TODAY -

Yaoshang : An Extended, Expensive Holiday

Natalidita Ningthoukhongjam *

Yaoshang Thabal Chongba at Lilong Haoreibi Lampak :: 31 March 2013
Yaoshang Thabal Chongba at Lilong Haoreibi Lampak on 31 March 2013 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



"Bura na maano, Holi hai!"
-Popular Saying

This Yaoshang was my first after seven years of missing the holiday due to college and work. For me, the Holi I was a part of in Delhi was different from the Yaoshang I'd celebrated since childhood. Yaoshang was more than just playing with water balloons and colours for a day. It would start at school before the holidays even began, with students smearing colours on each other's face in spite of strict rules not to dirty the classrooms and corridors.

Then, on the first day, we'd dress up in traditional wear and go round the neighbourhood, shouting "Nakatheng" at the top of our longs. The next morning, we'd block our local street, charging tolls on passersby, and dashing home whenever gangs of boys armed with water-guns and colours approached. As we grew older, our interest shifted to local sports competitions. During daytime, we were busy running, ploughing through obstacle races, blowing balloons till they burst, singing, dancing, and trying to break that elusive earthen pot while blindfolded. By nightfall, we'd be engaged in picking out clothes to wear for Thabal Chongba.

It was five days of complete madness, and my memories of them were visualised through huge, rose-tinted glasses; my involvement this year was, however, much less pleasant.

Perhaps, I was never fully aware of what Yaoshang brought with it each year. Perhaps, I've been jaded by distance, although that can't explain away the fact that people who have been here through my seven missing years share similar frustrations. At the close of the fifth night, I couldn't lie back and congratulate myself on having had so much fun.

For one thing, Yaoshang is apparently not over yet. It's the 3rd of April tonight, three days after it was supposed to have ended, and somewhere in the vicinity, a "band-party" has started playing, calling out youths to take part in the communal dance.

Now, this is the question that has been bugging me since Yaoshang kicked off: Where is the limit?

Upon hearing such a question, one might wonder if there should be a limit at all a natural reaction since we're talking about a festival here. It's a valid occasion for breaking our daily routine and spending quality time with family and friends. Yet there are certain areas that call for second-thoughts, such as the tradition of asking for donations from the general public.

While I fully support Yaoshang sports competition and understand that they cannot be organised without such donations, I fail to comprehend why, for example, a leikai group would go to other leikais and beseech people to fund their own feasts. During the five days, so many parties came seeking donations for their private events. How could anyone possibly shell out enough money for all of them? Does anyone have to? Are these feasts that important?

The same criticism applies to Thabal Chongba fund drives as well, not to mention how many are still being held, and will again be held once Cheiraoba gets here. There aren't that many members of the youth in a single leikai for one such dance to be successful, so why can't two or three leikais join hands and organise just one? That way, sufficient funds can be raised without having to ask others for help.

Or, take the issue of charging tolls. It's one thing when pre-teens do it and can be appeased with two rupee coins, and another when those old enough to drive join in and demand a specific amount. Once again, I'm going to ask, who has enough money to cover all of these expenses, for five continuous days?

But then, ours is a community that will willingly sacrifice newspapers for nearly a week because it's Yaoshang. As a kid, I didn't care enough for newspapers to feel any change in my daily routine if they weren't printed for one day; as an adult, it is earth-shattering to realise the state's print media has gone off on such a long vacation.

Although it's a holiday imposed by the state government and the newspaper people themselves aren't at fault, it's still something worth examining. While many of us now have access to the internet and can get our news online for free, I'd wager that we barely make a ten percent of the population. There is a massive hole left by such a holiday in our perception of the present that can't be filled, because neither the world outside nor our own has stopped for our sake.

My quote for the day is a popular Hindi saying often used by Holi pranksters. It roughly translates to "Don't mind, it's Holi." It's a way of reminding others that during Holi, you can't get angry for having a bucket of water emptied on you. Though the saying isn't a part of our Yaoshang, it's quickly becoming or has already become our unacknowledged slogan, but for different reasons.

Personally, I hate being a party pooper, and I'm all for merry-making. I can't imagine living in an extremely conservative regime where festivals are banned, and I'd be a liar if I stated that my recent experience was marked by negativity only. I enjoyed watching the sports competitions at Lalambung, where an aunt lives, and I took part in their Thabal Chongba for a while.

