State celebrates Mera Houchongba
Imphal, October 13, 2019 (DIPR): Mera Houchongba, which exemplifies oneness and brotherhood among the people of different ethnic communities residing in the State was celebrated with pomp, gaiety and traditional fervour at Kangla today with Chief Minister Shri N. Biren Singh as the chief guest and Titular King Shri Leishemba Sanajaoba as the functional president.
Art and Culture Minister Shri L. Jayantakumar, Public Health Engineering Minister Shri L. Dikho, MP Shri Lorho Pfoze, State Planning Board Deputy Chairman Shri S. Rajen, Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board Chairman Shri H. Dingo, MLAs Shri Awangbou Newmai and Shri L. Sushindro and Chiefs and Headmen of different villages also graced the occasion organised by the State Level Committee on Mera Houchongba under the aegis of the State Government as dignitaries.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri N. Biren Singh said that the ancient stories of brotherhood and the civilization of Manipur should be included in the school and college syllabus so that the young generation may understand that people residing in the hill and valley of Manipur share a common ancestry and have unbreakable blood relation. Stating that ancient chronicles and legends are the testimony of this fraternal bonding, the Chief Minister said that no one can frame or change the history. Mera Wayungba or Mera Thaomei Thaanba still narrates the age-old story how the younger brother who went down to the valley signaled to his elder brother in the hill about his wellbeing, he said.
The Chief Minister stated that the present Government has been putting in sincere and committed efforts to retain fraternal bonding and peaceful co-existence among different communities of the State ever since it was sworn in on March 15, 2017. Shri N. Biren Singh said that Mera Houchongba was independently celebrated by different institutions and bodies including Lainingthgou Sanamahi Temple Board and Royal Palace earlier. As the day reminds the unbreakable bond of brotherhood among different communities, the State Government decided to bring all these institutions together to jointly celebrate the festival at the State level in a grand manner from 2017.
The Chief Minister also reminded that both people of hill and valley not only suffered together but also fought jointly every time Manipur faced external aggressions from Awa (Burma) and British. As such, all these instances and stories of unity and togetherness should never be forgotten and overlooked, he opined.
As in past years, performing age-old rituals, exchange of gifts and presentation of colourful cultural items of different communities were the main highlights of Mera Houchongba celebration.
Earlier in the morning, the age-old rituals like Mera Men Tongba and Yenkhong Tamba were performed at Royal Palace to strengthen the fraternal bond among people of different ethnic communities. Later, a large number of people from different hill and valley districts gathered at Royal Palace and took out a colourful traditional procession up to Kangla as part of the celebration.