Ukhrul: The 1st Hunphun Chumpha (post harvest) festival cum fete was inaugurated by chief guest Himani Chawla, wife of Rahul Chawla, town commander 35th Assam Riffles Ukhrul on Friday at AR recruitment ground, Wino bazaar, Ukhrul. The festival was organized by Hunphun Katamnao Long (HKL) in collaboration with Yarsho FC. Chumpha festival will be celebrated again on November 21. Hunphun Philava and Shimzingwo along with Hangva Wungnao, Hunphun Shanao Long (HSL) Hunphun Executive Council (HEC), All Hunphun Tang Association (AHTA) graced the festival with their presence.
The inaugural program began with ribbon cutting by the chief guest and blessings by Ayao Raleng Hunphun Shanao Long (HSL) vice president, and welcome speech by Ngaworpei Ragui, HKL President. Thereafter, competitions and games were held.
In his welcome speech, Ngaworpei Ragui said, “My father told me about our culture, customs and etiquette. He mentioned how women folk are respected in Tangkhul culture. He particularly mentioned about ‘Chumpha Phanit,’ a festival that we are celebrating today after many decades.”
“Women undertook the ritual of scarification for the harvested crops in this festival. The festival was observed by young and old, men and women. But men were not allowed to stay at home during the ritual. The men folk were sent away to paddy field to prepare for the festival,” he continued.
“Today, HKL is organizing this festival to uphold our culture and value of our women folk with much thanksgiving and prayer for the harvested crop,” he added.
Traditional food items competition was participated by nine colonies from all over Ukhrul town. Thereafter, various activities such as housie bumper and other games, sale of traditional items were taken up.
The Philava, in her speech shared a brief background of how this festival came to be. She mentioned that among all the other festivals celebrated by our ancestors, this festival is the first festival to be celebrated by our ancestors in Hunphun culture, and that there is a total of 12 festivals.
“Chumpha means collection of the harvested crops. Today, we look back and realize that this festival is the only festival where women folks are put first. This festival highlights the importance and value of women folk,” she added.
Furthermore, she said, “I want to thank the organizers for organizing and reviving such an auspicious festival again after decades. I leave the future of Hunphun in God’s hand. May he bless the land with wisdom, creativity, and vision. I also wish the students and younger generations, wisdom, and prosperity”.
Competition prizes for the traditional food were distributed by H A Moonmaya, Hunphun Philava.
Kasomtang secured the 1st position and received a cash amount of Rs.10,000, Khararphung secured 2nd with cash amount of Rs. 5000 and Luiyainaotang 3rd with cash amount of Rs. 3000.
Free vaccination camp was also conducted by District Immunization Officer as a part of the programme.
Other educational and information activities such as assisting of Novadaya Class VI entrance online registration form and CSC portals for Aadhar correction and updates were also provided.