Nagas In Manipur Celebrate ‘Seed Sowing Festival’ Lui-Ngai-Ni In Chandel District

Imphal: Lui-Ngai-Ni, an annual seed sowing festival in Manipur, was organised to mark the onset of an agricultural season and to invoke God’s blessing for bumper harvests in Chandel district on Wednesday.

Celebrated since 1987 on every 15th of February, the state-level seed sowing festival has been celebrated every year in one of the Naga-inhabited districts in Manipur on a rotational basis.

This year, the festival was hosted by Chandel Naga People’s Organisation under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC) at Kapaam village in Chandel district.

Seed sowing festival is considered to be one of the most important and significant festivals of the Nagas which not only mark the beginning of the year but also to preserve and promote the rich cultural heritage of various Naga tribes in the state.

In all, there are 20 major tribes of the Nagas in Manipur. They are Anal, Aimol, Chothe, Chiru, Inpui, Kharam, Khoibu, Lamkang, Liangmai, Mao, Maram, Maring, Moyon, Monsang, Poumai, Rongmei, Tarao, Tangkhul, Thangal and Zeme.

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While gracing the function as chief guest, water resources and relief and disaster management minister Awanbow Newmai stressed on the need to preserve the Naga forefathers cultures. Not only songs and dances need to be preserved, but preserving the culture is also needed, he said.

The minister further said that the Nagas are peace loving people. By celebrating seed sowing festival, Nagas must spread peace and show people what peace is.

In his welcoming note, UNC president Ng Lorho said that the festival has been organised to showcase Naga communities rich cultural heritage.

“The oneness of our culture in diversity were handed down from generation to generation in the form of songs, dances, rituals, rich woodcarving, megalith, festivals etc. The theme “one culture, one destiny” in itself carries importance and significance of our culture,” UNC president said.

While stating that the festival presents a political message to all the Nagas in true sense towards one common destination, Ng Lorho further urged the people celebrating the festival, “let us also rekindle our past glory, our traditions and values for posterity and to preserve.”

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With the change of time, modernisation and advancement of Information and technology and westernisation has deeply affected our cultural system leading to an increase momentum in assimilating and adapting of a culture that resulted in discarding our valuable tradition and culture, remarked Lorho.

“Such dilution on our cultural fundamental principles, social norms and value system should be checked and be kept in balance,” he added.

The festival also witnessed various activities like folk songs, cultural dances, blowing of Lui-Ngai-Ni trumpet, lighting of Lui-Ngai-Ni fire and beating drums from different Naga cultural troupes.

Moreover, as a special appearance of the function, Yuileichan Mahongnao, a renowned artist from the Tangkhul community, enthralled the crowd with her original number ‘Charfa’ and other covers.

Veterinary & animal husbandry and transport minister Khashim Vashum and Chandel MLA SS Olish attended the festival as guest of honour and chief host of the festival respectively.

Other dignitaries include MLAs Ram Muivah, Janghemlung Panmei, J Kumo Sha and other leaders from the community.

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