The Art of Disrespect

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TANGKHUL-NURABI, a dance drama played during the Lai Haraoba festival with reference to the two mythological figures, one is that of Nongpok Ningthou and Nurabi, representing Panthoibi, their love episode, that have central significance in the Meitei/Meetei community ritual, this year, left many disgusted, including the Meitei/Meeteis. According to Rekha Konsam’s research on Lai Haraoba, unlike other rituals in the festival, Tangkhul-Nurabi or loutaba is more like a skit with a loosely structured script, and has elements of comical interludes, myths, sacred chants and play, with room for the performer to improvise.

The portrayal of Tangkhul-Nurabi skit at Lai Haraoba this year, although not the first time, lampooning the Tangkhul Nongpok Ningthou, painted a vulgar representation of the Tangkhul tribe. However, the more worrying scene, many would say in the act, was the demeaning treatment of women in the name of rituals and drama.

The degrading and disrespectful presentation of certain tribe and the crowd cheering to such caricature only

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