Senapati: Traditional rice transplantation is conducted at Purul (Hiimai) Paoki, 2022 on May 10 which is tourism festival of Manipur. Youth from different villages took part in the traditional wrestling competition organised during Purul (Hiimai) Paoki, 2022 at Purul village on May 9 evening.
Purul (Hiimai) is a village in Senapati district with its predominant inhabitants belonging to Poumai Naga Tribe. Mention may be made that Purul (Hiimai) Paoki is a traditional paddy transplantation festival of the Poumai Naga of Senapati district which is observed every year during the early week of May (Khana Khou- traditional name of the month) that lasted mainly for 3 days. The first day consist of butchering/preparing meat of various animals and fish for the festival, the second day consist of uprooting and gathering of rice saplings from dry field which had been sown for more than a month in the past. On the evening of the second day, traditional wrestling competitions take place where different male youth from different villages come and compete the local host youth. When the wrestlers are many, the game would continue till early next morning with spectators watching and enjoying the wrestling. The best 3 are selected and prizes were given to the first, second and third position holders basing on the number of winning during the competitions. The third day consist of the main event of the festival where both young and old go to the field for plantations. Young ladies present in the field would invite the visiting young lads to assist in the plantation. The most interesting part of the plantation is to know each other bringing friendship and closeness to each other through such plantation festival.
Wrestling event on the second day of the festival was graced by W. Ibohal Singh, Director, Tourism, government of Manipur as the chief guest with Dr. Harikumar, Chancellor, Manipur International University and S. Lunguiba Thangal, MCS, SDO, Purul as Special guests.
Speaking as the chief guest, W. Ibohal Singh, Director, Tourism, governmnet of Manipur stated that he had served at Senapati DC Office in 1999, familiar and attachment with people of the district since then. The chief guest asserted that Purul is a blessed village who appeals the Purul villagers to identify the natural gift in the village. Tourism Director also urged that time has come to promote and uplift the village is emergent need of the hour. During his last visit to the village in 1999, the chief guest had reportedly suggested to adopt “Home stay” in the village which is the only solution to attract more tourists. Guidelines how to adopt “Home Stay” had been reportedly been given online on Tourism Website stating anyone can apply through online or can submit physically to the Tourism department for registration of the same. Connecting people is one of the main reasons of Tourism department that promote villages, state and country. Like other cities and countries, the chief guest challenged the gathering why not adopt that mechanism in Purul adding Tourism could act as gateway to good economy in the village. While no one has enrolled for Home Stay so far from the village, the director assured to facilitate the villagers for free with required materials which he called a golden opportunity for the villagers for promotion of tourism. Purul village is stated to be the most potential village for agro tourism in the state which the director called “Paoki” festival as very unique. With an aim to promote for such agro tourism, the department reportedly is assisting an amount of Rs. 2 lakhs every year to the organising committee by Tourism department, government of Manipur.
The indigenous Naga wrestling championship during the Purul (Hiimai) Paoki 2022 was held in memory of (Late) L.H. Ngaopunii Sheerou, a veteran wrestler and umpire of the indigenous game. The late leader was reported to be an official referee of Senapati District Open Wrestling Championship on many occasions. Prizes of the championship was also donated by near and dear ones of (Late) Ngaopunii Sheerou for this year.
Winners were recorded with Th. Rahavei of Purul Atongba as the Champion as he walked away with Rs. 20,000/- cash with trophy, S. Pazii of Purul Akutpa as the first runner’s up wining Rs. 15,000/- cash with trophy, Dasou of Tunggam, Senapati bagged the second runner’s up and walked away with Rs. 10,000/- cash with trophy during the whole night wresting that lasted till early next morning of May 10. 5 others were also adjusted with consolation prizes for Rs. 2,000/- each to Thaovei of Purul Akutpa, Sholyavei of Khaikho, Saranamai, Pouveishe of Saranamai, Th. Sazho of Purul Atongba and Dovei of Purul Akutpa.
Other high ranking government officials and film stars from Imphal also participated at the festival.