Longte begins with traditional gaiety

* Global festival New Year coincides with Longte & Ram Navami

By Pradeep Kumar
A O News Service
NIRJULI, Apr 13: Longte, the only unique bloodless festival among all festivals celebrated by numerous Abotani tribes of Arunachal Pradesh, coincides with New Year, celebrated in different names across the world, said Nyishi Festival Council (NFC) general secretary Amit Bengia.
In his inaugural address to three-day celebration at Nyiakum Niya ground here on Saturday, he recalled that Central Longte Committee had conceived the idea of not accepting any cash or gift in 2011 from chief guest and guest of honour of any festival which is being followed by other tribes.
Amit, who hoisted the traditional flag, also advocated to making the state clean and green for a healthy living. Though ongoing election process could not dampen the festival spirit, he added.
While highlighting the objectives and aim of the festival, NFC research documentation wing member Bengia Kabnang said that main celebration to barricade the evil spirits beyond the human domain will be held at the same venue on April 15. The games & sports and food stalls part of the festival will continue till April 20 next, he added. Capital Complex Central Longte Committee Jt secretary Chera Siro also spoke.
Sate festivals reflecting the rich culture, traditions and food habits of indigenous population are harbingers of high potential tourism industry as was proved during its celebration in this venue this day in 2013 with young Niyshi girls mirroring their skill of hospitality.

“We have set up the stall to not only showcase our traditional food and beverage but to earn too,” Ruba Yasar (MA 1st year) had said. She was flanked by Ruba Mero, a class-VIII student from remote Damin, her elder Ruba Yani (BA 1st year) and Rapa Yapa (B. Ed.) and all reflected commitment to pursue their higher studies before doing something to lead a decent life.
The other group was Joram Anu (BA final year), Tarjan Joram (IGNOU), Joram Rinchin and Joram Uka, all from Nirjuli.
Minutes before presentation of the traditional dance, the young generation showcased how they had stricken a golden mean between the modern and traditional values to popularize their culture.
The universal saying holds more relevance for Arunachal Pradesh today as the feet of few lakh Arunchalees would be swept away from their cultural roots if they fail to stand together and speak univocally.
The festival was celebrated simultaneously at Itanagar Nyokum Lapang with CLC chairman Chera Sanjeev hoisting the flag.

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