TODAY -

Institutionalising Yaoshang Sports

Seram Neken *



"An intellectual transformation from festival of colors to festival of sports has been occurring in modern Manipur during the last five decades. Yaoshang Sports has become an institution of socialization with multifaceted benefits. It serves as a school for cultivating personality development and hunting young talents. Kids get the opportunity to expose to various competitive events. It inculcates discipline among youths. Besides recreating the ageing people, it promotes organizational skills among the locals, increases social cohesion and reduces crimes & unwanted behavior in society. Every locality must endeavor to tap the inherent potential of Yaoshang Sports in the making of a strong Manipur."

The addition of a variety of games in the Yaoshang festivities began as early as during the pre-independence period. Although there is obscurity on the exact origin of Yaoshang Sports, it is believed that the organization of sporting events during Yaoshang in 1946 at Akampat in the present Imphal East district was the first of its kind in the state. As part of Yaoshang festival, the local adults of that time organized the Yubi Lakpi event by selecting a King. Written accounts named one Thokchom Bhubon from Singjamei Kshetri Leikai (Irengbam Leirak) who acted as the King. He was made to sit on a bullock cart that staged a procession from Thiyam Leirak of the locality via Kongba road to reach Akampat. A number of men, women and youths accompanied the procession and witnessed the Yubi Lakpi. Programmes in the form of Fancy Dress were also conducted. This may be considered the pioneer in the Yaoshang Sports movement which was witnessed and participated by locals of Singjamei Kshetri Leikai, Khongman, Bheigyabati Leikai etc. The second edition of the games was held in 1947 at Akampat again. More events like Arithmetic Competition for children, Chaphu Pubi Race, Laphu Kabi and Blind Hit were added to the meet. One who was known as Maiba Amuba who had hailed from Kabo Wakching Nambol and had been staying along with Yumnam Komol (said to be the driver of Budhachandra Maharaj) at Yumnam Leikai took the role of King in Yubi Lakpi that year. Thus, born the Yaoshang Sports of today. The Annual Yaoshang Sports being organized at Bamon Leikai Basketball Ground is also one of the oldest of its genre, with its 66th edition held this year. (Reference: Souvenir, Silver Jubilee Celebration of Yaoshang Sports, 2008, SEYO, Singjamei Kshetri Leikai ).

Meitei 'Yaoshang' is believed to have its ancestral origin from the 'Ougri Hangen Chongba' of pre-historic times. When the two sons of Godly King 'Atiya Guru Shidaba' were asked to complete the 'Nongkhong Koiba' for succession to the throne, the elder son 'Sanamahi' started the journey. However, the younger son 'Nongda Lairen Pakhangba' being a small boy was apprehensive that he could not complete the journey. Meanwhile, with the invaluable advice of his mother, 'Pakhangba' went round the royal throne of the King in no time and claimed to have completed the 'Nongkhong Koiba' before his brother 'Sanamahi' came back after going round the whole land physically. When the elder brother came back, he was so furious that he swore to avenge the person who revealed the modus operandi to 'Pakhangba' in order to be the king of the land. If it were a man, he would be killed and if it happened to be a woman, he would marry her – this was Sanamahi's promise. Surprisingly, 'Sanamahi' realized that it was none other than his mother who had stealthily helped the younger brother to become the king. 'Sanamahi' had to keep his promise by marrying the mother. In every Meitei household we now see 'Sanamahi' and 'Leimaren' residing together, but with a wall separating them.

The furious 'Sanamahi' after coming back from 'Nongkhong Koiba' chased 'Pakhangba' to beat him while the women of royal palace defended 'Pakhangba' by joining hands and singing the song “Ke Ke Ke Mo Mo, Yangen Samba Sao Sao, Tokpaga Kambaga Keiga Yenga, Yenkhong Phate Chasillu, Laigi Yenni Chaphade, Ke Ke Ke Mo Mo ...”. It is believed that 'Thabal chongba', 'Phee Munbi', 'Sen Munbi' etc. which are parts of contemporary 'Yaoshang' had their origin from the tradition of 'Nongkhong Koiba'. Hence, Meitei Yaoshang had its own origin as different from the 'Holi' of the Hindus.

As time goes by, 'Yaoshang' changes its facets year after year, decades after decades and centuries after centuries. To the present generation, 'Yaoshang' is synonymous with games and sports. It is indeed a mini Olympiad particularly in the valley districts of Manipur. All the ugly scenes and traditions of earlier 'Yaoshang' have been subdued to bring in constructive sports festivals in almost all Manipuri localities. Various games including indigenous events such as Mukna and Laphu Kabee are seen to be popular during Yaoshang sports. Apart from sporting programmes; academic events like debating competitions, Ex-tempore speech, symposium competitions, Essay writing, song competitions, mathematics competitions, recitations etc. are organized in the interests of students. 'Yaoshang' has today become a festival of sports in Manipur.

