Mera Houchongba, which exemplifies oneness and brotherhood among the people of different ethnic communities residing in Manipur was celebrated with pomp, gaiety and traditional fervour in a grand way at historic Kangla in Imphal on Sunday.
The state chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh and Titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba attended Mera Houchongba which exemplifies oneness and brotherhood among the different ethnic communities as chief guest and functional president.
Art and culture minister L Jayantakumar, public health engineering minister L Dikho, Lok Sabha MP Lorho Pfoze, chairman S Rajen of State Planning Board; deputy chairman H Dingo of Manipur Building and Other Construction Workers’ Welfare Board, MLAs Awangbou Newmai, Khashim Vashum and L Sushindro also attended the festival.
Village chiefs and large number of people from both hills and valley were present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Biren Singh said that the ancient stories of brotherhood and the civilization of Manipur should be included in the school and college syllabus so that the young generation may understand that people residing in the hill and valley of Manipur share a common ancestry and have unbreakable blood relation.
Mera Wayungba or Mera Thaomei Thaanba still narrates the age-old story how the younger brother who went down to the valley signalled to his elder brother in the hill about his wellbeing, he said.
It may noted that during Mera Wayungba or Mera Thaomei Thaanba, every house arranged a limelight in front of the house with prayers for peace and happy years in ‘Mera’ month of the Manipuri calendar which usually falls in October.
He stated that the present Government has been putting in sincere and committed efforts to retain fraternal bonding and peaceful co-existence among different communities of the State ever since it was sworn in on March 15, 2017.
The chief minister also reminded that both people of hill and valley not only suffered together but also fought jointly every time Manipur faced external aggressions from Awa (Burma) and British.
Earlier in the morning, the age-old rituals like Mera Men Tongba and Yenkhong Tamba were performed at Royal Palace to strengthen the fraternal bond among people of different ethnic communities.
Later, a large number of people from different hill and valley districts gathered at Royal Palace and took out a colourful traditional procession up to Kangla as part of the celebration.