Yaoshang is when the community gets fully involved. It's wonderful to watch everyone coming together. At the same time, it's impossible to feel comfortable where we are presently, where such holidays come cheap in number and expensive in cost.


* Natalidita Ningthoukhongjam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao as part of 'The Methodical Magpie'
This article was posted on April 05, 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
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Let's talk about our children today
  • A blow to image boosting
  • Fear and Superstition
  • Latrine :: Poem
  • Letter to JS-MHRD from MUTA
  • JS-MHRD did not meet with MUTA
  • Drawing on Energy Efficiency
  • MU impasse: Attention Mr. Prime Minister
  • Admission time : Sky high cut off
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Yoga Day: Celebrating Your Health
  • Chak-hao - black gold of Manipur
  • In response to the culture of shaming
  • 3rd Documentor Imphal
  • 4th International Day of Yoga by AR
  • Appeals for Resolution of MU Crisis
  • Recommendation to control Flood damages
  • International Yoga Day at Loktak PS
  • After Flood : Introspection about the future
  • MUSU & JAC : Hot issues before the Govt
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #2
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Letter to President on Crisis at MU
  • Precision medicine & life sciences
  • Black topping-can ground leveling be behind
  • Condemns security force intrusion in MU
  • Developer wanted at LMP, Konjeng Leikai
  • AR gears up for International Yoga Day
  • NPF rejoinder to NDPP : 20 June
  • Rejoinder by Dr. Shurhozelie : 20 June
  • For a little bit more
  • Deadline of 5 days time set : MU crisis
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #3 : Gallery
  • Inungshi, Gaichanglungliu :: eMing
  • Taking 'Hau' Music to Rest of World
  • Kakching bags cleanest city in NE Award
  • JRF (Junior Research Fellow) at IBSD
  • Oxfam India launches emergency response
  • VC, MU - Resign immediately :: MUTA
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Translation of ancient Manipur texts begin
  • Pre Yoga Capsule organized
  • NDPP Rejoinder on 19 June
  • NPF Youth Wing Rejoinder on 19 June
  • Favouring digital govt : still a Virtual dream
  • June 18 Anniv : Consult all stakeholders
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Binota Thokchom at BRICS Young Scientist
  • The Merger of Manipur
  • Improving school management in Manipur
  • Pros & cons of screening tests
  • NPF Rejoinder on 18th June
  • Nagaland CM statement on Aboi ambush
  • June 18 significance: Still living on prayer
  • Need to identify one's strength
  • 18 Immortal Souls Remembered : Flash
  • The Great June Uprising : Read all about it
  • The Pitfalls of Identity Politics
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • All his sons :: Poem
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
  • Eid bring cheer in flood hit areas
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Defending the environmental defenders
  • Delusion in self - cause of worry
  • Road to Russia: FIFA World Cup
  • It must be love :: Poem
  • 'Future of Naga people is bleak'
  • Give a miss call to Amnesty
  • 'Naga area' bandh on June 18
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Fitr Festival
  • Letter to PM Modi on Naga Talks
  • Greetings on Eid-Ul-Fitr
  • Rejoinder to NPF statement
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland Chief Minister
  • Flood relief continue on 3rd day
  • India-Vietnam Youth Dialogue 2018
  • MU debacle: Why would it be left unnoticed
  • Spirit of World Cup : Brazil to Russia
  • NEC to come under Home Ministry
  • Manipur NGO hosts summit on LGBTQ
  • Flood in Imphal [14 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Women Struggle in Self-Determination
  • 14 June- World Blood Donor Day
  • Naga Integration not possible- NPF react
  • Naga Integration is not possible- CM Rio
  • Relief work in flood affected areas
  • A day which keeps our spirit alive
  • Ranked 320 in the country : MU
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #2 : Gallery
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #5
  • Be alert: It's admission time
  • Yin and Yang
  • Watermelon beauty benefits
  • Temp accommodation for Aligarh students
  • Wrath of Mother Nature: Why challenge..
  • 60 pc is no longer first class : 95 pc
  • Flood in Imphal [13 June] #1 : Gallery
  • Sanamahi Laihui & Sanamahi Laining
  • Kuhi- Essential plant for Nungbi pottery
  • Climate justice is integral to development
  • The bridge :: Poem
  • Lt S Vijaya Devi felicitated
