The Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Chowna Mein graced the most auspicious occasion of Theravada Buddhist, popularly known as Mai Ko Som Fai festival at Kongmu Kham (Golden Pagoda) Noy-Chenam (Tengapani), Namsai district here today.
People from all walks of life dressed in their best traditional attire came to witness the occasion with much fanfare and enthusiasm. The festival offered the devotes a primetime entertainment and an adrenaline rush, as Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein set fire to the stack of fire wood early in the morning amidst presence of Parliamentary Secretary Planning Chow Zingnu Namchoom, DC R.K.Sharma, SP C.K.Mein, ADC Bijoy Talukdar, Chariman Yai Khamti Singpho Council C.K.Namchoom, Vice Chairman UNIMIT from Thailand Thanapat Choompolsil, Prof Krit Chaisinboon and other host of dignitaries.
On the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein released the first edition of Tai Khamti Primer Grade-I published by Tai Khamti Heritage & Literary Society (TKHLS) in collaboration with Tai Khamti Singpho Council (TKSC) brought-out with an aim to jealously protect, preserve and promote the vanishing language and literature of the Tai Khamti community. He also released the Tai Khamti translated version of Daivadasakam, a 10 verses prayer penned by Narayana Guru circa 1914 which has been rendered in 100 languages and is set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Gireesh Unnikrishnan a journalist by profession is the person behind carrying out the translation mission of Daivadasakam to 100 languages and has chosen 40 Indian and 60 foreign languages for this magnificent project. It is for the first time that one of the literary works of Sree Narayana Guru is getting rendered in 100 languages and Tai Khamti language being one of them to find place in the book.
On the occasion, Tai Khamti and Tai Phake fonts were also released by DCM Mein and Parliamentary Secretary Planning Namchoom besides releasing the Tai Khamti calendar published in memory of His Holiness Late Ven Silabangsa Mahathero (the Rajguru of Chongkham Buddha Vihara) and others like Tai alphabet chart ‘Kho Lin Tai”, wooden carve Tai Khamti baby dolls “Mao Hikta & Ye-Sawah” and releasing the video of visit of TKHLS to Khamtilong and video of celebration of Poi Pee Mau festival at Tamu.
While lauding the efforts of TKHLS for carrying the translation and publication works, Mein said that language and literature is an integral part of one’s identity; if we lose our language and literature we lose a big part of ourselves. The effort of the entire team of TKHLS to document the Tai Khamti language and literature is commendable, he added.
“I believe that Tai Khamti language Primer-I will not only help in promoting and preserving the language and literature but will also help to sensitize and familiarize the younger generation with their mother tongue”, Mein said.
Mein said that it is a matter of serious concern for our society that we are rapidly losing our language and literature. There is declining trend among the younger generation not to speak their mother tongue which is gradually leading to the slow death of our language and literature.
Arunachal University of Studies, Professor Venerable Pragyasila Bhikkhu while highlighting the importance of celebration of Mai Ko Sum Fai festival said that it is a ritual ceremony held on the full moon day of Magha connected with the offering of fire. On this auspicious occasion a stupa like shape structure is made up with stack of fire wood. The entire stack of fire wood is then offered to the Buddha. A feast is organized and the stack is set into fire early in the morning.
He said that the Khamtis celebrate many festivals and rituals which are connected with the events associated with Buddhism. Rites and rituals are performed with Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha Vandana, Khamapana, taking refuge in Trisarana and observance of Sila. At the end of every ritual Metta Bhavana Gatha is recited for well being of all sentinels.
He also offered prayer for well being of all.
Earlier, the dignitaries offered prayer at Kongmu Kham and later relished the mouth watering local cuisine locally known as Khao Ya Ku/Khao Nam Pa, khao-laam prepared specially on this occasion.