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Headman of Ngainga Village revives Thisam to mark First Death Anniversary of Son

Thisam is an age-old ritual  of Tangkhul community observed in memory of the death. However, after Tangkhul community converted into Christianity, this practice has been stopped. 
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
In its first kind after Tangkhul community converted into Christianity, Thisam – a ritual observed in memory of death was performed on Tuesday at Ngainga village by the Headman of Ngainga village.
RS Ramyaingam son of RS Khangamkhai Awunga, Headman of Ngainga Village passed away in Delhi on  December 14, 2020. In remembrance of his death, the traditional old age practise of Thisam was revived and observed to mark his first death anniversary by killing buffaloes and hosting grand feast.
RS Khangamkhai stated that “there was strict observance of giving names to newborn babies and it was a taboo to give random names. Usually, bulls were killed for the first born son, oxen for the second son, pigs for the third son and other animals for the rest of the sons. Likewise, today I have killed a bull in observance of the first death anniversary of my first son.
“The custom and practices revolving around Thisam was clear in our forefathers time. Until Thisam is observed, food was always laid out for the death believing that the spirit of the death continued to stay with the family. The mourning period last till the observance of Thisam.
“In the olden days, there were sightings of the spirits who died in the same year leaving for their Hades after observing their Thisam held usually in winter for the whole village.
“According to Tangkhul custom, a bull has been killed and a portion of the meat has been distributed to every household of the village.
Mother of RS Ramyaingam,  RS Ngalaton while giving thanks to God and the attendees shared the story of his son’s stay in Delhi and of his passing on December 14, 2020. She also narrated of the honour given to him by the people of Ngaina where everyone refrain from attending their respective work for two days at the time of his death.
President of Tangkhul Naga Wungano Long, SA. Ramnganing stated that “Thisam is usually observed during winter for the while village. As for individual, Thisam is carried out at their first death anniversary. With the onset of Christianity, this is the first time I am witnessing the observance if Thisam. As a Christian, we live and die for God. May God bless the family in the days to come and may peace be upon them.” General Secretary of Tangkhul Awungva Saklong, RA. Ningreiwon also give a short sharing.  The Semhor Longnao, Yarnao of RS. Ramyaingam presented a special song and read out the poem dedicated to him.
The Thisam programme was attended by family members, villagers, his peer group (yarnao), Headmen and elders from the neighbouring villagers. Portion of the meat was given to everyone attending the programme. As a a mark of celebration a feast was given to everyone who attended the Thisam programme of RS. Ramyaingam.
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