  • Then : Indifferent :: Now : Hyper sensitive
  • Phumdigi Tantha : Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Grief at Xavier Rutsa's demise
  • Modi's India: A descend into Ochlocracy
  • The Philippine Experience
  • Cry of a Dying River #33 :: Poem
  • Community Iftar at Moijing, Cachar
  • Candle Light at DU over Assam lynching
  • Demand replacement of Manipur Univ VC
  • The Tragedy of Higher education
  • Unacceptable points spelt out
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #3: Gallery
  • RPL-PMKVY trainees @Hojai : Gallery
  • Manipur Sports University in UP ?
  • Coloniality of the Postcolonial
  • Yellow leaves in the autumn :: Poem
  • Prof N Irabanta-distinguished academician
  • Leadership matters
  • Artificial turf for budding talents
  • 2 municipal bodies in NE awarded
  • Who is Arambam Somorendra ?
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #3 : Gallery
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #2
  • Grass root challenge- Education in hills
  • Earth does not belong to us...
  • Sita Mata as test-tube baby
  • What happen to VIP Culture Mr. CM
  • Merchants of education
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • A blessing to see :: Poem
  • Sovereignty Struggles in Northeast #4
  • Difference between Hinduism & Hindutva
  • How to choose the perfect fragrance
  • Iftaar party at Lilong
  • Bitter truth of Manipuri society
  • MU, NSU, IGNTU : Students at the centre
  • Amuktang-Ga Haikho #1 : eRang
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #2 : Gallery
  • Pony : A Cavalry Horse Par Excellence #2
  • Issues that keep Manipur burning
  • Cry of a Dying River - 32 :: Poem
  • CM & AR interaction with villagers
  • Certification of PMKVY trainees of Hojai
  • Christian appeals for Peace in Shillong
  • How safe are our women?
  • Riders put up by JAC for talk
  • Khangkhui Cave in Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Pluralism, Democracy & Ethnic Relation #2
  • Irom Sharmila meets with Mehbooba Mufti
  • JRF @ Mizoram University (Biotechnology)
  • Tobacco and heart disease
  • Understanding SOWA - RIGPA #2
  • Campaign "to End Child Sexual Abuse"
  • Implementation of 7th Pay
  • Indigenous street vendor sing gi wafam
  • The crumbling Manipur University
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • Zeliangrong orphaned by Nationalism #1
  • A rainy night :: Poem
  • HSLC Exam is the start! What next?
  • 1528 cases of fake encounter
  • Linthoi's "The Tales of Kanglei Throne" #1
  • Handloom Weaver @Bishnupur : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Hinduism in Manipur : Political Perspective
  • All the World and his Wife :: Poem
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Women in CCpur turn to self-help groups
  • Purul Paoki Wrestling : Gallery
  • Sangai Veterans' Football #1 : Gallery
  • Khangminashi IV (Lecture) : Report
  • Seminar at MU - Hinduism in Manipur'
  • Evolution of The Meetei State
  • Heartbreak at Ukhrul: Unfolding Shirock
  • State Level Khurpui-Lam Festival: Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • School Girls Basketball #2 : Gallery
  • Where is Manipur....???
  • 'Manipur' in Google maps : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Mama Poktabi :: Funga Wari
  • Veterans Football Tournament #2 : Gallery
  • Shirock 2018 - Shirui Lily Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Sougrakpam Vijaya makes history sailing...
  • Arunachali unfurled Salai Taret at Mt Everest
  • Panthoiba: 2nd Rank- class XII, Uttarkhand
  • Ras Leela @JNMDA Day : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • HSLC 2018 :: Toppers Listing
  • HSLC 2018 :: Check Result
  • HSLC :: Statistical/Subject Topper
  • HSLC 2018 :: External
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #2 : Gallery
  • Kakching Garden :: 360 Panorama View
  • Folk Dance Festival #5 : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Curtain Raising- Sangai Fest 2017: Gallery
  • Lainingthou Lai Lam thopka #2 : Gallery
  • Re-visiting Khangkhui caves in Ukhrul
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #2 : Gallery
  • Steelheart @ Shirock , Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • A. Halim Chowdhury: A Profile
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Result : Science Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Arts Toppers
  • Class XII Result : Commerce Toppers
  • HSE Result 2018 : District Wise
  • HSE Result 2018 : Highest Marks
  • HSE Result 2018 : Science Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Arts Stream
  • HSE Result 2018 : Commerce Stream
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS