The mega ethno cultural festival of the Singpho tribe Shapawng Yawng concluded this evening at the Singpho Heritage Centre, Bordumsa after performing the Poi-Sat Manau (Valedictory Dance). The annual festival of the Singphos has witnessed a marked development over the years and has been able to meet the motive of uniting and integrating the community through get togetherness and mingling in the festivities. Over the years it has witnessed people from other communities also joining the ora-ora dance during the festival donning Singpho attires. The festival organised under the aegis of Singpho Development Society, apex organisation of the Singpho tribe is basically a commemoration of the tribe’s progenitor Shapawng Yawng. The manau (mass dance) is performed around a set of Shadungs (ceremonial pillars), which is also the sacred logo of the festival. The Shadungs are pillars positioned vertically as well as horizontally painted in multi-colour in geometric and curved motifs. The Shadungs with curved motifs are considered male and those with geometric ones considered female.
The four day thirty third edition of the festival commenced on February 12 with the unfurling of festival flag by Duwa Bisa Latnong, Singpho Chief followed by burst of gunshots to pay homage and mark the commencement of the festival. Delegates from various places arrived on the day and htunghkring manau (traditional dance) and kumrum manau (get together dance) were performed on the first. The second day also saw arrival of more guests and delegates and repeating the dance performances as the previous day followed by the cultural night.
The third day started with the reception of the chief guest and guest of honours alongwith other dignitaries. Chief Minister Pema Khandu graced as the chief guest while Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and state BJP chief Tapir Gao were the guest of honours. Parliamentary Secretaries Chow Tewa Mein, Chow Zingnu Namchoom and Techi Kaso and local MLA Nikh Kamin were also present amidst a galaxy of other dignitaries.
The chief minuster also opened the exhibition stall which displayed antiques and other items of traditional usage. He also launched the Singpho Multi Lingual Dictionary Mobile App besides releasing a SOUVENIR. Khandu in his address conveyed his gratitude to the celebration committee for inviting him as the chief guest and expressed his happiness after witnessing what he termed a unique festival. He said that the the state’s cultural diversity was unique. He also talked about the need for good policies so that the resources of the state can be rapped and converted to revenue. Responding to the five point memorandum submitted on the ocassion, the chief minister assured to look into the demands. He also exhorted the youths to preserve the culture and history which has been passed down through generations and shoulder the responsibility to carry it forward for posterity.
DCM Chowna Mein speaking on the ocassion said he was well aware of the evolution and development of Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi having started in a small way but now having hone global. Mein commended the Singphos for endeavouring to preserve their rich culture and heritage.
Tapir Gao and Nikh Kamin also spoke on the ocassion and extended wishes to the Singpho community on the ocassion of the Shapawng Yawng Manau Poi.
Tesam Pongte, MLA Changlang (North), graced the evening cultural programme as the chief guest. He handed the citations to the previous presidents and general secretaries who contributed their services till the silver jubilee and were being felicitated by the Singpho Development Society. The meritorious students who topped in class x and class XII were also felicitated with certificates and lap tops. Pongte also addressed the evening audience and called to the need to preserve culture and tradition.
Today, on the concluding day after the Manau (dance) session in the pre noon a meeting was held to decide the next venue for celebration of the festival. In the meeting it was decided to howl the thirty fourth edition of the festival at Namsai headquarter. The draw of the gift coupon was held later followed by the Poi Sat Manau (Valedictory Dance) where hundreds of people participated in the dance.
C.C.Singpho, former minister and the man instrumental in developing the Singpho Heritage Centre expressed his gratitude to the chief minister for gracing the festival whirl recalling the contribution of former chief minister Late Dorjee Khandu in developing the heritage centre. He was also grateful to the other dignitaries who attended the festival. Ongyun Maio,Secretary General Singpho Development Society was overwhelmed with participation of other communities in the festival besides the support and cooperation rendered by the administration and various government agencies. He was hopeful that the support and cooperation wil, continue in future too. He however was unhappy with the fact that this year the Kachin delegates from Myanmar could not as usual partake in the festival being barred by the authorities on their side and was hopeful that the government on our side will initiate steps so thatthe permission is restored from next year.