Dree celebrated with traditional pomp and fervour

MoS Balyan describes Ziro valley as ‘heaven on earth’

ITANAGAR, 5 Jul: The Apatani community across the state celebrated harvest festival Dree with traditional pomp and fervour on Tuesday.

Attending the 55th central Dree festival celebration at the Nago Putu Dree ground in Lower Subansiri HQ Ziro, MoS for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan compared Dree with Baiskahi festival, and urged the people to preserve their age-old practices.

The minister termed the Ziro valley “heaven on earth” for its mesmerising scenic beauty, and lauded the people for protecting the pristine beauty of the valley.

The union minister, who was here on a two-day visit, assured to have an aqua park established in Tarin. He also released a book titled Pictorial Book of Birds of Ziro, authored by Koj Mama.

 In his welcome address, Agriculture Minister Tage Taki, who is also the local MLA, called for preservation of culture and traditional practices.

Agriculture & Animal Husbandry Secretary Bidol Tayeng also commended the people of Ziro valley for protecting and preserving the beauty of the valley. He also spoke on the importance of the agriculture sector.

Presentations by cultural troupes from Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram were some of the main attractions of the celebration.

Representatives of various community-based organisations from other districts also participated in the festival.

In Itanagar, Education Minister Taba Tedir, along with MLAs Rode Bui and Techi Kaso, attended the valedictory programme of the Dree festival celebration at the Dree ground in Papu Nallah.

Tedir in his address spoke on the importance of preserving one’s mother tongue and indigenous culture, and stressed the need for fostering brotherhood and harmony through festivals.

The celebration culminated with traditional games and sports competitions, such as wrestling, arm wrestling, high jump and tug-of-war.

Khokhung team won the tug-of-war competition, while the high jump event was won by Taku Tatung. Tage Sha won the arm wrestling contest, and Kime Tacho was adjudged ‘Mr Dree’ for winning the traditional wrestling contest.

The Apatani community residing in Upper Subansiri headquarters Daporijo also celebrated Dree festival with traditional fervour on Tuesday.

The celebration featured a colourful cultural programme and a sports event.

Earlier, on the eve of the festival, the celebration committee conducted a cleanliness drive in the premises of the government higher secondary school here, and planted trees. (With inputs from DIPRO & our correspondent.)