Luira Phanit – the seed sowing festival of Nungbi Khullen, a festival to invoke the Creator’s blessings upon the seeds that are to be sown and for the crops for a bountiful harvest kick-started on January 26 and will wind up on January 29, 2022.
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
Nungbi Khullen famous for “Nungbi Hampai” the clay pottery is about 35km from Ukhrul Headquarters and is inhabited by four clans namely Khaiyar Awungshi, Tangvah, Kamkara and Shimrah kickstarted their seed sowing festival on January 26 and will wind up on January 29, 2022.
The villagers celebrated the third day of the festival as “Cultural Day” with folk song, folk dance and tug of war. Attending the occasion as Chief Guest, President of Tangkhul Naga Wungnao Long (TNWL), SA Ramnganing stated that “this festival marked the beginning of new year for us. It is the time for the village Chief to invoke the blessing of the Creator for the wellbeing of the people and land. Once again, it is the time for the villagers to start plantation of various crops.”
SA Ramnganing continued “Luira is also the time to display our rich culture and tradition. With the coming of age, we are slowly losing our indigenous knowledge and values that are integral to our identity. Haolaa and Pheichak have become only a song and dance performed by the elders. Many of our youngsters have forgotten to emulate and promote our forefathers ways and practices.”
“Many youngsters are into modern music and dances. Thousands will throng the venue of a concert by artist of today but few will watch haolaa and pheichak performance by elders or anyone. This is a sad reality which we need to change. Preserving our culture and tradition has become the greatest challenge for our people, the Tangkhuls today. We were a people who highly valued honesty, sincerity and hard work. Now, it is different. In the olden days, nobody locked their home. Everybody went to their paddy field without locking their homes, unbothered or anxious of who would enter their house. Today, we are in a different time” added SA Ramnganing.
SA Ramnganing further added “May this celebration bring unity, peace and growth among the brethren of Nungbi Khullen. And may the rest of Tangkhul community look up to Nungbi Khullen and emulate to revive their culture and tradition.” As a mark of respect, SA. Ramnganing presented traditional mufflers to the head of the four clan.
Clad in traditional attires and singing Haolaa, the villagers escorted the dignitaries from the residence of the Chief to the venue. One of the commendable items was the participation of peer groups (Yarnao) in folk song and folk dance competitions. This year, the Village Authority has made it mandatory for the peer groups to participate in the folk song and folk dance competitions so as to revive and instill the importance of tradition among the young minds. The “Luta Choirs” comprising of elders lead the gathering in rendition of traditional folk song.
Many guests from neighbouring villages and Ukhrul Headquarters attended the celebration. Chairman of VDC Nungbi Khullen, K. Ringyangam while extending warm welcome to the visitors wishes them a prosperous year.
In the evening, the entire villagers clad in traditional attires performed the traditional practice of “Khamahon” in the local ground to wind up the day.