TODAY -
Mera Houchongba reaffirms age old ties
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, October 23 2010: Reaffirming the bond between the hill and the valley people, Mera Houchongba was celebrated in different parts of the State today.

At Kangla Hall here, Mera Houchongba Festival, 2010 was celebrated under the aegis of Kangla Religious Communities of Kangla Fort Board.

MLA of Uripok A/C and member of Kangla Fort Board L Nandakumar, former Minister RV Mingthing and member of Kangla Fort Board Prof Sairem Nilbir attended the celebration as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.

Presentation of cultural dances by cultural troupes of various communities living in Manipur and exchange of gifts between the hill and the valley people were among the main highlights of the celebration.

All those who spoke at the occasion emphasised on the inalienable bonding between the hill and the valley brethren.



Tribal girls in the festival


They observed that Mera Houchongba is one of the oldest festivals of the people of Manipur which has been celebrating since the reign of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba.

Although the celebration of Mera Houchongba remained stopped for sometime during the British occupation of Manipur, it has resumed after the British left.

Today, it has become one of the most important festivals where the hill and the valley people come together, they pointed out.

Mera Houchongba was also celebrated under the banner of 'Ist Mera Houchongba cum Nungshi Channaba Meepham' at Haraorou Community Hall today.

Organised under the aegis of Village Development Committee (VDC), Haraorou, the celebration was attended by vice president of UCM Y Nabachandra as chief guest and Pradhan of Haraorou Tangkham Gram Panchayat Thangjam Angoubi Devi as functional president.

Chairman of VDC Thangjam Muhindro, Chairman of Mapao Keithelmanbi Uyon and chairman of Maibung Kom village Chothang Kom were also present at the occasion as guests of honour.

The celebration commenced with invocation by Amaibas of Sana Konung.

After lighting of the ceremonial torch, gifts were exchanged between the hill and the valley people.

Speaking at the occasion, Y Nabachandra expressed happiness that Mera Houchongba is being celebrated for the first time in Haraorou along with people of the neighbouring villages like Mapao Keithelmanbi, Maibung Kom village.

This is a good sign, he said, adding that as long as there is unity and love between the hill and the valley, no force in the world would be able to break part relationship.

He also observed that there is no hard and fast that Mera Houchongba should be celebrated only at Sana Konung.

In his address, Chothang Kom observed that celebration of Mera Houchongba beyond the confine of Sana Konung would help in strengthening the bond between the hill and the valley people even more.

The legend of the elder brother going to the hills to settle while the younger brother remaining in the valley is touching, he said, adding that the bond of fraternity between the hill and the valley people should never be compromised.

Like every year, Mera Houchongba was also celebrated at Sana Konung with great fanfare during which the titular king of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba exchanged gifts with the chiefs coming from various districts of the hill.


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