New Delhi: Held at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Civil Lines, Delhi, the Tangkhul Katamnao Long Delhi (TKLD) organized its annual literature fest cum cultural day in collaboration with Tangkhul Naga Society (TNSD) on Saturday. The event was graced by chief guest, Wungpam Raikhan Social worker, Retd Engineer, CPWD, Ministry Of Housing & Urban Affairs, GoI.
On the theme of safeguarding and preserving language and tradition, this year’s fest highlighted a myriad of interesting competitions like ’Hao laa khanganui’, ‘Lungchan laa’, quiz, debate, painting, poetry reading, essay writing, and spelling bee competitions with participants coming from many parts and localities from Delhi.
The utmost purposes of the competitions were to remind and to preserve and safe-keep the Tangkhul language and as such, all the competitions were held in Tangkhul language aligning with the general theme.
Yaorei Horam, president TKLD in his welcome speech asserted the importance and gave significant highlight in preserving and passing down the best kept virtues, the traditions and customs practiced by the Tangkhul forefathers.
“Let us be grateful to God for making our community thrive in numbers in many cities around the country. We have been able to adapt to the cultural shock and have successfully found our place in this fast paced cities. However, we should not get so carried away as to forget our roots and lose our identity.”
On the topic he explored what now may seem a wild imagination, a future where we had forgotten our language and culture – “It is a possibility if we don’t preserve and expand our knowledge and pass it down to the future generations,” exclaimed Yaorei.
Quoting linguist and political thinker Noam Chomsky, he said, “A language is not just words. It’s a culture, a tradition, a unification of a community, a whole history that creates what a community is. It’s all embodied in a language.”
Backing the idea, resource person, Dr. Tuisem Ngakang Asst. Professor Hindu College, laid a comparative context of modern society with that of the customary lifestyle of our ancestors implying that religion and custom were once viewed as one and as such a religious person was a person who practices the traditional customs in a religious manner. He then cited many exemplary customs and instances that best justified the dignitary qualities and practices of honesty, chivalry, generosity and sense of belonging to the community.
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Dr. Tuisem further portrayed the contrary in today’s society and questioned when and how it all came to a scarce. Adding that if we are to walk as a developed society, we must all see it as a traditional duty to take the best and pass down to our future generations so that our identity and culture may live on even long after we’re gone.
Speaking on the occasion, chief guest, Wungpam Raikhan also gave a brief elaboration on how our tradition and custom have served the community as a shield from social evils that runs rampant in the societies of more developed countries. Meanwhile also, offering a political standpoint, putting in context, the present political situation in Manipur, he pointed out how our traditions and customary obligations have made us unique and have defended our political status from many external factors.
Between the spirited and fiery competitions and the valuable inputs from the resource persons and guest speakers, the event also featured musical melodies from well known artists like Thotmung Muivah and Chuiya Awungshi, filling the afternoon air with a pleasant solace.
The programme also featured a special guest Sangeeta Ranjit from Visan Hospitality Pvt. Ltd who in the past years have admitted, trained and placed several hundred youths from Manipur, especially from Ukhrul in top hotels and hospitality institutes in the country and abroad. Talking about how it all started, she shared a beautiful backstory of the institute’s unique and successful experience with Tangkhul youths.