Apatanis in Namsai today celebrated Dree with traditional zest marked by sacrificial offerings and prayers at Circuit House, Mahadevpur in Namsai district which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein as Chief Guest on the festive occasion. Among other invitees, Parliamentary Secretary Tax & Excise Chow Zingnu Namchoom, ADC Namsai M.K.Deori, DIG (East) A. Biten, EAC Mahadevpur H.N.Dubey, EAC Namsai J. Pertin, ZPC Namsai Chow Kyasing Mounglang along with HoDs and officers from the district also attended the celebration.
Extending heartiest festival greeting to the Apatani community, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein in his speech lauded the efforts of Apatani people in preserving the age old tradition and culture. He said that Apatani tribes as of today are way ahead culturally, economically and educationally because of their self disciplined nature and dignity of labour. Mein hoped that Dree festival will bring cheer, happiness, health and prosperity to all.
If you are in Rome, be a Roman, quoting the famous line the Deputy Chief Minister applauded the efforts of Apatani people in Namsai district in showcasing the Apatani culture and organizing the Dree festival in a grand manner despite their population to only 50 families. Festivals form an essential part of the socio-cultural aspect of our people, hence the festivals not only characterize colour, fervor, feast and prayers and rituals but also bear testimony to its rich culture heritage and India is a secular country, every religion has to be respected, every society social system has to be respected, every believe has to be recognized and the government at the centre and the state recognized this and I follow this guideline, he added.
Appreciating the effort of the Apatani community in making the Lower Subansiri district plastic free zone, Mein appealed all to do the same in Namsai district. He called upon the people of area and youths for inter-tribe interaction programme with the Apatani people to learn their ways of life and shared his experience on practicing improvised mediation for focused and calm mind.
The mythology on Dree is about agriculture system of the Apatani tribe. All festival celebrated in State are related to socio-agricultural festival, Sangken like Dree is also socio-agricultural festival of Khampti tribe. Agriculture being the main activity of all the tribes, we must learn the unique way of sustainable and efficient methods that the Apatani people have been following to cultivate rice, he added.
Mein exhorted that it is also important to preserve the indigenous varieties of crop. For fulfilling the high yielding demand, people are mixing the various indigenous crops and so it is losing its natural aromas and its originality. If steps to preserve the indigenous varieties of crop are not taken now than it won’t be long that we may lose all indigenous crops for want of quantity not quality.
The Deputy Chief Minister congratulated the newly inducted APPSCE Circle Officer from the Apatani community Ligang Ampi who joined in Namsai. Welcoming her, the DCM hoped that she discharges her duties diligently and will contribute for upliftment of the district. He also appreciated Dr Lod Tayo posted in Mahadevpur for performing his duties sincerely.
Speaking on the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary Tax & Excise Chow Zingnu Namchoom wished the entire Apatani community for bumper harvest and prosperous Dree festival. He also suggested the Dree Festival Celebration Committee Namsai district for organizing the Dree festival next year in Namsai in a grand way.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Chairman of Dree Celebration Committee Dr Rani Rika and the mythology of Dree festival was read out by Ligang Ampi.
The unique and interesting part of the festival included distribution of cucumber, symbolizing the sacredness of vegetables, to guest and participants. Other highlights of the festival included Daminda dance performance by all dignitaries which added festivity, fervor and colours to the day. Besides seeking blessings of almighty for a bumper harvest along with colourful cultural programmes presented by the Nyishi, Galo, Singpho and Apatani dance troops , the community feast served with delicious rice and millet beer added attraction to the celebration.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minster Chowna Mein unfurled the Dree flag and Parliamentary Secretary Tax & Excise Chow Zingnu Namchoom inaugurated the Dree festival by cutting the cucumber in pieces.