TODAY -

Sangai Festival at Kangla

Prince Akoijam *

 Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2013 : Opening day at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound :: November 21 2013
Manipur Sangai Tourism Festival 2013 : Opening day at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound on Nov 21 2013 :: Pix - Arunkumar Thongam



It has been some years that I started to have a feeling of writing about Sangai Festival, but for one or some reasons NOS, I was unable to do so; but again since seeing Chief Minister and Organising Committee of Sangai Festival discussing about changing the festival location this year in a newspaper, I have been excited about but again for some reasons that are NOS I had been still unable to do so: Nevertheless today I have decided to write. It is very simple -

That one could think there must have been as always merits and demerits of the point there is no other place other than Kangla in Imphal to organise such a state festival called the Sangai Festival sustainably: but a point of which the merits outweigh demerits. Maybe this will be instigated this year or not is not a matter, but I am pretty sure this to be in the very near future.

The Sangai Festival, the one and only festival at the present Manipur and one day will be for the entire Southeast Asia if we promote, should be popularised more and more by collecting people around the world to attend which should be done by us at any means and thus we can say proudly at that time it is our festival, but how we can do this is one of the very major things to be established first. Government of Manipur has been taking the main role in organising Sangai Festival and has been doing for quite a long and will be doing so.

In the meantime, Sangai Festival has become most favoured among us and Southeast Asia and so this festive time has become the on-season time for tourists in Manipur, but this means a lot upgraded skills to manage this festival. This includes arrangements and managements. Selection of festival site is still a very important part that needs an open eye and this dictates itself whether or not of a success of the festival or any other related fields and thus carries a high false-negative result.

When there were Assam Rifles in Kangla we were unable to develop things in the past and in contrary developed things to other areas which are unsuited for that purpose; otherwise Kangla would have already been changed in an efficient manner to date and so on and so on. As now Assam Rifle is no longer there, we had and have the opportunity to develop. These could have already been done by previous predecessors before but did not as they had not a bit of idea about developing Kangla in such as manner I think.

At minimum, one open air theatre that could be used for any state purposes must be established first and then Kangla to develop for any forthcoming state events and at that time People of Manipur will have a strong aspiration to go and join events and think about a prosperous future of Manipur.

Of course, the time has changed since the Sangai festival started and will remain changing, but this leads to a very big difference in our life/our society for a better future. Nowadays due to a vast change in the technology and their accessibility anytime anywhere, people around the world have very interested to know/to show each other and a desire going around the globe or at least as a tourist.

Taking this into consideration, we can celebrate our Sangai Festival at Kangla as a tourist spot for those days celebrating the festival, a place where every Manipuri and/or people from other countries can feel the essence of Sangai Festival heartily. There may be less attendance from Europe or USA or even India, but here a large number of people around the world including Southeast Asia are awaiting for the festival to begin.

Here are some points in its support: -
* A perfect centre of Imphal and its surroundings - So that people can get it through easily.
* Moats laying north/west/south and the Imphal River at the east - These give more security to everybody.
* Three entrances and/or gates (Sanjenthong, AOC/BOC and the main Kangla gate) - So people can reach in from three directions.
* More enough spaces for fun - Festive restaurants/family lunch.
* Water bodies inside the Kangla and moats outside the Kangla - These could be used for a worthwhile boating experience. People love it/want to enjoy and there is no harm by doing this so.
* Grounds inside the Kangla - So there will be more upscale stalls. Most importantly, people from other countries can also find Kangla more comfortable and friendly than any other because where it is situated and its surroundings.
* No other place to organise such a festival in Imphal - Location is very important that success depends on where it should be. Everyone everyman and everywoman in Manipur will welcome it and visit Sangai Festival.
* At a historical site of Manipur - Being the on-season time for tourists, many tourists and many different cultures arrive from other countries and so on and they will get the chance to meet the Kangla and explore things and we have the chance to officially or personally meet and welcome people from other countries at the heart of our historical palace that is good news for every Manipuri. For a better future of Imphal to be developed which should not be at least less than others and established by ourselves, we must dedicate the Sangai Festival to be done at Kangla.

Sangai Festival at Hapta Kangjeibung does not give the festive fun of the festival to attenders (not a perfect centre, not enough spaces, only for stalls): yes it was when the Sangai Festival was celebrating only by Manipuries and when there was no attendance from other countries. Now people from other countries are participating the festival (not only for profit but also a desire to explore/to know each other as a tourist). At Hapta Kangjeibung what they might have thought about Sangai Festival and about Manipur before and what they have learnt after the festival is simply "the First and the Last" due to strangeness inconveniences to what they thought. At least Hapta Kangjeibung does not have the points which the Kangla has and does not deserve for that (for only state purposes: Sangai Festival being an international event nowadays).

One most important thing is that by doing this it does not mean we destroy our historical Kangla and every effort should be made to protect it and there are so many ways for it. By preserving only the every important historical/religious sites and keeping each site guarded, it is possible to celebrate Sangai Festival at Kangla. As usual there may be some merits and demerits for this, but the merit outweighs demerits.

We must develop a proper future for our children which should not be less than others. It is the time to change everything in Manipur because all are substandard and nothing left for us to be proud of (But to what level now is confusing. There must have been at least some four or five 20-30 floor buildings in Imphal until now!! In a very short period of about 15 years back now, our world has changed at its extreme peak in terms of every kind of things, but in Manipur is 0. Without this nowadays nobody can respect us and we must try to live with that pain).


* Prince Akoijam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at theprinceakoijam(aT)yahoo(dot)com
This article was posted on June 19, 2014.


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