DIPHU, April 12: Celebration of Parsem-Kut festival of the Khelma tribe concluded in Dima Hasao.
It is a merry making festival of the youth. The word Parsem means flower distribution. Flowers naturally symbolises beauty, grace and love and Parsem therefore, represent the very primetime of the youth. Besides, it also signifies the arrival of springtime, a time when new leaves, buds and flowers bloom beautifully.
Being an agrarian community, the Khelmas welcome such beautiful springtime by playing and adorning with fresh flowers of the year. Hence it is called a merry making festival of the youth. The Parsem is observed usually just after burning of the jhum.
The Khelma or the Sakachep is one of the Chin-Kuki-Mizo groups. Khelma is one of the oldest tribe in Kuki community as recoded in the history. They mainly inhabit in Assam’s Dima Hasao district and Karbi Anglong.
They are also found in Jantia Hills in Maghalaya, Nagaland in Paren District. Their life style and habitat closely resemble the Kukis and Mizos. Among the inhabitants of Dima Hasao district, the Khelmas are one of the oldest indigeneous tribe of Dima Hasao. The Khelmas have close resemblances to the Hrangkhols, Beites, Ranglong, Darlong in language, customs and traditions.
Altogether 98% of the population belongs to Christian faith. Besides, Khelma community is entirely dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. The community has various festivals and number of folk songs sung in slow tandem.