Sinlung /
18 November 2014

Northeast Festival in Delhi Sends Out Message Of National Integration

New Delhi, Nov 18 : 'Insurgence to Resurgence' was the theme of the second edition of the "Northeast Festival - Connecting People, Celebrating life" at the Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts in New Delhi.

The four-day long cultural extravaganza was organised by Trend MMS, with support from eight north-eastern states, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of DoNER and the Northeast Community, Delhi.

Sportspersons from the north east, who won medals at the recent Commonwealth and Asian Games were felicitated at the inaugural session.

Leaders, policy makers and various stakeholders came together for discussion sessions on critical issues including tourism, employment, business opportunities and investment in IT sector in north east.

Shyamkanu Mahanta, the organiser- in- chief, said the main motive is to connect with rest of the country.

"This is a comprehensive package. First part is to communicate Delhi and rest of the country about north-east. Second part is showcasing the talents. We have MTV covering our musicians. So, we want to give a platform because they don't get platforms like this," Mahanta said.

"We have got paintings from Aizwal. They have never gone out. For the first time, the artists are getting a scope at Indira Gandhi Center, considered to be the best art destination in the country. So, they are getting a good market. We wanted to give this platform to our talents and create hype around the north-east. We are an integral part of India, we need to be known and we are trying to communicate," he added.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on his part said that such events should strengthen our position.

"When we meet for such occasions, something positive should come out of such events. So those who are participating in cultural events, food events, discussions, seminars, workshops, these all should cumulatively lead us to strengthen our position," he said.

Colorful performances of ethnic dances like Sukhta Lam of the Kuki-Chin-Mizo tribes from Manipur attracted the visitors.

The festival also included an art and photography exhibition that showcased the works of various Northeastern artists.

A huge draw at the festival was the food court that offered the locals a chance to sample traditional northeastern delicacies.

The products on display at the various handloom and handicraft stalls from the different north-eastern states were also much appreciated.

"This is very nice. I come from far away from Rohini. I came because I thought this will be very colorful and nice and I am particularly interested in the dresses the people wear here. They are very nice," said Thakar, a local.

"I really enjoy north-east food especially food from Nagaland. There are places in Green Park like Nagaland's Kitchen and Rosang cafe and we always go there to have pork ribs and akhouni and stuff," added another local Prateek.

Fashion designers from the region put together a vibrant show showcasing the traditional weaving patterns, rich colorful fabrics and jewelry worn by the numerous tribes of the north-east.

Actress Rajni Basumatary, boxer Shiva Thapa, former Mr. India Mahadev Deka and singer Rewben Mashangva made special appearances on the ramp.

"When a mega event like this northeast festival happens in Delhi, lots of people come to know many things about the Northeast region, not just about sports, but also about music, culture and traditions and many more things. This is the biggest platform for us to show our talents and also to let all Indians know that we do exist as well," said Shiva Thappa, a boxer.

The audience was later treated to a wide range of musical performances by popular bands like Minutes of Decay, Mayukh Hazarika and the Brahmaputra Balladeers and Frisky Pints.

Tetseo Sisters, a popular female band from Nagaland, sang their famous folk songs in Chokri dialect.

During their performance, they used age-old Naga string instrument Tati and Bamhum.

Father of Naga Folk Blues, Guru Rewben Mashangva from Manipur, had the audience rocking to his catchy tunes.

Mashangva said the people will get to know more about the north east through such events.

"This is a very good platform for us, for youngsters and the north east people to get together here .The government needs to sponsor more and more such events every year so that the mainland

India and Northeast people will unite again and again here. It's a platform for our north-east people. From every corner, we have brought here our talents, skills, costumes and fashion," he said.

Such festivals are essential to facilitate better understanding and bridge the gap between the north-east and the other parts. They also help in promoting the tourism and business potential of the region, besides highlighting the multifarious culture.


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