarun, let’s strive towards self-sufficient, secure and prosperous life by imbibing the hard work and perseverance culture with which forefathers could maintain a bountiful life, he exhorted emphasising on the symbolic significance Tarung Kashun holds.
The program was attended by Chingai Mandal president Bejoy Shatsang, BJP executives, former UADC chairman K. Dickson, neighbouring villages and well wishers.
In his speech, AS. Shaingam, headman Nungbi expressed his profound gratitude to the Manipur titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba for his presence to the observance, and thanked former deputy speaker MK. Preshow Shimray, former minister Khashim Ruivah for their presence in the historic Chumpha festival cum Tarung Kashun occasion.
He also expressed his gratitude to sitting MLA Khashim Vashum and intending BJP candidate Ningam Chamroy, who could not make it to the event due to unavoidable circumstances, for their concern.
Shaingam prayed that the Almighty God grant him a prosperous and long live, and thanked the titular king for assuring to construct the village playground.
Khashim Ruivah said it is an occasion to make open what we have gathered from the harvest. “The presence of Manipur’s titular king in the observance of this historically significant festival is a joy for all of us. This thanksgiving and joyous festival reminds us that we are all one and with that spirit of oneness, hills and valleys should live together as one.”
With the celebration of Chumpha and Tarung Kashun, let’s resolve to strive towards installing egalitarian society where poor, rich and the less privileged co-exist and grow in the spirit of oneness, Ruivah who attended as Special Invitee exhorted.