Northeastern youth celebrate their arts

Festive Time

Northeastern youth celebrate their arts

Delhi had probably never seen a bigger display of Northeast art and culture. Several students of Northeast in the Capital got together to celebrate a first-of-its-kind Jhalak Poorvottar Youth Fest, meaning Glim­pses of the Northeast Youth Festival, recently. The programme had more than 500 student taking out jhankis , singing, dancing, displaying traditional costumes and celebrating festivals.

The events were held at different venues to give a taste of the Seven Sisters to one and all.

Organised by Integrated Talent Development Mission (ITDM), a group of Northeastern students studying in DU, JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia and several other academic institutions, the group aims at keeping Northeastern students connected to their roots. They found a good opportunity to showcase their art on January 12 – the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, and National Youth Day.

Rajeev Pathak, convenor, ITDM, informed Metrolife, “It is important to hold such festivals as Delhiites have little knowledge of our region. There are many misconceptions about Northeasterners also and it is important to dispel those notions and make people understand that the problems and aspirations of youth rema­in the same everywhere – in the Northeast and the rest of the country.”

The festival began with over 500 Northeastern youth taking out a procession in Old Delhi. Youth from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim marched past in traditional costumes, performing their local dances. Hundreds of curious passersby gathered to watch and enquire about the colourful programme.

On 13th, the students performed a host of folk dances at Siri Fort Auditorium. There were Bihu, Sattriya, Bagurumba and Bhoor Taal dances from Assam, tribal dances from Arunachal Pradesh, Krishna-Radha’s Raas, Pung Cholam, Stick and Thang-Ta dances from Manipur, Shad, Suk and Mynsiem from Meghalaya, Cheraw (bamboo dance) from Mizoram, Zeliang dance from Nagaland, Lepcha, Nepali and Bhutia from Sikkim and Hojagiri from Tripura.

There was also a painting exhibition on the ‘historical significance of the Northeast’ by Dr Sunil Vishwakarma, researcher at BHU, and a fashion show of traditional costumes.

So while the Ass­a­mese paraded in Mekhla chadars, dhoti and kurta, students from Nagaland sported accessories made of bird feathers and animal bones.
The last day of the fest saw students celebrate Bihu and Makar Sankranti – both spring festivals from the Northeastern and Northern parts of India – together in different parts of Delhi.

As Rajeev remarked, “We are heartened at the love and positive feedback our fest has received from Delhiites. We will bring it back with even more enthusiasm next year and hope that it will bridge the gap between these two people.”

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