Imphal: The Manipur Sangai Festival is now recognized as a national event and has brought the cultural flavour of Manipur to centerstage, Manipur governor La. Ganesan said at the Cultural Evening held at Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT) in Imphal on Tuesday evening.
It is very comforting that the Tourism department has been making honest efforts to woo the tourists and make Manipur a popular tourist destination, Ganesan said.
The festival is definitely a step towards this objective by making it a calendar event in the state. This festival provides an opportunity to showcase various aspects of the traditions and culture, besides promoting our handloom and handicraft products. Manipur is undoubtedly a beautiful state with a huge potential for developing into a tourist destination. It abounds in natural beauty with the valley and the hill districts arrayed to satisfy every tourist’s palate of nature, he added.
One bottleneck is obviously the law and order situation which is generally dissuading the tourists from including the state in their itinerary. However, fortunately, the general law and order situation in the state has significantly improved for the last more than five years and the state remained quite peaceful, the governor said.
“It is in our hands, the state government and the people of Manipur to dispel this negative attribute. We need to initiate a multimedia campaign focusing on the positives about the state,” he said.
Tourism has enabled countries without many natural resources to breathe life into their economy. These countries have been able to harness tourism successfully and maintain a vibrant economy. Attempt should be for a larger domestic as well as foreign participation of entrepreneurs and cultural troupes to add novelty and make the festival more attractive every year, he added.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh said the Manipur Sangai Festival is being organised with an aim to showcase the oneness of different communities in the state. He said, this festival of oneness will definitely help to enhance the attachment and emotional bonding among the different communities. State government has been organising the festival in 14 different locations across the state including in the hill districts, he added.
He said 35 ethnic huts representing different ethnic groups have been erected at the Sangai ethnic Park at Moirang Khunou in Bishnupur district. Different programmes will be organized at Geljang and Behiang in Churachandpur, Makhel and Mao in Senapati districts etc. as a part of the festival. International Polo Tournament is being organized with the participation of Polo teams from U.S and Britain.
Chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have been invited and they will come to witness the festival. Union Law minister Kiren Rijiju will grace the closing ceremony of the festival. He appealed people to show decency and hospitality to the people coming from different parts of the country and the world to witness the festival.