Nyokum festival celebrated across state

ITANAGAR, 26 Feb: Nyokum festival of the Nyishi community was celebrated across the state on Sunday with traditional fervour and gaiety.

In Papum Pare district, Toru circle celebrated its 50th Nyokum festival with great fanfare.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who along with Rajya Sabha member Nabam Rebia and former chief minister and Sagalee MLA Nabam Tuki attended the festivity, emphasised on preserving the state’s traditional cultures and festivals.

He lauded the Nyishi community “for preserving the cultural values of Nyokum Yullo and upholding the love and respect for their culture,” and stressed on “the need for passing down this rich heritage to the younger generations.”

Mein urged the people of Toru to “prioritise environmental preservation while celebrating the festival, and promote tourism, showing love and hospitality to visitors while engaging them in various tourism activities.”

Encouraging all the communities to strive to make Arunachal Pradesh a model state, Mein gave assurance that “the government is committed to providing necessary infrastructure and resources for the preservation of the cultures and traditions of the state.”

The DCM informed that, “as part of cultural preservation, the government is also committed to establish indigenous gurukuls in every district to ensure the passing down of traditional values to future generations, with three gurukuls already established so far.”

He appealed to the people to shun hunting and preserve the state’s rich flora and fauna.

He further said: “Arunachal University in Pasighat will be made functional soon, and the state government will also look into the construction of an engineering college in Toru.”

Rebia and Tuki also spoke.

The DCM also unveiled a monolith to commemorate the golden jubilee celebration of Nyokum in Toru.

Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) Mayor Tamme Phassang attended the celebration in Naharlagun, where he urged the Nyishi community to celebrate Nyokum “with full rituals,” and to maintain their age-old tradition.

IMC Commissioner Likha Tejji, who accompanied the mayor, said that “Nyokum is not a religious festival but a secular festival where everyone from every walk of life can participate, irrespective of their religion, caste, or creed.”

In Joram in Lower Subansiri district, DC Bamin Nime, who participated in the festival, said that “the spirit of unity among the Nyishis and the Apatanis living together in Lower Subansiri district is a testimony to the change of mindset and wholesome development.”

The DC suggested “erecting a ‘unity pillar’ between Joram and Bamin-Michi traditional forest boundary, like the Hari-Bulla and Aye-Boa unity pillars erected by the Nyishis of Upper Yachuli circle and Apatanis of Hari-Bulla villages.”

The DC advocated “reviving the traditional ‘manyang system’ between the two tribes to pass on the spirit of unity, harmony and congenial living to the young generations.”

Prominent Nyishi doyen Dr Joram Begi seconded the DC’s suggestion to revive the manyang system between the Nyishis and the Apatanis, and urged the Nyishis to take part in the celebration, irrespective of their religions, to maintain their identity and culture.

“Joram is synonymous with Nyokum since the first Nyokum was celebrated in Joram in 1967, and the festival completed its golden jubilee in 2017 in Joram,” he added.

Local legislator Taba Tedir and Yazali ZPM Gem Taje also appealed to the Nyishis to participate in Nyokum celebration.

Volunteering to “contribute towards ‘genome conservation’ of our tribesmen,” Soil Conservation Director Joram Pufa said: “Earlier, only Nyishis were invited to Nyokum celebrations, but now people from other tribes are also invited to imbibe the spirit of unity and diversity among the people of the state.”

Prize distribution to the winners of various competitions, and a colourful cultural programme were the highlights of the celebration.

Among others, DMO Dr Tage Kanno and Diibo ZPM Bamin Gumbo participated in the celebration.

Nyokum was celebrated in Kamle district also with great pomp and show.

In Boasimla in Lower Subansiri district, Industry Minister Tumke Bagra, attending the celebration, assured to provide full support for the development of the Nyokum ground.

In Raga in Kamle district, APIC Commissioner Gumjum Haidar urged the people to preserve their customs and traditions with religious fervour, while in Daporijo, the people of upper Kamle and Upper Subansiri celebrated Nyokum with great enthusiasm. (With inputs from DIPROs & DCM’s PR Cell)