Saturday, January 28, 2023

Rengma community celebrates Ngada festival

Correspondent/Staff Reporter

The Rengma community celebrated Ngada festival, post-harvest festival of the Rengma community on Monday at Tesophenyu under Tseminyu district and Chümoukedima.
Ngada Festival, post-harvest festival was celebrated at Aghonshü, Tourist Facility Centre, Tesophenyu, Tseminyu with Tenyimi People’s Organisation (TPO) president, Timikha Koza, as the special guest.
Sharing his years of experience and observation, Koza lamented that the rope of forgiveness that tie the Tenyimia people together had become very thin and will break unless the people change their attitude. He said the main weakness was their unforgiving nature and attitude to bring one another down.
With regard to Nagas freedom, Koza opined that Nagas must come together as one and fight for freedom with a common goal and also reminded the Rengma community to rise up and help other tribes who have helped them during their times of need.
Koza observed that today’s youth are quick in imitating others but found it difficult to follow the rich traditions of their forefathers. In this regard, he challenged the younger generations to uphold the rich traditions and let others imitate them. He further urged the youths to learn the traits and cultures of the Rengma community and strive to work hard in improving the economy.
Delivering the festival greetings, MLA & advisor, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services & Women Resources Development Govt. of Nagaland, R. Khing, called upon the gathering to preserve the culture and tradition of the forefathers. He stated that in society, if one loses their tradition, one loses their identity. He encouraged the young generations to practice and preserve their traditions sincerely and lauded the organising committee for their initiatives.
Rengma Hoho president, Pollen Tep, spoke on the significance of the Ngada festival, a post-harvest festival with thanksgiving to the God Almighty for His bountiful blessings throughout the year.
Tep added that the festival also signifies the reconciliation of relationships between the offender and offended or with relatives, friends and invitees individually or through a mediator by sharing food/drinks symbolising renewal from misunderstandings, disassociations during the past years and marks the beginning of new relationships and peace treaties.
Sharing greetings, Deputy Commissioner, Tseminyu, Dr. Zasekuolie Chusi, dubbed the festival to be a festival of giving and celebrating their humanity and serving towards humanity as one.
The programme was chaired by Yhunchilo Khing, compered by Dr. Lilongchem Thyug, invocation was said by Elizabeth Apon while words of gratitude was delivered by general secretary, Rengma Officers Forum (ROF), Shiloh Kath.
Cultural exhibition was presented by Tsogin Range, Kithagha Group, Kasha Daho, Tseminyu Lojvii, Kandi Group and Phenshunyu Lojvu.
Chümoukedima: With traditional fervour and pomp, “Ngada”, post-harvest festival of the Rengma community was celebrated at Chümoukedima local ground. The celebration was jointly organized by Rengma Public Organization Chümoukedima (RPOC) and Rengma Public Organization Dimapur (RPOD) where hundreds of people attended the festival wearing their colorful traditional attire.
Sharing the significance of the festival at the celebration, Ngada Rüpu (Ngada Father), Nillo Rengma said that it was one of the greatest festivals of the Rengma community and is a festival for feasting, dancing, singing, rejoicing and amusement. He said that it was also a time to forgive one another and look forward for better tomorrow.
Rengma also pointed out some preliminary ceremonies – “Gennas” which interlinked with Ngada celebration, the first celebration is called crab offering gene (Kepvükeshü Kezi) or superfluous ceremony. The second ceremony is called paddy top-eating genna followed by third ceremony called the day of clearing a new field, after which seven days celebration of Ngada follows. He further said that Ngada marks the end of the year and new year begin with the preparation for cultivation of new field.
Greetings was delivered by Rengma Public Organization Chümoukedima (RPOC) president, Peter Magh, who also informed that Ngada – rejoicing and merry making, was one of the greatest and most colorful festivals of the tribe. “The word “Nga” means merry making and “Da” means big, which is observed annually after harvest towards the end of November”, he stated. He said that the festival marks thanksgiving and reconciliation.
Magh mentioned that the Rengma Naga is bounded by the Angamis in the south, the Sumis in the east and the Lothas in the North. The Rengma Nagas have two colonies, one in Tseminyu district and the other in the Mikhir hills called Njongteripfüju, he added.
RPOD president Alo Kent also shared greetings. Various cultural extravaganza like “Ngada Khwi”, “Lokerang Khweng” “Asu Kesü Khwi, “Lowgwa lünyu le lowgwa ponyü gen küron lü”, “Nanpyang kechü and “Aghale” were the highlights of the programme. The celebration also highlighted traditional games and sports.
Earlier, invocation prayer was offered by Rev. S Thong and welcome note was delivered by organizing committee convenor, Akhu Kath; word of gratitude was delivered by organizing committee, co-convenor Kenneth Woch and prayer for the Ngada feast was proposed by Rengma Baptist Church, Purana Bazar, Dimapur pastor Rev. Sebü.

Cultural troops performing cultural bamboo dance. (NP)
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