The 24thKhurpui-Lam Festival, 2018 was held at Chandrakirti Auditorium, Palace Compound in Imphal East District on Saturday.
Khurpui-Lam is celebrated by the Kom tribes.
Chief Minister N Biren, Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen, Moirang constituency MLA P Saratchandra and other Kom leaders were present during the festival.
As per the Kom legends, Kom people started celebrating Khurpui-Lam festival after killing a tiger which attacked them when they were living in the caves. Khurpui means a big cave, and Lam means dance.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister N Biren said that the North East region has about 240 different communities speaking 180 different languages while around 36 communities have been living together harmoniously in the State since time immemorial, and this is the beauty of unity in diversity which people of other States and countries are curious about.
Stating that every community should learn to respect other communities big or small, N Biren Singh said that no community should try to subdue another tribe or community in any manner.
Stating that Kom community should be lauded for protecting their culture and identity despite being a small community, he said the present Government’s ‘Go to Hill’ mission was introduced with the idea of regaining the lost trust and love between the hill people and valley people, he added.
Informing that the present Government is trying to trace the old sacred places, which have connection with the civilization of Manipur, he informed that heritage complexes would be developed at different places like Makhel-Sajouba, Koubru and Anal Khullen etc.
He said the Government would consider Kom people’s demand for announcing Khurpui-Lam as a State festival and construction of a cultural hall.
In her speech, Social Welfare Minister Nemcha Kipgen stressed on the importance of peace and harmony for the development and growth of the society. She said, “Culture can help us relate with our past, from our present position we can plan for our future. Our past should serve as the stepping stone for the changes needed for a better and brighter future. Only then we can achieve the desired changes required for the survival of our society.”
Colourful traditional dances and songs were the main highlight of the festival which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister with the ringing of traditional gong. There are also reports of organizing Khurpui-Lam in other parts of the state.