ROING, Feb 1: Idu Mishmi people all over the state participated in celebrating Reh festival on Thursday with this year marking 50 years of Reh celebration since its inception in 1968.
Speaking at the golden jubilee central Reh celebration at the general ground here in Lower Dibang Valley district on Thursday, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said preservation of tradition and culture should start from home.
Saying that traditions and culture should not be forgotten while embracing modernity, the CM urged the younger generation to preserve their traditions and culture, which he said is possible by preserving language.
“Eroding language is a threat. Children should be encouraged to use their mother tongue for communicating,” he said.
Pema said the state government has recently created the Indigenous Affairs department “for the sole purpose of motivating and giving leverage to indigenous culture.”
He also urged the people to not mix religion and tradition.
“Religion is secondary, tradition is our identity,” he said. “Festivals cannot be complete without rituals, and anybody discouraging the practice of traditions and rituals should be jailed.”
Legislative Assembly Speaker TN Thongdok said that “if India is the country of festivals, Arunachal is the state of festivals with many different tribes and as many different festivals.
“The base of all tribes is same – we all worship nature and seek to be blessed for good cultivation and healthy livestock,” he said.
He also commended the progress and development of the district.
“The Dibang river and its tributaries have the most potential for hydropower projects. Anini has been blessed with natural beauty and has huge potential for tourism,” he added.
State BJP president Tapir Gao said that traditional originality is diminishing and preservation of language is necessary.
“We should start with teaching children to call parents in local dialect instead of using ‘Mummy-Papa’ to address parents,” he said.
During the event, the highest award of the Idu Mishmis, the ‘Maselo Zinu’, was conferred on late Ita Pulu and Dishi Mihu Malo for their unmatched selfless contribution and sacrifices towards the progress and welfare of the community without expectation of recognition or awards in return.
The ‘Ponge Dele’ award, second highest in the community, was conferred on Everester Tine Mena and other achievers in the field of sports in the international level.
Earlier, the Reh mythology, accompanied by an informative video on the same, was read out by Miss AAPSU 2017, Meneka Pulu. Celebration committee president Bhishen Mepo and general secretary Dr Ista Pulu also spoke.
The three-day festival will witness a host of activities including traditional sports events like Tomaga (tug-of-war), angi-sumaya (pole climbing), and ilipra-omaga (archery). Various cultural presentations are ongoing, including performances by Jelly Kaye, Zubin Garg and other local artists. Mr and Miss Reh contests will also be held during the festival.
Sixty-four stalls have been set up in the festival ground to display various traditional cuisines, handicraft, artifacts, local textiles and other local produce.
The grand event was organised by the Golden Jubilee Central Reh Celebration Committee 2018, under the aegis of the Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society.