Chief Minister Pema Khandu today attended the ‘Indigenous Faith Day’ celebration organised by the Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFSCAP) here at Nyikum Niya ground at Nirjuli.
He arrived at the venue accompanied by Agriculture Minister Wangki Lowang and was welcomed by men and women dressed in indigenous attire.
Attendants at the event also included representatives from various districts of Arunachal representing their indigenous faith.
The Chief Minister visited a few ritual sites erected by different indigenous faith groups, which was followed by a colourful cultural dances from different indigenous groups.
Khandu in his speech extended his wishes for the celebration and recalled the contribution of late Talom Rukbo for his untiring effort to lead the indigenous faith movement.
He said though Arunachal is known by different names -‘Land of Rising Sun’ and ‘Land of Dawnlit Mountains’, it is mostly known for its cultural diversity.
“I thank the elders and seniors in the community who have preserved our belief and culture and have successfully passed it on to the next generation,” he said and urged that it was now the duty of the young generation to preserve it for posterity.
To preserve culture, Khandu stressed on preservation of local languages and emphasised on the role of the parents and the elders to teach their children to speak in their own mother tongue.
“I have my children study in their own home town in Tawang so that they are able to learn their local culture, tradition and dialect. It gives me immense happiness, when my children speak to me in our Monpa dialect,” said the Chief Minister.
Urging the people of Arunachal to maintain religious and communal harmony, he said each one of us is free to follow any religion but expressed that he was opposed when forced upon.
The Chief Minister on the occasion informed that a budget provision of Rs 20 crore for the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) has been kept including a Secretary appointed for the department. He also informed that a Chairman and the members of the department will be appointed soon.
Appealing the people to preserve their culture, Minister Lowang said that with the death of an elderly person in the community, dies a portion of our knowledge on culture, dialect and tradition. He therefore stressed on the need for documentation and preservation of the indigenous culture.
Khandu earlier released an IFSCAP calendar and a video CD of State Level Indigenous Youth festival held the previous year.
Also present on the occasion were Chief Information Commissioner Dr Joram Begi, IFSCAP President Tajom Tasung , IFSCAP Secretary Bai Taba and members from Nyishi Elite Society (NES) and Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF).