The students of Mount Carmel College recently organised a fest to celebrate the culture of North-East India. The brilliant aroma of momos wafted through the air and the students had a great time participating in the various events, which the North-Eastern students had planned.
To add authenticity to the event, the North-Eastern students dressed in the traditional costumes of their respective native areas. This was also an attempt to educate people on the uniqueness of each of the seven sisters. The Manipuri students kicked-started the fest with a video, which included clips of beautiful scenes from their state, tribal people and their native dishes.
They also performed three sequences of Manipuri dances, where the dancers masqueraded as Radha and Krishna. The costumes were beautiful, with the girls wearing billowing skirts.
The team from Arunachal Pradesh performed one of their many tribal dances. Their video drew a parallel between the culture of the North East and the rest of the country. The students from Nagaland first sang a song, titled O Rhosi, and followed it up with the harvest dance of the Ao tribe. This dance is usually performed during the Moatsu festival, which is celebrated in spring and they danced to the rhythmic beats of a drum.
The Assamese troupe began with the Sattriya dance, after which they performed the lively dance of the Bodos, Bagurumba, also known as the ‘Butterfly Dance’. They ended their show with the Bihu dance, which had those in the audience roar with excitement. The Mizo students’ video depicted glimpses of the scenic beauty in their state. A few of the Mizo students sat on the stage, tapping long pairs of horizontal bamboo sticks in sync with the rhythmic beats of a drum.
A few other students, dressed in colourful Mizo costumes, called ‘Puanchei’, danced to the tune of the drum beats.
This act brightened the performance. Then came the girls of Meghalaya, who performed their traditional dance, portraying their ancient and distinct tribal lifestyle. The last item was by the girls from Sikkim, who combined their performance with those from Darjeeling.
Those who watched the programme loved the many performances and say that all the events gave them an insight into the North-Eastern culture. Raka Chaudhury, of the English department, says, “It was a good platform for the North-Eastern students to come out of their shells and share their culture and tradition with the rest of the college. With all the agitation and recent happenings that involved the North-Eastern people in the South, a day like this was long overdue.”
Elizabeth Jose, another lecturer from the department of history, feels, “All the programmes were mind-blowing. Those from the North East got a good platform to showcase the part of India, which has been left out and neglected by the majority. The songs, dances and the presentations were a testimony of their culture’s magnificence.”