Apart from being a festival, 'Yaoshang' has served as a useful platform for promoting sporting spirit and hunting talents of young people in varied fields of personality development. The children are given enough opportunity for exposure to various competitive events. For the elders who are at the dusk of their lives, 'Yaoshang' serves as a valuable recreation item by breaking the monotony of ageing life. It is a meaningful rendezvous where local people of all ages meet, interact, share, exchange views and ideas among themselves. It helps in reducing unwanted behavior, crimes, substance abuse and drugs. May the Yaoshang Sports festivals continue to play its constructive role in the making of a unified and strong Manipur.


* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) in his column "The voiceless speaks" and was carried in the print edition on 2nd April 2013.
This article was posted on April 02, 2013.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • CCpur victims laid to rest :: Gallery
  • UG admission info for Delhi University 2017
  • College Principals' Conference at NEHU
  • Mortal remains of CCpur victims laid to rest
  • Redefining Manipuri Hindu
  • Private tuition : Financial burden on parents
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • International Yoga Day #1 :: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #2
  • Auditorium of High Court of Manipur :: 360 °
  • Book publishing as a career option
  • Simplifying the pursuit of happiness
  • Shirui festival: Let us not go with words..
  • Count pigeons around you
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Hill dists : Lagging in Science stream
  • The lesser truth of National media
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • Barak Spring Festival @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Phalneilhing, Sinchui :: eMing
  • Incarnations of Goddess Nongthang Leima
  • Ebudhou Thanjing Laishang #1 :: 360 °
  • Media & Contemporary Manipuri Society #2
  • Cleaning up the air we breathe
  • 'Maj Rati Keteki', an author's insight
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • SC notices in Biren son case
  • Army act extended by six months
  • Timely acted, but need to rethink...
  • Lamkang Cultural Day @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Ambassador Of Japan with CM :: Gallery
  • JNIMS Ortho scripts history
  • Indigenous people are ST, so are Meeteis
  • Grooming security experts in admin service
  • Parents are supposed to be cheer leaders ..
  • Applauds CM for Building Peace & Harmony
  • 2 trucks carrying logs seized
  • Japan to invite 25 people from Manipur
  • Bomb blasts rock border town in Manipur
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • 73rd anniv of Battle of Imphal :: Gallery
  • Nachom Arts : Encouraging Artists
  • Manipur: In the waiting room of justice
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba :: 360 ° View
  • Of storms, flying saucers & lazy thoughts
  • Anti-Terrorism day observed
  • Ex-Servicemen Meet organised
  • Managing natural resources
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Effort To Bridge The Hills And Valley
  • Colloquium: Japanese Culture & Nationalism
  • Urban flood effective mgmt strategies #1
  • Meet rejects oil exploration at Khaidem
  • Training on Service Marketing in Healthcare
  • Illegal migrant detection with 1951 cut-off
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Ghost of 2010 continues to haunt
  • Brahmacharimayum Roji - Actress :: eRang
  • Handloom @Temporary Market #1:: Gallery
  • New Government, New Hope #1
  • Nightmares of event management
  • Big data for big impact
  • Free Counselling & Awareness Program
  • One belt one road
  • Jobs: Counseller for Family Court, Ukhrul
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Total shutdown against blast in Moreh
  • Tribals reject MoU signed- govt, JACAATB
  • Naga Hoho appeals NIA over arrests
  • First visible step to check corruption
  • International Dance Day :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Children Club:: 360 ° View
  • Take smart choice before admissions
  • Love one another ... for living together
  • Shirui Lily Fest off to a grand start
  • On Shirui festival
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #2
  • Shirui Lily Fest @Shirui, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Civil Service Tennis Tournament :: Gallery
  • Barak(Spring) Festival at Senapati
  • When will India cashless island go cashless
  • The winsomeness of human mind
  • Jobs at NIELIT centers
  • Aadhar Registration & Distribution Program
  • Work starts on Trilateral Highway in Myanmar
  • AI plans NE expansion, to inject more flights
  • People's Day Bridging the gap
  • Reality bite - something seems fishy
  • Meeyamgi Numit hosted by CM :: Gallery
