IMPHAL | Oct 30 (IFP): The blessed festival of the Liangmai community ‘Chagaa Ngee’ begins today at Tamei headquarter, Namraining, Tamenglong district.
It is one of the biggest festivals of the Liangmai tribe and annually celebrated during the autumn season. Many Liangmai leaders have stated differently about the meaning of “Chagaa.” Some say it is a festival of sanctification, preparation for war, war festival and seeking of God’s blessing for the next year.
But most of the elders agree that it is a process of sanctification of the body and mind to get blessings in whatever ambitions one aspires to have.
Addressing the gathering as the chief guest of the festival, member of legislative assembly, 52 assembly constituency, Awangbow Newmai said while preserving and protecting one’s own culture, one must not look down upon other cultures. “When we respect the rights and culture of other communities, there will be peace and better understanding between different communities,” he added.
He also informed that the process to include “Chaga Nee” as a restricted holiday of the state by the government is still going on.
Saying that the Indian forces in Kargil suffer mostly from eye weaknesses due to frequent exposure to the same colour of snow in the region, Awangbow said that different communities make the world beautiful but if there was only one common community and culture, the world will be very different.
God made different communities with its distinctive cultures and the Liangmai community is one among them and persevering and protecting one’s own culture might also be the wish of God, he added.
While appreciating the Biren government for the initiative taken to open a Tamei sub division state bank and the newly inaugurated women market, Awangbow also said that every individual wants development in different sectors. He further informed that medical facilities, schools and roads are still lacking behind in the area.
Speaking to media persons, president of Liangmai art and culture association, Adibou Newmai said that Chagaa festival has been revived again from 2004 and many efforts are taken up to declare the festival as a state holiday.
While informing that the government of Nagaland has recognised the Chagaa festival in their state, he also said that the chief minister and council of ministers of Manipur will be consulting about declaring the festival as a restricted holiday in the state. Adibou further said that declaring the festival as a restricted holiday will help in boosting up the culture of the community which was laid down by the ancestors of the community.
With the advent of Christianity, Chagaa festival was chosen as the most valuable festival among different festivals of the tribe after a discussion had been conducted with Liangmai communities from Nagaland, added Adibou.
Different cultural songs and dances were performed as a part of the festival which will continue for two more days.