ITANAGAR- Arunachal Pradesh known for its rich cultural heritage and age-old traditions is a living museum, state Education, Indigenous Faith, and Culture, Minister Taba Tedir said here on Tuesday.
“We do not need to search for culture and traditions unlike in advanced western countries where people visit museums to learn about their lost cultures”, he said while gracing the Dree Festival of the Apatani community here.
“Despite the diversity in food, dress, language, religion, and regions, we Arunachalees reflect ‘Team Arunachal’ spirit as reiterated by Chief Minister Pema Khandu-led government, which created Indigenous Faith department for documentation, preservation, and promotion of ethnic cultures of 26 major tribes and over 100 minor tribes without any distinction,” Tedir said.
The Indigenous Faith department has been allocating Rs 8.3 lakh annually for the last two years to each 60 assembly constituency for the celebration of the respective festival after the Centre stopped funding under this head, he said.
Terming Apatanis as the most educationally advanced, Tedir called upon the elders to pass on the cultures and traditions, being the indigenous identity, to younger generations for preservation for posterity.
“The elders and parents being a living treasure house of knowledge and that is why Dree celebrated first in 1967 is alive today. They should be respected lest we lose everything”, he cautioned.
The present government has also respected the powerful priests (nyibus), the custodians of cultures and traditions, by paying them honorarium, he said, and urged the priests not to misuse their power.
All festivals of the state, including of Adi, Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Tagin, Galo, Khampti, Mishmi, and Monpa, which unite the people, are related to Mother Earth and agriculture and Arunachalees worship for humanity, he said, and wished the Apatani to live in peace and march for a better tomorrow.
Dumporijo MLA Rodo Bui speaking on the occasion said that history is witness to the fact that Arunachalees have been deep-rooted to their cultures and traditions.
“There is no place for any violence in this tribal society nor wealth will sustain for long,” he said and appealed to all to live in peace maintaining communal harmony.
Highlighting the speedy development of the state capital, Itanagar MLA and chief patron of the celebration committee Techi Kaso said there was a time when people used to wait for hours to travel from Naharlagun to Itanagar for only one passenger bus was plying then.
Despite tremendous development, the present traffic congestion is due to haphazard parking and a lack of positive attitude of the people, he said and advocated having a proper understanding of issues confronting the state capital.
“If we remain united toeing ‘pan-Arunachal’ spirit, no force on earth can divide us,” he added.
The dignitaries also released the Dree souvenir titled ‘Journey of Capital Complex’.