ROING, Sep 24: Keh~Meh~Haa, the harvest festival of the Idu-Mishmi tribe, was celebrated here in Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) district with pomp and gaiety on Tuesday.
Celebration committee chairman Dr Razzeko Dele spoke about the origin of the festival and the 20 years of its celebration, “despite a little opposition because of several rigid customary restrictions attached to the festival.”
The community also celebrated the geographical indication (GI) tagging of the Idu-Mishmi textiles. As per a report, this GI tagging is the first in the country, and was funded by the community, led by the Idu Mishmi Cultural and Literary Society (IMCLS), without any financial support from the government.
A GI is a name or sign used on certain products which correspond to a specific geographical location or region. GI tagging is mainly done to protect intellectual properties.
The IMCLS felicitated Dr Aba Pulu, the chairman of the IMCLS’ Sub-Committee on Intellectual Property Rights, and advisors Vijay Swami and Nandini Dholepat, along with all those who contributed towards the GI tagging registration.
The IMCLS also felicitated the founding members of the general Keh~Meh~Haa festival; the people who donated to the families affected by the fire accident that had occurred here and to the victims of the Jumuni bridge snapping accident; and the donors to the IMCLS’ annual programmes.
Cultural and Literary Society of Mishmi (CALSOM) general secretary Suraj Tayang congratulated the tribe on getting the GI tag, and stressed on preserving and protecting their cultural heritage. Stating that unity among the Mishmi sub-tribes is essential to take the tribe to newer heights, he urged parents to encourage their children to speak in their mother tongue to preserve and promote the language. He also said “we should all be on a constant vigil as a community to stop the drug menace that corrodes a community.”
LDV Adi Bane Kebang president Gollo Saring in his address said “modernization should not be allowed to affect languages, cultures and traditions and jeopardize the tribal identity.”
The festival’s founding member, Ingore Linggi, social worker Vijay Swami, and celebration committee GS Mompa Linggi also spoke.
Folk singers Akubri Meme and Tina Mele presented folk songs, and singers such as Karnoi Mega, Acho Saya, Bajenso Krong and B Tayang also performed. School children also made a cultural presentation.
The people of Dibang Valley district also celebrated the festival with great pomp and show. Tributes were paid to the goddess of harvest, Nani Intaya, for a surplus harvest.
The main event was held at district headquarters Anini, and saw the participation of DC Wayong Khimhun and local MLA Mopi Mihu, among others.
The MLA in his address spoke on various social and economic issues of the society, and encouraged the public to pay attention to agriculture and allied sectors.
He expressed concern over consumption of alcohol and drugs by youngsters of the district, and urged everyone to shun such habits.
The MLA also raised the issue of the ill-effects of mass sacrifice of mithuns, and urged the people to change their mindset to create a progressive society.
The DC advocated preservation of one’s culture, and said documentation of festivals and oral traditions by NGOs and other intellectual groups would go a long way in preservation of culture and tradition.
He also encouraged using the local dialect/language to preserve and protect one’s identity.
The programme was marked by colourful folk dances, singing performances, and a fashion show showcasing traditional attires. (With DIPRO input)