TODAY -

Quenching the thirst of our entertainment-starved elders

Seram Neken *

Laihui presents 'Khongjom Parva' in April 2009
Laihui presents 'Khongjom Parva' in April 2009 :: Pix - Mayanglambam Mangangsana



Musical concerts have been widely organized in the nook and corner of Imphal city since Yaoshang Festival this year. It seems that number of musical programmes has surpassed that of Shumang Lila this year. Although festive mood was interrupted for sometime due to unwanted incidents, the spirit of gaiety has regained now with modern music here and there. However, the society is apparently neglecting the elder genre by ignoring their musical likes.

Why not we organize Pena Phamsak, Khongjom Parva, Khunung Esei, Wari-Liba, Khubak Esei, Sankirtan etc. in the locality for our entertainment-hunger elders at the dusk of their lives ?

Khongjom Day observance this year was more meaningful with its adornment with Khongjom Parva, the precious art form born out this historical episode. From simply narrating the war accounts with a rhythmic accompaniment and suitable tune, Khongjom Parva has today grown to cover many other events and stories. It has become a unique and complete musical art form of the Manipuris.

Apparently realizing the values and preciousness of this art form, the state government launched the tradition of decorating Khongjom Day with Khongjom Parva from this year. Thanks to the state Art and Culture department for the noble endeavour.

The Columnists conglomerate of this esteemed newspaper has coincidentally initiated interactions on the dying musical art forms of the Manipuris from the onset of this year. On 12th January last, Hueiyen Lanpao Columnists Forum conducted the first Hueiyen Rendezvous, where a demonstration cum discussion on the PENA music was successfully organized.

The second edition of the rendezvous was held on 24th February last on the same theme. Renowned cultural activists and columnists of the state took active part in the series. On 28th April last, the third Hueiyen Rendezvous was held with a performance of Khongjom Parva and discussion on the subject.

The series of interactions organized by the Columnists' Forum has seemingly been fruitful, as the Forum has submitted a recommendation to the state Art and Culture department to include Khongjom Parva and Pena as subjects in the Government Music College of the state. The inclusion of the two art forms as part of the lesson in school curriculum in government schools was also recommended by the Forum. Hopefully, the state government is being attracted towards the idea.

'Khongjom Parva' and 'Pena Phamsak' are truly the tastiest menu of entertainment for the elders of Manipur society. However, such musical events are very rarely arranged at a few circles. Very few people endeavour to organize such music sessions for the aged people.

The contemporary generation seems to have neglected these entertaining forms, as it neglects the elder people. Although local organizations, private individuals, leaders of various strata etc. organize various entertainment programmes meant for the youths on a variety of occasions, they hardly pick the choice of our elders.

It is better to do something for the aged ones who have showed us this beautiful world. We need to pick their choice of music for at least a few days a year to entertain them and at the same time popularize our dying art forms. The dying art forms need to be popularized among the young people, as they help in preserving the identity of native peoples. The various types of media invasions and their negative impacts on the society can well be reduced by revitalizing the old indigenous art forms.

Besides the government agencies, the public in Manipur also needs to understand the value of preserving the dying art forms and work towards its preservation. In private, we may organize Khongjom Parva, Pena Phamsak etc. to entertain our elder audiences on various occasions. Local clubs may conduct essay, painting, debating and symposia competitions on the theme of various art forms of Manipuris. It is the responsibility of the present generation to uphold the past and create a meaningful and dignified future.

Voice of the week

Local clubs or private individuals may organize Pena Phamsak, Khongjom Parva, Khunung Esei, Wari-Liba, Khubak Esei, Sankirtan etc. in the locality for our entertainment-starved elders on various occasions. Various students' activities such as essay, painting, debating and symposia competitions on the theme of various art forms of Manipuris may also be conducted so as to popularize them among the contemporary youths.


* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on May 09, 2013.



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