Shri. Prestone Tynsong, Hon’ble Minister, C & R.D., Forest, Border Area Development & Parliamentary Affairs
Shri. Donevan Wanlang, M.D.C., Sohra
The Sohra Indigenous Festival was organized by the Sub Divisional Administration on the 18th December, 2014 at Sa-I-Mika Park Sohra. The Festival was organized with the objective of promoting livelihood, eco and adventure Tourism and highlighting the rich indigenous art and culture of the people of Sohra and Shella. The Festival witnessed the participation of over 30 (thirty) SHGs engaged in various activities which include apiculture, Orchid farming, Weavers and preparation of indigenous food. The various items particularly oranges from village of Mawphu, Nongsteng and Laitiam, the bananas and handicrafts items from Nongpriang village, the honey from Nongsteng, Mawphu and Laitiam and the indigenous food like Shriew, Phandieng and locally grown vegetables from far-flung areas of the Sub Division were given prominence.
The festival was inaugurated amidst fanfare and gaiety by Shri Prestone Tynsong, Minister i/c C&RD,BADO etc, Government of Meghalaya in the presence of Shri Kennedy Cornelius KhyriemParliamentary Secretary Tourism Art and Culture and Shri Sanjay Goyal, Deputy Commissioner, East Khasi Hill District. The Sub Divisional Officer Shri Ajay Singh Tomer in his inaugural address stressedon importance of eco-tourism, safeguarding cultural heritage, promotion of indigenous art and culture and showcasing the traditional skills in handicrafts as the principal grounds behind organizing the festival. Shri. Sanjay Goyal while lauding the efforts of the Sub Divisional Administration in organizing the festival called upon the participants to revive and strength indigenous arts and culture. Shri. Kennedy Khyriemin his address sought the cooperation of the local people of the Sub Division to make Sohra the favorite tourist destination of the state and the country as a whole. Shri. Prestone Tynsong while paying tribute to U Soso Tham, the father of the Khasi Poetry called upon the people of Sohra to emulate the mannerisms and culture that Sohra is renowned for. Further, he congratulates the Sub Divisional Administration for organizing the event and particularly reviving the forgotten indigenous games of Mawpoin and the rich cultural dance and songs by the Seng Khasi Sohra and the various contingents from different villages. The inaugural programme was followed by inspection of indigenous games and the various fruits and indigenous food stalls by the dignitaries.
The traditional stalls which housed the indigenous food and fruit items were painstakingly designed by artisans of Nongtraw village. The stalls numbering thirty added a traditional touch to the venue of the festival. In addition to the traditional stalls, several other stalls serving traditional and Indian gourmet as well as locally prepared ginger and strawberry wine were put up to trickle the taste buds of the visitors.
With the intention to encourage indigenous games among the young people of the Sub Division, Mawpoin and Archery competition were organized. Both the traditional games witness overwhelming participation of the young and old people alike from different villages and were major attractions of the festival. Game of Tug of War was also organized and trophy given to the winner besides the prize money in cash. Since the 18th December is also commemorated as tha death anniversary of U Soso Tham, the great bard of Khasi poetry, Poetry Recitation and Phawar Competition was organized among the school going children and youth representing various institution and villages. Indigenous dances and songs by various artist and cultural group from Sohra, and other adjoining villages were also the main attraction of the festival.
For the first time in history of sohra festival, a fashion show was organized in which models showcased the traditional dress of the region. The dresses wore by models were weaved at home and displayed rich variety. Also it showcased to the world that this place is not behind anyone in area of fashion.
The Festival culminated with musical extravaganza towards the evening where prominent band like Colors and other individuals artists from Shillong enthralled the audience with their thrilling performance.
On the whole, the Sohra Indigenous Festival, 2014 met with resounding success as it accomplished in achieving its main thrusts which include promotion of indigenous games, celebrating the rich culture of the Khasi people through indigenous songs and dances and building bonhomie among the people of the various villages under Sohra Civil Sub Division.
Shri.Ajay Singh Tomer, I.A.S.,
Sub Divisional Officer (C),
Sohra Civil Sub Division, Sohra
The Chief Guest along with the Dignataries
Shri.Prestone Tynsong, Chief Guest, being felicitated
Shri.Donevan Wanlang, MDC, Sohra, being felicitated
Shri.Sanjay Goyal, IAS, Deputy Commisioner, East Khasi Hills, being felicitated
Shri.Ajay Tomer Singh, IAS, Sub-Divisional Officer (C), Sohra, being felicitated
The dignitaries, lighting the inauguration lamp to commence the Festival
Cross Country Marathon, origin from Sohra Cicruit House
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