Mera Hou Chongba celebrated with elan
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 16 2016: Mera Hou Chongba, perhaps the only common festival of hill people and plain people of Manipur , was celebrated at different places today, the 15th day of the Manipur calendar month Mera.

The main function was held at Kangla and the royal place under the aegis of the Mera Hou Chongba Thousil  Lup.

A large number of hill people and plain gathered at the royal palace in the morning and took out a colourful procession up to Kangla where the age old ritual of Mera Men Tongba was performed.

This was followed by Yenkhong Tamba ritual which was performed by a Kabui Amaiba (priest) .

Mera Hou Chongba celebrated with elan
Mera Hou Chongba celebrated with elan

After coming back to the royal palace, the huge gathering were treated to a sumptuous feast.

In the afternoon, gifts were exchanged between hill people and plain people which signifies the age old fraternal bond shared among the indigenous people of Manipur.

This was followed by a colourful and lively merry making programme.

Later in the evening, Mera Wayungba (erection of bamboo poles with lamps) was  performed.

Speaking at the gathering, titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba stated that the hill people and plain people of Manipur have been celebrating Mera Hou Chongba festival together since time immemorial.

The progenitors of Manipuri people celebrated hill-valley fraternity every year with Mera Hou Chongba festival and the rare festival’s legacy still lives on, Sanaojaoba said.

“Even though different ethnic groups of Manipur have adopted different religious faiths, and they have their own unique identities, cultures and traditions, Mera Hou Chongba festival never fails to remind us that  we all belong to the same genealogical tree”, the titular king continued.

He then called upon all the hill people and plain people to work collectively for a united and prosperous Manipur.

Among others, the Mera Hou Chongba celebration was attended by Angom Ningthou Angom Amubi, Sugnu Hanjaba Angom Puno, Maiba Hanba Samjetsabam Kondumba, Maichou Purel Maisnam Apabi, Nongthonba Leishangthem Lalchand, Khurai Lakpa Yumnam Gouramani, Laipham Lakpa Salam Birendra, Lalloi Hanjaba Okram Manglem, Thangsu Hanba Yumnam Babu, Ngamthang Thangsu Hanba Mutum Arunkumar, Uttra Shanglen Sana Konung general secretary Puyam Tomcha, Shanglakpa Assistant Secretary Lourembam Ajit, S Allianchung Aimol of Ngairang village Chandel, Ch David Ungshimo Mantri of Tongjei Maril Kasom Ukhrul, Konaitong Chandel chief DK Mothinphul, Liangmei Puilong (Irang) Singda Dam chairman Th Kenchapou, Lamlanghupi Chothe Lai Selungba Sirochong Chothe, Khurkhul Khullakpa Phuritsabam Somorjit, Sekmai Khullakpa Khwairakpam Meijao, Koutruk Khullakpa Leishangthem Jugindro, Andro Khullakpa Chingakham Gandhar Singh and Leimaram Khullakpa Ningthoujam Senjao.

Mera Hou Chongba festival was also celebrated at Kangla Uttra Shanglen under the aegis of the Kangla Religious Committee of the Kangla Fort Board.

Parliamentary Secretary and Kangla Fort Board member K Meghachandra, Kangla Religious Committee chairman Sairem Nilbir and Mutuwa Museum Director Mutuwa Bahadur as attended chief guest, guest of honour  and president respectively.

The Mera Hou Chongba celebration which was opened with a Pena performance featured a number of cultural dance and music items.

Speaking on the occasion, K Meghachandra said  that Mera Hou Chongba signifies oneness of hill people and plain people.  It is a handful of people with vested interests who have been sowing seeds of distrust and animosity among hill people and plain people.

Different cultural dance items like Maram cultural dance, Maibi Jagoi, Tangkhul cultural dance, Khamba-Thoibi dance and tug of war added glamour and gaiety to the festival.

The annual festival was also celebrated at Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple premises inside 1st Bn MR complex under the aegis of the Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board.

MP Dr Thokchom Meinya, PDA Chairman T Mangibabu, Manipur University of Culture VC Prof Naorem Khagendra, Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board president L Jayantakumar and Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board vice-president Senjam Bidyapati attended as presidium members.

Speaking at the occasion, Prof Khagendra said that they have been considering about opening a separate department for Sanahami religious faith in Manipur University of Culture.

Mera Hou Chongba festival was also celebrated at Waikhong Keithel, Thoubal district under ACOAM Lup.

Commerce and Industries Minister Govindas Konthoujam, ACOAM Lup president Kshetrimayum Somorendro, MLA K Ranjit, MLA E Dwijamani and JNIMS Director Dr Deben Laishram attended the festival as presidium members.

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