Army joins Losar celebration

TAWANG, 8 Mar: The Indian Army, in a bid to strengthen its friendly ties with the local Monpa community here, participated in the weeklong Losar festival, marking the arrival of spring, an official release here said.

The Monpa tribe celebrates Losar in Tawang, close to the India-China border, with great enthusiasm every year, with community members coming together to offer prayers and perform rituals.

The Indian Army in Tawang, which has become a part and parcel of local life, was invited to take part in the festivities and join the community for a traditional feast, according to the release.

Members of the community make elaborate arrangements for the rituals performed during the festival, which commences on the first day of the lunar calendar, besides preparing various delicacies during this time of the year, most importantly the Khow Suey.

The Monpas, who have called Tawang their home since 500 BC, are devout followers of Buddhism.

Army personnel helped the Monpa tribe members make the arrangements, the release said.

Locals reached out to army troops posted in Zemithang, Kereteng and various other locations to celebrate the festival with them, it said.

“This heartwarming gesture touched the troops, giving them a ‘home away from home’ feeling,” the release said, adding that “the Indian Army has weaved in its secular the rituals of the Monpa community.”

“Tawang has witnessed large-scale infrastructure development and implementation of various government schemes specific to the development of the border areas. This has provided the Monpas opportunities and avenues towards greater economic prosperity,” it added. (PTI)