New Delhi, 21 Mar 2010:
The Four days Inter cultural dialogue between North east India and South East Asia from 17-20th march, held at Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, New Delhi ended with a glittering display of cultural performances by the hundreds of artist from all the eight North Eastern states and South East Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia. It was not only a celebration of age old cultural ties which existed between the regions but it was also an attempt to explore and rediscover their continuity and disconnected histories between South Asia and South East Asia and its relevance in the present times.
It was an event where a cultural and intellectual exchange of ideas could take place between the artists and scholars from North east India and South East Asia.
The event was jointly organized by North east regional centre(NERC), The North East Zone Cultural Centre (NEZCC), Dimapur , North East India Studies Programme(NEISP), Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra(SSK) & Jawaharlal Nehru University(JNU).
The artists from both the sides explored the commonalities as well as the uniqueness of their respective traditions and attempted at creating a contemporary Fusion dance on the voice of women in the north east and a dance-theater based on folk tale, which was the main attraction of the 4 days long cultural program. The theme of the fusion was Sharing, Understanding and becoming.
Besides the fusion dance, all the four days was marked by stunning performances on each day.
The program began with the Cambodian TEP MONOROM dance, where celestial beings, both male and female, move in and out of paired formations, delighting in the pleasure of their heavenly abode.
While Thailand followed by presenting RABUM KRITSADAPINIHARN, which is a dance in classical style to provide blessings to the people and the dance shows devas or deities as they celebrate the wonderful feeling of freedom by throwing flowers of good fortune.
Java artist presented their famous ANGKUT dance, which is basically a contemporary Javanese dance ridiculing the dutch colonial dispensation which ruled Indonesia.
Bali came up with their ancient warrior dance BARIS a solo dance performance by an 11 year old boy surprising the audience.
Besides the North East Cultural groups from all the 8 states en-thrilled and kept the audience impressed and spellbound with their spectacular dances, the Rumtek Chaam of Sikkim, the Sumi victory war dance by Nagaland, Ka shad Mastieh dance, Meghalaya, Aji Lhamu from Arunachal Pradesh, Khuallam dance by Mizoram and last but not the least Sangrai Mog dance by the Mog community of Tripura,
Sangrai a dance perform by the young boys and girls, to usher in the New year and it got huge applause and roars from the audiences besides hundreds of Tripuri people among the crowd, the crowd though missed Hojagiri dance in the whole event.
Talking to tiprasa.com Miss Uma Reang, a tripuri artist at the event said, "the whole event right from the beginning was indeed beautiful and an enriching one ,with our fusion performances in Agartala, Aizawl, Imphal, Shilpagram Guwahati and now finally at Delhi. In our one month stay together, we got a great opportunity to learn so much, about each others culture, their various dance forms and our closeness some way or the other". "In the course of our stay , we were also taught TAI-Chi(Martial art) and basics of various South East Asian dance forms and also their inner meaning" said Uma smilingly.
While Sharmili Debbarma another artist, added by saying, that indeed our tiprasa youths are getting disassociated from their rich culture and heritage and the time has come for our youths especially the educated lots to take up the responsibility of reviving our ancient old culture and traditions and prevent it from dying a slow death , on account of negligence and for this our tiprajwk women need to be more pro-active.
They are also optimistic that whatever experience they have gained form this whole event, they can put it in to the best use once they go back to Tripura especially reviving our Dramas, story telling and folk tales like Chethuwang which is becoming lesser popular among our upcoming generation.
While Mr. Noppon from Bangkok, on asked about his experience in India narrated how amazed he was on finding out so much similarities between the two regions, whether its in terms of food, culture, life style and also in the various dance forms. He also confessed his love for tripuri culture, dress and peoples hospitality during his/their stay in Tripura.
Besides the cultural performances, there was also a Exhibition display on all the tribes of the north east and the food freaks also got another opportunity to taste the delicious unique cuisines from the north east in the numerous food stalls set up. Tripura stall did a brisk business with their indigenous flavour like wahan mosdeng, tohan mosdeng, awan bangwi, awan belep in its menu list and the Delhi crowd never forgot to take a sip of rice beer before saying adios.
(With inputs from Dhiraj Debbarma)
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