TDT IMPHAL, Nov 21: The Sangai Festival 2012 has kickstarted on Wednesday showcasing beautiful cultural programmes adorned with different colours of lights at Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT), Hapta Kangjeibung in Imphal.
The 10-day state level festival is being organized by the Government of Manipur and spearheaded by the Tourism Department. Around 5 lakh people are likely to visit the festival during November 21-30. Speaking on the inaugural day of the festival, Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam highlighted the immense potential of the state saying that the huge potential of Manipur in selling itself as a tourist destination cannot be overly emphasized.
Famous for its Raas Leela, Pung cholom, Thang-Ta and Lai-Haraoba, renowned for the myriad festivals of its many diverse communities such as Phit Lam, Lui-Ngai-Ni, Gan-ngai, Chumpha, Kut and many others, Manipur is a never ending story of festivities round the year, Gaikhangam said.
Tourism in Manipur is now a rapidly developing sphere of human activity reflecting the changing economic and social conditions, and the new technologies of transport which make it possible for large number of people from within and from distant places to come and spend their leisure here, he added.
He added all the stakeholders in tourism development should safeguard the natural environment with a view to achieving sound, continuous equitably and sustainable economic growth geared to satisfying equitably the needs and aspirations of present and future generations. “All forms of tourism development that are conducive to saving rare and precious resources, in particular water and energy, as well as avoiding so far as possible waste production, should be given priority and encouraged by local public authorities,” he suggested.
He further added tourism infrastructure should be designed and tourism activities programmed in such a way as to protect the natural heritage composed of ecosystems and biodiversity and to preserve endangered species of wildlife.
The stakeholders in tourism development, and especially professionals, should agree to the imposition of limitations or constraints on their activities when these are exercised in particularly sensitive areas– hilly regions,forests or wetlands, propitious to the creation of nature reserves or protected areas, the Deputy CM further suggested.
The festival has been renamed as Manipur Sangai festival since 2010 to popularize ‘Sangai,’ the rare species of dear to be found in Manipur, which is also the state animal. In This festival, not only Indian states but foreign troupes also participate for various games and cultural activities.
Indigenous fashion show, rock show and traditional musical night are also held at BOAT. The event will be webcasted live on the official website ‘Sangaifestival@gov.in.’
Besides Gaikhangam, Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution minister, M Okendro, Chief Secretary DS Poonia, 2012 Olympics bronze medalist MC Mary Kom, Royal Thai Embassy Minister Counsellor (Commercial), Tharadol Thongruang also attended the function.
~ TDT News | Zogam Today
Sangai festival: Mixed response to UNC decree
David Mayum, Imphal (Nov 20): To be or not to be a part of the Sangai Festival is no longer a matter of simple choice for Nagas living in Manipur.
However, overriding a UNC advice to refrain from taking part in the state-sponsored Sangai Festival, sources have confirmed the participation of several cultural troupes from the hill districts of Manipur in the festival to begin from Wednesday.
A recent UNC press statement had advised all Nagas living in Manipur to stay away from the Manipur Sangai festival and other such programmes.
Terming the UNC statement as unfortunate, deputy CM and home minister Gaikhangam said though he cannot stop anyone from expressing his or her opinion, he believed that the people are wise enough to understand the issue and not to listen to such unfortunate requests.
Meanwhile, sources close to the organising committee of the festival have informed that contrary to the UNC decree, representatives of tribes, including those from Naga nomenclature, will be taking part in the 10-day-long Manipur Sangai Festival from November 21 to 30.
Tribal cultural troupes will be performing at the festival, where a day has been dedicated to each of the five hills district of the state, starting from the third day of the festival. November 23 has been dedicated to Senapati, November 24 to Tamenglong, November 25 to Churachandpur, November 26 to Chandel and November 27 to Ukhrul.
The cultural programmes will be specifically handled by the state arts and culture department. There will also be a 20-member cultural team and a stall from Thailand, sources said.
Although many editions of the festival has been celebrated over the past few years, the tourism festival has been renamed as the Manipur Sangai Festival since the 2010 edition.
This has been done to showcase the uniqueness of the shy and gentle brow-antlered deer, popularly known as the Sangai deer which is found only in Manipur at the Keibul Lamjao Floating National Park in Loktak Lake, and to further promote Manipur as a world-class tourism destination.
The festival has been organised at a total cost of Rs 2 crore – Rs 1.50 crore from the Union ministry of tourism, and Rs 50 lakh from the state government. Wednesday’s inaugural function will be attended by Gaikhangam as the chief guest.
The function will also be attended by Olympic medal winner MC Mary Kom. Royal Thai embassy minister counsellor (commercial) Tharadol Thongruang will also attend the function as a special guest.
The closing ceremony on November 30 will be attended by governor Gurbachan Jagat as chief guest and chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh as president. Sources also added that tight security arrangements have been made to thwart any attempts to disrupt the festival.
~ Seven Sister’s Post