  • Andro AMMA FC : Winner of Doon Cup 2017
  • How great is my mother's love for me
  • Boat House, Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Pinch of love :: Poem
  • Fingerprint & Iris code for Aadhaar
  • Sharmila solidarity with Africans
  • Trust deficit in Framework Agreement
  • Equality in place of majoritarianism
  • A hope for better Manipur
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #3:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Gudui Ngai : Festival of Zeliangrong
  • Fishery as an agenda for Barak Festival
  • Supermom :: Poem
  • 2nd Startup Weekend Imphal
  • May Day #2 :: Essay
  • For inclusion of Meitei in ST category
  • NE turning into a hub of Cannabis
  • Muslims cannot dissolve marriage- Guv
  • Police probing 'threat' to SC advocate
  • Hands that rock the cradle rule the world
  • Film Personalities #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #2
  • High Court of Manipur :: 360 ° View
  • From head-hunters into money-hunters
  • Importance of dialectic in Philosophy
  • Binalakshmi Nepram threatened by Police
  • Cleanliness drive conducted at CCpur
  • Gudui Ngai @Majorkhul #1 :: Gallery
  • Bringing TB out of the shadows
  • Women are the salt of the earth
  • Superstition and its side-effects
  • Temples of learning
  • Guidelines of play schools
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the barrier
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #2 :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #4 :: Gallery
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #2
  • Bir Tikendrajit Park :: 360 °
  • Nurses are heart beat of healthcare
  • The Sun Behind the Cloud :: Poem
  • Nagas of Nagaland can decide their future
  • 85 unelectrified villages to be lit up by Dec
  • Go to the hill districts too
  • Beginning of a new era; but ...
  • Seminar on 'Life of Gangmumei Kamei' #1
  • OORJA football Closing ceremony :: Gallery
  • May 10, 1942: first bomb hit Imphal in WW2
  • Manipur killings: Amicus Curiae on Army...
  • A white paper on good governance
  • Butterfly a living parable of resurrection
  • Global Manipuri Mega Photo Contest
  • Inquiry on "School Van accident"
  • Inking an MoU with CCpur JAC
  • Calls for human security
  • Laishram Lalitabi - Actress :: eRang
  • Manipur & Nagaland CMs :: Gallery
  • Cheirao Ching Kaba #1 :: 360 ° Photo
  • MLA - defection politics in Manipur
  • Japan interest to develop Education in NE
  • CM floral tribute to Martyred Jawans
  • More than a 'courtesy call'
  • Development & security matters
  • Thongjao potters adapt to modern reqt
  • Prize Distribution- MU Sports :: Gallery
  • Handicrafts of the Zeliangrong #1
  • Imphal Intl Airport : How International?
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • RIST popular talk 29 - Molecular Electronics
  • Gudui Ngai celebrated
  • 122nd rank in the list of cleanliness
  • Consumers' rights
  • Sagol Kangjei Exhibition :: Gallery
  • Musuem, Kangla :: 360 ° photo
  • Keeping workforce healthy-smart business
  • Brief story of Karl Marx (199th Birth Anniv)
  • Manipuri resurgence & Jewish lessons
  • Visit of Japanese Ambassador to MU
  • Poems released at Barapani, Meghalaya
  • CMD, NHPC Visit to Loktak Power Station
  • Right venue for seminar on bridging the gap
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • Impact of October Revolution Manipur #1
  • Climate change: Case study on wildlife
  • Longing for peace in this region
  • Why happiness can be so elusive
  • ShiRock 2017 at Ukhrul
  • Airline Ticketing Consultant training
  • Civil Society Delegation met CM
  • Lai Lamthokpa @Yaiskul #1 :: Gallery
  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon #1 :: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram selected by Colombia
  • Separate time zone for NE : Petition
  • Arbind Soibam - Emerging Singer :: eRang
  • Phaknung rape protest @Kakching :: Gallery
  • MIMS (MU) - ManFete #3 :: Gallery
  • Traditional Thabal @Pourabi :: Gallery
  • River Bank Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Henjunaha - A folk play :: Gallery
  • The Mighty Mystic Manipuri Women
  • Arambai show #2:: Gallery
  • Shakuhachi meets Pena, Manipur & Japan
  • Tributes paid on Khongjom Day #2:: Gallery
  • Laishram Birendrakumar recieve Padmashri
  • Kei Onba Kom Gi Eshing :: Funga Wari
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Mr India 2017- Ksh Bhaktakumar :: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • Ethoi Oinam #1 (Actress) :: eRang
  • Nura Pakhang : Music video
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Thabal Chongba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • CM N Biren visit to Ukhrul #2 :: Gallery
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #4 : Ooba
  • Nungshiba Khongel @Sylhet :: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS