DIPHU, Feb 16: The 46th Karbi Youth Festival (KYF) organised by Karbi Cultural Society (KCS) kicked off with the resplendent Rong Ketong- traditional procession at Karbi People’s Hall (KPH) at Taralangso here on Sunday.
Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) chief executive member (CEM) Tuliram Ronghang formally inaugurated the festival.
Inaugurating the festival, Ronghang called for unity among Karbi groups and said, “For the sake of KYF we should not have any religious or political differences but extend our full co-operation in promoting our culture.”
“Some political leaders say the signing of MoU between KAAC and KCS will not protect culture and language of the Karbis. Some of them went to the social media to criticise the KAAC. I say the Karbi Cultural Complex is no one’s property, but belongs to KCS. The MoU was signed between KAAC and KCS for development of Taralangso. Instead of criticising it they should come forward to support the festival,” the CEM said.
“We want to develop Taralangso into the best ethnic festival in India. Before the golden jubilee of KYF in 2024, you will see many new developments here,” he said.
The CEM informed that he has fulfilled his promise of last year and will provide traditional dresses and instruments to 26 Zones. From next year the transportation cost to Taralangso and departing for all KCS Zones will be borne by KAAC, he said.
In his address, KCS president, Chandrasing Kro said the KYF has been organised by the KCS uninterruptedly since 1974. Kro recalled the contribution of many Karbi leaders into making what KYF is today. Kro expressed his gratitude to CEM for his support.
Earlier, Kro hoisted the KCS flag. The KCS anthem song was sung by KCS Central Committee team.
The inaugural programme was attended by HAD minister Sum Ronghang, Karbi traditional king Ramsing Ronghang and Dumra Karbi traditional king Holi Sing Ronghang, former Asam Sahitya Sabha president Padmashree Rongbong Terang and other dignitaries.
As many as 5,000 delegates from 29 KCZ Zones from Karbi Anglong, West Karbi Anglong, Dima Hasao, Biswanath Chariali, Kamrup joined the first day of the festival.
Each troupe in the traditional procession Rong Ketong was headed by drums and behind it the Karbi totem pole Jambili bearer follows.
Thousands of Karbi youths from several parts of the Northeast will take part in a series of traditional games and sports, including sling, stilt race, hambi kapathu- ghela khel, folk dances and songs like romance ballads, cradle songs and mourning.
The festival will conclude on February 19, the day is kept aside for concerts and prize distribution ceremonies.
This year helicopter joy ride is introduced with a ticket of Rs 3,000 per head. The helicopter has a capacity of five persons. The first ride was taken by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) principal secretary Sanjeeb Kumar Das, secretary Si-im Taro, joint secretary Herolous Millick and executive engineer of PHED, Bikram Teron.
In the evening, EM for higher education, Jagatsing Engti inaugurated competition for various events at Sing Mirjeng open stage.
In his address, Engti said now there is a decline of youth participating in KYF and the youth should come out in support for it.
“When I was studying in Diphu Govt. College, I participated in the KYF as a volunteer. At that time we contributed 200 volunteers in the festival from Diphu Govt. College. Now I see the youth are not coming forward. They don’t want to participate or take up any responsibility in the festival. Youths have great responsibility in promoting our language, culture and tradition. I urged them to participate in the festival,” Engti added.