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Two-day Thingyan festival at MU concludes

Photo courtesy: Facebook/Manipur University

The Centre for Myanmar Studies, Manipur University, encouraged planting of Papaya (locally known as Awathabi) as a symbol of bonding between Myanmar and Manipur

TFM Desk

The two-day Thingyan, 2021 organised by the Centre for Myanmar Studies, Manipur University concluded on Friday with a Burmese song sung by Arbin Soibam, a renowned singer of Manipur.

The festival witnessed events such as Ngamu Thaba, Burmese cuisines, Burmese costumes, photo exhibition, talk shows, cultural dance of Myanmar and Manipur performed by the students of Manipur University, amongst others, according to a release by Nongthombam Jiten, an organiser of the festival.

During the festival the centre invited children in and around the campus of the varsity and offered sweets and Burmese cuisines. The centre encouraged planting of Papaya (locally known as Awathabi) as a symbol of bonding between Myanmar and Manipur. Students and teachers of the university participated in the festival and coincidentally many tourists also took part in the Thingyan 2021, it added.

The first day kicks off at the Manipur University with the sprinkling of water with “Thabyay” by releasing fishes (Ngamu) at the Canchi Park, MU. Further, The chief guest by way of watering at the Awathabi (papaya) plant at the Amphitheatre, Centenary Hall of the university inaugurated the function.

MU VC (in-charge) Prof S Sanatombi Singha, registrar Prof W Chandbabu and Students Welfare Dean L Bishwanath Sharma, graced the function as the chief guest, guest of honour and president respectively, the release stated.

Prof Sanatombi Singha expressed the need for comparative research work on the cultural similarities between Myanmar and Northeast India in general and Manipur in particular through folklore in order to understand the land and the people of this region. She further highlighted the inner ethos of Thingyan, the art of purification or cleansing away the sins and sorrows in order to start a fresh life. She also mentioned the spirit of respecting the elders during the festival.

Prof Chandbabu in his speech stressed the importance and role of the Centre for Myanmar Studies, MU at the present global scenario. He expressed that the centre needs to be strengthened and should take a major share in the capacity building of the people of this region,

Bahwanath Sharma, in his presidential speech also expressed in line with the other dignitaries that the centre needs to be strengthened and more activities ought to be conducted. He appreciated the kind of engagement shown by the c entre from the classroom teaching to the MU community domain through cultural medium in order to know a country.

Centre for Myanmar Studies director Prof MC Arun giving his welcome address of the function maintained that the Thingyan, 2021 is a part of academic engagement of the students of the centre in order to inculcate the cultural life world of the Myanmar people.

The release further stated that four main speakers were also invited by the centre to give special talk during the festival. On the first day of the festival, Prof T Tampha Devi of the Department of Manipuri, MU spoke on the topic “Ngamu Thaba”. While associate professor Ch Rajketan of the Department of Manipuri, MU gave his presentation on the “Historical Relation between Manipur- Burma”.

On the second day, Indo-Myanmar Association president Sh Samu delbed on the “Historical Genesis of Thingyan” and P Milan Khangemcha of the Department of Philosophy, MU spoke on the “Theme of Water from the Buddhist Point of View”. 

Thingyan, commonly referred to as the water festival is a festival celebrated across Myanmar as a New Year’s Day celebration.

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