Speaker joins Oriah celebration

ITANAGAR, Feb 16: Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh State Legislative Assembly T N Thongdok has appreciated the Wanchos for making an honest effort to preserve and protect their rich traditional culture.
He was speaking during the Oriah festival of the Wanchos of Longding district at Itanagar on Thursday amidst a huge gathering of festival revellers.
Recalling the festival celebrations of TCL districts at the capital during the formative years, the Speaker told the gathering that in the past the festivals were celebrated on a small scale with not much pomp and show because there were only a few people from the three districts then. He lauded the people, especially the youth of TCL for showcasing their rich and vibrant traditional cultures through celebrations of different festivals including Oriah.
Thongdok said that he was alive to the problems being faced by the people of TCL and urged the youths to channelize their youthful energy towards constructive purposes.
Also appreciating the rich and varied folksongs and folkdances of the Wanchos, the Speaker appealed to the people to adopt cash-crop cultivation instead of shifting cultivation in order to improve their economy.
He passionately exhorted the people not to mix culture and religion, adding that the two were totally different entities, while adding that religion was a matter of one’s personal choice, while culture was the collective treasure of the society.
Earlier, the Speaker offered ritualistic prayer at the Rangwantong altar erected at the festival ground and later fired a shot with the muzzle-loaded gun, an honour given to the chief guest during Oriah festival.
Earth-shaking sounds of muzzle-loaded gun fires, shouts of war cry and the soothing Wancho folksongs and foot-tapping folkdances reverberated through the nearby hills and mountains of Senki Park at Itanagar on the festive occasion.
Folkdances by the villagers of Konnu in Longding district, including a war dance, bamboo dance by the youth and modern dances by the students and youth drawn from different walks of life and a grand community feast marked the day-long celebrations. The festival was also attended by dignitaries from different communities. (DIPRO)

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