Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Curtains come down on Dehing Patkai Festival

By Correspondent

DIGBOI, Feb 8 � Curtains came down on the Dehing Patkai Festival late on the evening of February 7 after three hectic days of variegated cultural extravaganza and showcasing of the fineness of the ethos and living styles of the various communities living permanently in this region. The flow of visitors kept on swelling with the day receding with the starry mystique of the evening. In the twilight hour began the concluding ceremony with JB Patnaik, Governor of Assam, being escorted to the Su-Ka-Pha stage as the chief guest by Prodyut Bordoloi, Minister of Power, Industries and Commerce, Assam and Dr KK Dwivedi, Deputy Commissioner of Tinsukia district and organising chairman of the festival. The other dignitaries on the stage included Chetong Sena, Finance Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Prithvi Majhi, Minister of Labour & Water Resources, Assam and Maninder Singh, Commissioner & Secretary to the Governor. The Governor was felicitated by the representatives of the various tribes and communities such as Singphos, Tangsas, Tai Phakes, Tai Ahoms, Tai Khamiangs, Bhojpuris, Nepalis, Telegus, Semas, etc.

Dr KK Dwivedi welcomed the guests and the vast sea of audience gathering on the Chow Lung Syu Ka Harmony precinct to witness the concluding hours� proceedings of the ethnic festival. He expressed the hope that this festival of the people would create a new ambience of peace, amity and harmony in this entire region.

Pradyut Bordoloi, local MLA and Minister of Power, Industries and Commerce and the architect of this big cultural fiesta, gave an overview of the philosophic content of the event outlining the cultural wealth and the historical glories of this region which had hitherto remained unknown to the outside world. The Dehing Patkai Festival was organised in 2002 to showcase to the world outside the unageing cultural ethos of the various tribes living in this part, the golden saga of Chow Lung Siu-Ka-Pha�s arrival across the Pangsau Pass and the establishment of his earliest kingdom in the region along the Dehing river and the Patkai range, the annals of the first foundations of tea, coal, timber and oil industries and its still red wounds of WW II. Saying that geo-physically the area is part of the biodiversity hot-spot that extends up to Hukawng Valley in Myanmar, Bordoloi urged upon the reopening of the Stilwell Road for opportunities of development of the NE region.

Chetong Sena, Finance Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, said that the Dehing Patkai Festival marked a respectful recognition to the people of the area. The three festivals held in this region � the Dehing Patkai Festival, the Pangsau Pass Winter Festival and the Namdapha Festival � were a confident expression of the people�s mind of the region, Sena said and he hoped that in no time the borders with Myanmar and South East Asian countries would be opened via Stilwell Road to facilitate open trade relations with these countries. He reiterated in his address the cultural and linguistic affinities and commonness of interests between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Prithvi Majhi Minister of Labour and Water Resources, Assam appreciated the spirit of the festival and wished long life to it.

JB Patnaik, Governor of Assam, in his address said that he was overwhelmed to see the gaiety and colour of the people collecting on the festival ground.

Patnaik said that the real face of Bharat mata could be seen in such gatherings as this. He praised the Dehing Patkai Festival as the meeting ground of ethnic cultures and strongly underlined its tourism potential. He assured the organisers that he would submit a proposal to the Union government for development of tourism in this part.

Lokam Turung, a local leader, also said a few words. Dr NJ Chelleng of the organising committee offered the vote of thanks.

The formal session was quickly followed by the release of funush � a Tai Phake traditional handwork of a luminous object � into the sky by the Governor to the great delight of all.

The cultural treat began with the performances of Sema Naga dance, Gorkha Khukuri dance, Kolabari dance of the Morans, Ras Leela by Forward Group of Art & Craft from Manipur, Mising Bihu dance, ethnic fashion show and Assamese Bihu dance. The extravaganza stole the hearts of the mammoth audience coming from far and near.

Throughout the three days of the festival February 5, 6 and 7, the food mela in the community huts and the exhibition continued. In the exhibition part large crowds were seen in the stalls of Digboi Division of Forests, the NECF of Coal India Ltd and the Nepali community.

Next Story