Barak festival kicks off


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, December 13, 2019: Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh on Friday inaugurated the two-day 2nd Barak Festival celebrated under the theme, ‘Confluence of Cultures’ with much fanfare and exciting display of colourful cultural items at Mini Stadium, Senapati district headquarters.

Biren said the state government would make all-out efforts to internationalise the festival so that more visitors and tourists can be attracted from different parts of the country and the world. Much to the delight of the mammoth crowd gathered at the venue, the chief minister announced that the Central Organizing Committee’s proposal for hiking festival budget would be definitely considered.

He also suggested the committee to organise the festival near the origin of Barak River or at any suitable site near the river from next year by adding adventure items like river rafting etc.

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Making his observation that some festivals and functions sometimes lose their essence and public participation after these are taken over by the government Biren expressed his desire to fully hand over the responsibility of organising Barak festival to the people of Senapati district although necessary funds would be provided by the government from next year. He said Shirui festival had witnessed a huge boom in the past couple of years in its magnitude and people’s enthusiasm because of great involvement of local people in holding the festival.

Regarding people’s movements against CAB in Assam and other states, the chief minister prayed for early restoration of peace and tranquility in Assam and other neighbouring states. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Amit Shah had assured to constitutionally safeguard the political, linguistic, cultural and land rights of Assamese people as per the spirit of Clause 6 of Assam Accord 1985.

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Regarding Manipur, he said people should thank Narendra Modi and Amit Shah for extending Inner Line Permit to Manipur to protect the indigenous people of the state from the purview of CAB.

Earlier in the morning, the chief minister landed at the helipad of 59 Mountain Brigade located at Taphou Naga at around 10:50 am. From there, he reached the festival venue where he was welcomed by huge number of people clad in traditional attires amidst blowing of traditional horns. Presentation of mesmerizing cultural items by different troupes including a group from Dimapur was the main attraction of the day.

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Miss Barak Contest, Barak Voice Hunt, traditional wrestling, traditional car race, musical nights and presentation of cultural dance and music will be the main highlights of this year’s festival.

The festival, which takes its name from Barak River, is jointly organized by the Barak Festival Central Organizing Committee and the state tourism department. The idea of Barak Festival, as a collective celebration for the tribes of Senapati district comprising Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Zeliang, was conceived by Naga People’s Organization (NPO), and it was first celebrated in the year 2013. It was a district level festival in the beginning, however, Biren declared it as a state level festival in 2017.


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