TODAY -

Sangai fest kicks off amid razzmatazz with a tinge of sour
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 21 2013: Amidst a plethora of colourful and lively programmes, the Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2013 was kicked off this afternoon at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound with two Chief Ministers of Myanmar as special guests and their presence for the first time in the annual gala event giving a new chapter in the history of bilateral relationship between Manipur and Myanmar.

Though crackers were officially banned during the recent Diwali festival, hundreds, if not thousands of crackers were burst to mark the beginning of the festival leaving a sour taste in the mouth of many.

The State Tourism Department is the host of the annual tourism festival.

The Myanmar delegation led by the two Chief Ministers attended the opening ceremony held at Hapta Kangjeibung as well as other programmes held at the adjacent Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre.



he festival being inaugurated, a cultural show, the maiden flight from abroad landing at Tulihal, foreign delegates visitng Babina Diagnostice Centre
he festival being inaugurated, a cultural show, the maiden flight from abroad landing at Tulihal, foreign delegates visitng Babina Diagnostice Centre


DoNER and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Chief Minister O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Myanmar's Mandalay region Chief Minister U Ye Myint, Sagaing region Chief Minister U Thar Aye, Tourism and YAS Parliamentary Secretary M Prithiviraj and Indian Ambassador to Myanmar Gautam Mukhopadhyay graced the opening ceremony as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Before Paban Singh Ghatowar officially opened the festival by lighting up a ceremonial lamp, Ghatowar, Ibobi, Ye Myint and Thar Aye released balloons at the entrance of Hapta Kang-jeibung.

Speaking at the inaugural function at BOAT which was packed to the capacity, Mandalay region Chief Minister U Ye Myint said that their visit would consolidate the bilateral relation shared between Manipur and Myanmar.

He noted that Manipur and Myanmar share a long border and added there is close affinity between peoples of Myanmar and Manipur in terms of culture and tradition.

"It is this affinity which brought us to Sangai festival and our cultural troupes would perform at the festival", Myint said.

Sagaing Chief Minister Thar Aye said that he had learnt of the relationship shared between Manipur and Sagaing in the historical past.

The relationship should be revived and sustained for years to come.

Sagaing is eager to open bilateral relationship with Manipur on such fields as education, culture and trade, he announced to the gathering.

In a symbolic gesture for peace and friendship, presidium members of the function released pigeons.

After this Chief Minister O Ibobi presented prized paintings to Ghatowar, Ye Myint and Thar Aye.

M Prithiviraj presented mementos (wood carvings of Kanglasha and Sangai) to all the presidium members and Myanmarese delegates.

In his address, Paban Singh Ghatowar stated that Manipur which is the only natural home of Sangai and Siroy Lily is also the birth place of Polo.

Manipur with its picturesque landscape, rich cultural heritage and tradition has enormous potential for tourism industry.

The annual Sangai festival not only provides a perfect platform for different art forms of Manipur but also gives an ideal turf for eco-tourism, adventure sports and indigenous cuisines.

Chief Minister O Ibobi stated that the hospitality shown by the Chief Ministers of Sagaing and Mandalay during his visit to Myanmar some months back was something unforgettable.

He promised all available facilities of convenience to the visiting Myanmar counterparts.

"As I proposed during my visit to Myanmar for exchange between Manipur and Myanmar on different sectors, a team of Myanmar students headed by a Professor is currently on an exposure trip to Manipur University", Ibobi stated.

One whole day (November 23) of the Sangai festival has been dedicated to Myanmar and it has been named Myanmar Day.

It is also Manipur's desire to open bilateral relationship with South East Asian countries on such areas as health care, culture, trade and business etc.

The Government of Manipur has already sent a proposal to the Prime Minister of India and the Union Home Minister to open a regional passport office at Imphal, Ibobi said.

The opening ceremony came to its climax with choreographic presentation entitled "Manipur–A Tourist Destination Through Culture" and this was followed by dazzling display of fireworks.

The festival which would continue till November 30 would have cultural programmes every evening at BOAT.

At Hapta Kangjeibung, rows and rows of stalls offering and displaying handloom and handicraft items, fancy items and indigenous food items would remain open throughout the festival.

The festival would also feature adventure sports, indigenous games and sports, boat race and fashion parade.


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