Indigenous Day a reminder to revive traditional values: Miao bishop

[ Felix Anthony ]

NEOTAN, 10 Aug: “Indigenous Day is a reminder to revive the age-old traditional values of the indigenous people,” said bishop George Pallipparambil of the Miao diocese.

“It is not about some important events to mark the day, but it is a call to revive the golden values of our traditional societies, respecting the elders, values of family life, and to understand the importance of our communion with nature and caring for the earth,” the bishop said in a small function held at Newman School here in Changlang district to mark the World Indigenous Day on Monday.

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is observed every year on 9 August to raise awareness and to protect the rights of the indigenous people.

Reminding the students of the importance of learning their mother tongues and being proud of their tribal identity, the Salesian prelate said, “It is sad that many of our youth and children these days try to imitate K-pop culture. Indigenous Day is a significant occasion to get back to our roots to preserve our unique tribal identity.”

According to the latest census of India, Arunachal has a population of 1.4 million. The indigenous people constitute more than 70 percent of the total population, with 26 major tribes and more than 100 sub-tribes.

Congratulating the school’s management for encouraging the students to wear their traditional attires for the school, the bishop said, “Let us not lose our rich tribal identity due to modern technical advancements or to outside invasion. Each of us should not only preserve it but also promote it.”

“In the context of most of the younger generation not being able to speak their local dialects and losing sight of their traditional cultural values, the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is a wakeup call to become aware of the rich values of the indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh,” the bishop said.

Indigenous leader Kohman Ngemu said, “The humble effort to mark the day with the schoolchildren today will go a long way in encouraging these kids to be proud of their indigenous identity.”

“As indigenous people, we must mark this day and celebrate it every year in order to cling on to our own inherited qualities of love and brotherhood and sharing and caring as it used to be in the days of old,” Wanglung Mossang, a local dialect promoter, said.